A HISTORIC tennis club has launched a new fundraising campaign to save its iconic thatched roof.

Frinton-on-Sea Lawn Tennis Club, in Holland Road, said the roof of the clubhouse is in urgent need of substantial works.

If the £90,000 works are not completed soon, it is feared costs could rise to as much as £250,000.

Club chairman and TalkTV host James Max said: "It's over 30 years since our thatched roof has had any major works undertaken.

“If we don't act now, we face having to replace the whole structure at a cost of over £250,000.

Clacton and Frinton Gazette: Club chairman - James MaxClub chairman - James Max

“However if we complete the works within the next 12 to 18 months, a thorough refurbishment plan will give at least 30 years of new life to the roof.

“It will really smarten up its appearance and more importantly keep out the inclement weather.

“It's an ambitious fundraising plan but we are over halfway towards our £90,000 target."

In recent years the club has rebranded and taken on new coaching staff It has been completely refurbished and the gym has been kitted out with brand new Technogym equipment.

The Walton Swifts walking football team has also set up at the club and a new croquet lawn has been developed, bringing the sport back after a 30-year absence.

Mr Max said the club is one of the best sporting and social facilities in the town and membership is now at its highest level since the early 1990's. The first fundraising event took place last Saturday and tournaments from across the club's range of sporting activities took place.

Clacton and Frinton Gazette: Fundraiser - coach Peter Richmond, tennis chairman Bill Greeno with men's winner Louis ParkerFundraiser - coach Peter Richmond, tennis chairman Bill Greeno with men's winner Louis Parker

Mr Max added: “There was a croquet competition, squash, walking football and gym too. And a significant tennis tournament.

“Involving sixty players, a progressive tennis tournament was held on the club's famous grass tennis courts.

“An amazing atmosphere and fun competition ensued.

“With a few well-administered drinks and a terrific raffle draw, the club is on the way to reaching its target adding an impressive £4,123 to the Thatched Roof Fund.

There will be a fundraising dinner and auction at the club with Mr Max on Saturday, October 1.