Winnie Mason Shaw-Mother and Daughter -
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old Nov 22nd, 2011, 06:29 PM Thread Starter
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Winnie Mason Shaw-Mother and Daughter

I suspect a few who are familair with tennis in the 1960s know of Winnie Shaw Wooldridge. What may be surprising is she was not the first Scottish tennis player in the familt. Her own mother Winnie Mason was quite a champ herself:

Obituary: Winnie Shaw

Winifred Mason, tennis-player: born 1910; married Angus Shaw (one son, and one daughter deceased); died 13 February 1994.

THE DEATH of Winnie Shaw brings to a close one of the great associations of Scottish tennis.

A Scottish national champion 11 times - three singles and five doubles - she was also the mother of Winnie Wooldridge, who died in 1992, probably the best ever woman player to come from north of the Border.

Shaw's reign of fame was in the 1930s, a great time when Betty Nuthall, Helen Wills Moody, Elizabeth Ryan and Helen Jacobs ruled the world.

A Glaswegian, Winifred Mason, as she was then, came to the fore as a member of the Pollokshields and Clarkston Club. By the time she was 20, she had Scottish tennis at her feet. She represented her country 11 times in international events and among her victories was one over the English player Mary Hardwick.

A petite figure, Shaw possessed a fearsome forehand, as her opponents were quick to learn. She was also a good golfer and taught her daughter both sports at which she was to become an international.

Shaw's fame was widespread in her day, expecially in Scotland. Dennis Carmichael, the former Chairman and now the Treasurer of the Lawn Tennis Association, recalls his earliest recollection of Shaw when he was taken to see her at the age of five or six as an occasion that fostered his great love of the game.

Winnie Shaw was married to Angus Shaw, a Glasgow journalist, and had two children, Angus and Winifred, named after their parents. Mrs Shaw never drove a car and never held a driving licence but faithfully rode her bicycle to tennis. She was carried on riding her bike until she was almost 70

Last edited by Rollo; Nov 22nd, 2011 at 06:38 PM.
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old Nov 22nd, 2011, 06:31 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Winnie Mason Shaw-Mother and Daughter

A BBC article about Winnie Shaw the younger.

Winnie Shaw reaches Wimbledon semis 1972

Scots have excelled at many sports over the centuries. In fact we can lay claim to have invented many of the modern forms of games played around the globe today. If there is one sport however, at which Scots have struggled, then tennis is surely it. Tennis has often struggled north of the border with the perception as being a game of the English middle classes, and this fact alone makes the success of our greatest tennis player all the more remarkable.
Winifred Mason Shaw was born in Glasgow in 1947. Sport was clearly something important in her family – her grandfather had been the provost who had opened the main stand of Ibrox Stadium – and it soon became apparent during her time at Hutcheson's Grammar, and the Clarkston tennis club that here was something of a prodigy on the court.

By the turn of the 1960s, Shaw began to scoop up Scottish titles with regularity, and by 1964, at the age of only 17 Winnie collected the British Junior Hardcourt Championship at Wimbledon, a quite remarkable feat.
After this success Shaw turned professional, and she began to compete at the very top level. Although she was not to win a major title, in an age when women's tennis was completely dominated by Billie-Jean King, Shaw's accomplishments within the sport mark her down as a very special talent.
In singles competition, Shaw's highest points came in the Wimbledon tournaments of 1970 and 1971, when she made it to the quarter-finals, before being put out in straight sets by top seed, and losing finalist Margaret Court in 1970, and by Rosie Casals, again in straight sets, in 1971. The following year, Winnie made it to the fourth round of the competition, where she was eliminated again in straight sets, this time by that year's winner, Billie-Jean King.

Shaw also managed to reach the semi-finals of the Australian Open in 1970 and 1971, where she was to be denied by Australians on both occasions, firstly by Kerry Melville, and, in the latter year, by the great Evonne Goolagong.

However, much greater success was to come for Shaw in doubles competition, where, with a succession of able partners, particularly with the Dundee player Joyce Williams, Winnie was able to progress regularly to the latter stages of competitions. In the Australian Open, where she had done so well in Singles, she reached the semi-finals of the Ladies Doubles twice, in 1970 and 1971.

