The doors to IWSC were first opened in the Whitsun of 1936, providing tennis, badminton, squash courts – which at the time were claimed to be among the finest in the country – and a lounge serving Worthington and Whitbread draught beers from the wood, Brickwoods mild and a wide range of spirits. Seaview in the late ‘30s was considered an alternative to Le Touquet and attracted international visitors during the season. The vehicle ferry fare from Portsmouth to Ryde cost one shilling (5 pence) and the passenger fare from Southsea to Seaview Pier just 6d (2 1/2 pence).
In September 1998 Anne and Alan Blackburn became aware of this hidden gem and, although it had sadly lost much of its original sparkle, felt sheer excitement at the potential unfolding before them.
During the next two years a programme of refurbishment and improvement was implemented. Anne and Alan complimented the original courts with the addition of an air-conditioned gymnasium, indoor swimming pool, steam room and saunas. The latest ‘Olympus’ all weather service was laid to the tennis court and floodlighting installed to provide tennis facilities into the late or dark winter evenings.
In August 2000 members new and existing were able to take advantage of the enhanced facilities at IWSC.
In June 2016 the doors to IWSC were closed to facilitate the retirement of Alan Blackburn and to make renovations and internal alterations to the premises.
On October 2016, Anne Blackburn announced that the all weather ‘Olympus’ surface Tennis Court at IWSC was once again available for hire.
Anne and Alan Blackburn