Demolition of garage site not a hit for Norry

Norry Davie can no longer practice tennis at the old Willis's  garage site in Alnwick.
Norry Davie can no longer practice tennis at the old Willis's garage site in Alnwick.

A former petrol station site in Alnwick, which has become an eyesore, is being demolished – to the disappointment of a grass-roots tennis player.

Town resident Norry Davie has been using the one-time Willis’ premises, on South Road, as a place to hone his skills, in a bid to win an annual tournament.

With its strengthened glass and decent-sized concrete playing surface, the venue served-up the perfect place to practice.

But with the site now being demolished – after owner Northumberland Estates gained permission to knock it down – the 53-year-old says he has lost an ideal spot to play, especially as he claims that there is nowhere else in the Alnwick area which offers a practice wall.

“I think I’m the only person in Alnwick that doesn’t want the old garage demolished,” he said.

“I used the toughened glass window as my tennis practice wall as it’s the only wall I’ve found with a 13-metre ground playing area.

“Most tennis courts in the country have outside practice walls that are free to use but there are none in the Alnwick area.

“Maybe we could start something to attract some Lottery money to have a tennis practice wall built in Alnwick?”

He added: “I need to practice if I’m going to improve on my performance in last year’s Village Gym competition, when I reached the semi-finals.”

Colin Barnes, of Northumberland Estates, said demolition work should be completed sometime this month but said there were no plans, as yet, for the future of the site.

“We are just exploring the market and seeing what we might be able to attract to the town,” he said.

He added the site was in quite a bad state of repair and had to be demolished for health and safety reasons.