Even greater success was to come on the clay courts of the French Open, where she managed to reach the final of the mixed doubles in 1971, partnering the Russian, Tomas Lejus, and the final of the Ladies doubles the following year partnering Nell Truman, making Winnie the only Scot to have reached the final of a Tennis Grand Slam tournament.
However, for any British tennis player, the yardstick of achievement comes at Wimbledon, and here in the doubles Winnie did not disappoint. Playing alongside her friend and compatriot Joyce Williams, Winnie progressed to the semi-finals stage when, in a tight match, the Scots duo were eliminated by the outstanding partnership of Billie-Jean King and Betty Stove.
Her nationality was something which Winnie was very proud of. During a Federation Cup match in Greece, the umpire twice referred to “Shaw, representing England”, to which Winnie replied in a polite but firm tone: “I'm Scottish and I'm representing Great Britain, not England.”

Tragically, Winnie was to die in 1992, at the age of only 45, from a brain tumour. She may never have won a major during her career, but her legacy in popularising the sport of tennis throughout Scotland can be seen in the success today of the likes of rising stars Elena Baltacha and Andrew Murray.
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old Nov 22nd, 2011, 06:34 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Winnie Mason Shaw-Mother and Daughter

From the Sunday Herald:

Winnie's winning way

by Trevor Royle

First in a series about Scots who would have been superstars in the 90s

IT was a summer when hair was long and skirts were short. Fashion was king in Carnaby Street, the Beatles has gone to the top of the charts with Help! and Winnie Shaw faced world champion Maria Bueno on the Centre Court for the opening match of the 1965 Lawn Tennis Championship.

For the 18-year-old from Clarkston, who had recently won the junior British championship, it should have been a daunting experience. With her ferocious dipping serve and ability to command the court the Brazilian was well-nigh unbeatable and, to add to the tension, heavy rain had left a cold grey afternoon. To the wonder of all who watched, the Glasgow teenager was glacial in her calmness. As a game it was over in 35 minutes, Shaw going down 6-3, 6-2, but she did enough to suggest that she was a talent for the future. Some of her passing shots on the backhand were sublime, and during some lengthy volleying she proved that she could live with the best. After it was all over she said it had been fun. And no, she had not been nervous. In any case, she added, she had learned more in that half- an-hour than she had during the past 12 years of playing. During the next few years the Hutchesons' Grammar School former pupil was to be one of Britain's top players. Twice a quarter- finalist in the women's singles and once, with fellow Scot Joyce Barclay, a semi-finalist in the doubles, she had everything to play for. Although the concept was still in its infancy, and she would have roundly tut-tutted that it did not apply to her, for thousands of young tennis fans she was a superstar and a role model. When she appeared on the cover of the 1971 Wimbledon programme she found herself besieged by bevies of blushing teenagers (and some equally rosy-hued fathers) anxious for her autograph. Antics of that kind were frowned upon at tennis HQ in those days, but Winnie Shaw was simply too good a sport to refuse her many supplicants. As the American star Julie Heldman said of her that year, she was "petite, delicate, shy, feminine and loveable; a real Scottish maiden". All of which was true, but there was more to the girl from Glasgow than simple saintliness. She was determined and hard-working, a real grafter who trained hard and refused to surrender to greater odds. The daughter of Winifred Mason Shaw, a tennis champion of the 1930s (her father Angus was an equally well-known journalist), she started playing at the age of five and quickly made her mark on the Scottish game by winning every championship available to her. Realising that she would have to leave the Clarkston club if her ambitions were to be achieved, she took herself off to London. No agents or big-time treatment for her: while training as a secretary she lodged in digs, lived parsi-moniously and devoted every waking minute to improving her game.

Following her 1965 Wimbledon appearance she set out on the international tennis circuit. "I didn't go out and meet other young people or have any kind of social life," she said in an interview in 1981. "I just played tennis. I suppose you could say it was an obsession." Although she admitted to making good money, she still had to reply on parcels from home to supplement her wardrobe. In the British Wightman Cup team she played with Virginia Wade and Ann Jones, but she was destined never to go as far as them. Perhaps she lacked the killer instinct or the resolve to be a great champion. Perhaps she was just too nice: certainly one could never imagine her doing to Maria Bueno what Jelena Dokic did to Martina Hingis this year. When she married the Davis Cup player Roger Wooldridge in 1972 she gave up competitive tennis and retired to live in Surrey. True, she devoted time and energy to coaching junior players and was a regular at the Bisham Abbey training centre, but to all intents and purposes she was lost to the game. And in a peculiarly Scottish way, she was portrayed as just another might-have-been, a player who soared too high, only to fall.

