Rackets

The Prenn Hue Williams Court at Harrow

23 Apr 2020

Today's Grand Opening postponed until normal service is resumed


The Prenn Hue Williams Court at Harrow
The Prenn Hue Williams Court at Harrow
The Prenn Hue Williams Court at Harrow
The Prenn Hue Williams Court at Harrow

As it has been completely rebuilt, the 'Old' Rackets Court at Harrow School, built in 1865, no longer exists. Consequently, the School has announced that the court will in future be named The Prenn Hue Williams Court. This step is an entirely fitting tribute to two Old Harrovians, John Prenn and Charles Hue Williams who are not only master players in their day but have been faithful supporters of the game for many years.

Harrow was the first school to play Rackets following the game’s inception in debtors’ prisons in the mid-18th century. The School had easy access to the basic requirements of the game: a flat piece of land and a high wall (in its historic Bill Yard), which enabled the most skilled players to hit the ball at speeds of up to 160 miles per hour.

Old Harrovian Sir William Hart-Dyke was the first Rackets champion at Harrow and was largely responsible for the construction in the 1860s. It was the first closed and covered court at any school. Following a century of many championship victories, a second court was built in 1965.

The project to reconstruct the court and renovate large parts of the Rackets and Fives areas was supervised by the School's Head of Capital Development, Mr Wayne Simpson, and comprised a number of professional companies. It was a 'team effort' Wayne says, "We came together and delivered something uniquely challenging, something we are all immensely proud of."

Former World Champion and Old Harrovian, Harry Foster, commented:“I played on the new court within a few weeks of its reopening and it was a complete thrill.I am so happy at what everyone has achieved in getting it built, it is a tremendous achievement.”

 


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