The Cup is finally found
What cup you ask? Why it’s the Bedford Cup from the annual Bedford mixed doubles tennis tournament that ran for 12 years (1975-87). It disappeared in 1987 after the last tournament. If you live in town from 1975-87, enjoyed tennis, no matter your skill level you had to participate in this weekend of revelry. Lots of fun tennis with finals on Sunday and a huge cookout for all. This was the era of local tennis revival. Tennis was on a roll.
This also was the era of wooden rackets (love my Wilson Jack Kramer) and the introduction of – yes – yellow (formerly white) tennis balls. You thought tennis balls were always yellow, right? Why yellow? Because they could be seen better on TV. No, we didn’t make the tube but it was a big event in town. It almost became a town holiday. Remember, this started 42 years ago. No cellphones to answer while playing. The large team draw needed use of all the courts in town thanks to private owners.
The famous Volvo Pro tournament held at the Mt. Washington Hotel Resort was founded by Bedford’s own Jim Westhall. This tournament is now held in Connecticut and is a warmup to the U.S. Open.
Famous pros of the era were Conners, Borg, MacInrow and Ashe, who won the historic 1975 Wimbeldon, defeating Connors in four sets. He became the first black man to win a Wimbledon tournament. Famous female pros of the era were Chris Everett, Billie Jean King and Martina Navratilova.
The Bedford Cup tournament was the idea of local busines owner, sponsor and director for 12 years, Bob Brooks, with a great cast of committies.
So, where was the Cup hiding you ask? In Winnie Cote’s attic since the last tournament in 1987. Winnie was a committee member and took the cup home so it wouldn’t get lost. There it slep in her attic for almost 30 years until Winnie and I bumped into each other one day. I told her about the old newspaper photo I found about the tournament. Then I asked "Do you know where the cup is?" She replied, "I think it’s in my attic." In reality, it never really was lost; it was just misplaced. It’s back home now. What fun!
Your thoughts on reviving the tournament? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
– Submitted by
Bob Brooks, Bedford
Parks & Recreation founder