If that had been the end of the story, Winnie Wooldridge, as she had become, might only have played a bit part in a wider and all too familiar sporting parable, but fate had not finished with her. A natural athlete who had played hockey for Glasgow schools, she graduated again in a round ball game to become a great golfer. One bare statistic shows how she took to the game. When she retired from international tennis her handicap was 26, but within a decade she was a scratch player. As if that were not outrageous enough, she was good enough to play for Scotland in 1983 as well as snaffling some English county championships and reaching the semi- final of the Scottish Amateur at Troon in 1981. Tragically, this gifted performer who always gave of her best, was destined to meet her end on the golf course, playing the game with the same grace she had brought to tennis. In 1991 she suffered a terrible stroke while playing on the Royal Wentworth course and within a year she was dead, far too soon, at the early age of 45.

Copyright 1999
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old Nov 22nd, 2011, 06:41 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Winnie Mason Shaw-Mother and Daughter

Here a better pic of Winnie Shaw (later Wooldridge)

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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old Nov 22nd, 2011, 08:52 PM
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Re: Winnie Mason Shaw-Mother and Daughter

My mother once played Winnie Shaw at one of those clubs - and beat her!

The sad thing is that those clubs where she played carry NO mention of her ever having played there.

To my mind, Winnie's greatest achievement was defeating Margaret Court in 1970, the year that Madge won the Grand Slam.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old Nov 22nd, 2011, 09:53 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Winnie Mason Shaw-Mother and Daughter

My mother once played Winnie Shaw at one of those clubs - and beat her!

The sad thing is that those clubs where she played carry NO mention of her ever having played there.

To my mind, Winnie's greatest achievement was defeating Margaret Court in 1970, the year that Madge won the Grand Slam.
That's very cool! Do you have pictures of your mom playing tennis? One of my dreams is to play tennis on a real grass court. The closest I've come is the one I made in my own back yard as a kid.

Are you from Scotland?
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old Nov 22nd, 2011, 10:06 PM
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Re: Winnie Mason Shaw-Mother and Daughter

Originally Posted by Rollo View Post
That's very cool! Do you have pictures of your mom playing tennis? One of my dreams is to play tennis on a real grass court. The closest I've come is the one I made in my own back yard as a kid.

Are you from Scotland?
Yes. The surface Winnie grew up playing on was what we called blaze - really just the clay courts found all over northern Europe (southern Europe has much slower clay, which is about one whole step slower). Scotland never really had many natural grass courts - it tended to be all blaze (sometimes concrete in public courts or "hard" in private clubs) before the mid-1980s, when clubs like the aforementioned Clarkston moved to synthetic grass. Real grass was to be found in England and there is, indeed, nothing like it. It is like some form of magic carpet; I think it has an effect on you more than any other, making you play like the gods, possibly explaining the special affinity players like BJK, Martina, Ginny felt for the hallowed lawns of Wimbledon, in a way that Evert or Borg could never feel for Roland Garros or Connors for Flushing Meadows, for example.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old Nov 23rd, 2011, 05:32 PM
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Re: Winnie Mason Shaw-Mother and Daughter

Originally Posted by Sumarokov-Elston View Post

To my mind, Winnie's greatest achievement was defeating Margaret Court in 1970, the year that Madge won the Grand Slam.
Sadly Winnie never did beat Margaret although she had some close matches with her. It was Winnie's regular doubles partner Joyce Williams who beat Margaret in a tournament in England in 1970. I believe the score was something like 2-6 6-3 6-4.

