Tributes to Tarring’s Minnie Marsh

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TRIBUTES have been paid to a “wonderful woman” who lived for tennis, her family and her garden.

Minnie Marsh, who used to run the Tarring-based tennis group The Morning Club, died last week aged 94 at St Barnabas House hospice in Durrington.

Minnie, of Church Road, started the club in 1951 and organised matches every week for 50 years. Many of the members were close in age to Minnie, having started playing in the early days of the club’s formation.

Her son, Chris, who lives in Surrey, said: “She loved tennis – it began as a young wives’ club. Minnie would inspect the courts, organise the matches and sweep the courts to ensure everyone had a great time.”

Minnie retired from the club, and put down her racquet, in July, 2008.

At the time, she told the Herald: “In 1950, after I had my daughter, I started taking up tennis again. Me and my neighbour went to the nearby Tarring tennis courts – in those days you never locked a single door when you went out. The club started off for ladies only and it really took off, with 30 to 40 people playing. As our husbands retired, they started playing mixed doubles matches. So I started to block-book the tennis courts.”

Chris said Minnie once organised a trip to Wimbledon for the club, and also had the opportunity to watch Andre Agassi play on Centre Court with her grandson.

Minnie was a mother-of-three, grandmother of six and great-grandmother of five children.

She married Reginald in 1941, after the pair met at a stamp office in London. In 1949, the couple moved to Worthing when Reg got a job with the Inland Revenue in Goring. The family enjoyed many trips abroad, particularly on camping tours in Europe.

Minnie’s parents, Ada and Henry, were involved in sport, too. Ada, a champion gymnast, was manager of the first-ever women’s GB gymnastics team at the Amsterdam Olympics in 1928.

Chris said: “After Reg died 22 years ago, Minnie did everything herself – she was a very independent woman. She loved looking after the garden, birds and butterflies, and spending time with her family. She had 94-and-a-bit years of perfect health and used every minute of it.”

Minnie’s funeral was held at HD Tribe in Broadwater on Thursday, and was attended by more than 50 people, including her tennis friends.