Winnie's closest matches with Margaret were the 1969 British Hardcourts Championships final in Bournemouth when Margaret won 5-7 6-4 6-4 after Winnie had led by a set and (I think) 4-1 and the Queens Club final in London in 1971 when Winnie led 6-2 5-0 (or maybe 5-1)and lost 1-6 in the final set.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old Nov 25th, 2011, 09:48 PM
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Re: Winnie Mason Shaw-Mother and Daughter

An obituary of Angus Shaw (1907-2010), from "The Herald Scotland":

"Published on 19 Oct 2010

Angus Shaw, who has died at the age of 103, was one of the most distinguished newspapermen – and the last survivor – of his generation.

From the 1920s, he reported on some of the most dramatic news stories of the past century, while on the staff of Lord Kemsley’s Evening Times in Glasgow.

As if that were not enough, he took part in one of those dramas himself, going through the Arctic hell of the wartime Allied convoys seeking to bring help to Russia in the fight against the Nazis.

Back home, one of the happier stories involved his own daughter, Winnie Shaw, who not only played golf for the UK but gained fame as Scotland’s outstanding tennis player, reaching the quarter-finals at Wimbledon. Sadly, in her middle years, Winnie died of a brain tumour.

Angus Shaw came of a west coast family who moved to Glasgow, where he completed his education before joining the Evening Times in Hope Street. His reporting career makes fascinating reading. And, when you encouraged him to tell it, you were listening to an eye- witness account of historic events.

He was there when John Logie Baird experimented with transmitting his first television pictures from one room to another in the 1920s.

He was on the spot that tragic afternoon of Hogmanay, 1929, as more than 70 children, enjoying a matinee performance at the Glen Cinema, Paisley, perished in a fire in which many were trampled to death in the panic.

He was at John Brown’s shipyard in Clydebank in 1934 for the launching of the great Queen Mary, hailed by many as the finest liner ever to sail the seas – and the first of a Cunard dynasty which extended to last week’s launch of a new Queen Elizabeth.

His contact with Scotland’s murder cases stretched from the astonishing story of Oscar Slater to that of the country’s most notorious serial killer, Peter Manuel, in the 1950s.

Slater was a German-Jew of dubious character who was sentenced to death in 1909 for the murder of Miss Gilchrist at her home in West Princes Street, Glasgow. That was commuted to life in prison – just in time. Because Slater was not the killer. Nevertheless he spent the next 19 years in Peterhead Prison before the Sherlock Holmes creator, Conan Doyle, took up his case and demanded justice.

When Slater was finally cleared in Edinburgh, who was there on the train as they travelled back together to Glasgow but the inevitable Angus Shaw.

The greatest drama of all, however, was reserved for his own death-defying experience in the Russian convoys, where 23 British ships were sent to the bottom of ice-cold waters by German submarines and aircraft. Back home and living at 113 Mearns Road, Clarkston, little did he know that a man just a few streets away was writing a novel about the horror of that debacle that would turn him into the biggest-selling novelist in the world.

In 1955, Alistair MacLean, a teacher at Gallowflat School, Rutherglen, had fictionalised his own experience into his first novel, HMS Ulysses, which was greeted by a tabloid volley of: “Here is a book for burning. The Sea Lords are going to be very angry.”

That tabloid belonged to the same stable as the Evening News. But Angus Shaw was having none of it. He burst into print, defending MacLean and saying this was the story of the Russian convoys that had to be told – “and the Conrad-like prose makes his description quite memorable”.

That view was fully backed by another famous novelist who was also there. Godfrey Winn said it was “the finest war novel yet”.

Mr Shaw, who moved to live in Skermorlie, and latterly in Erskine Hospital, was predeceased by his beloved wife Winnie (another tennis champion) and daughter Winnie. He is survived by his son Angus, a master mariner, who lives near the Chilean port of Valparaiso.


Born April 2, 1907;

Died October 11, 2010.

An Appreciation

By John Quinn

The following words are the fulfilment of a promise made many years ago and one that thankfully took a long time in coming.

I had succeeded Angus as news editor of the Evening Times. A man of great stature, dignity and integrity, he had always stressed the importance of forward planning but, during his retirement, he contacted me to write an obituary for his beloved daughter, Winnie, who was dying from cancer. So meticulous was he, Angus wanted everything in order. He duly phoned and gave the word of her death. Winnie was 42.

Angus thanked me profusely and elicited a promise to do the same of him when his time arrived. Thankfully, my former colleague Jack Webster, who had known Angus even longer than the near 50 years of our acquaintance had completed the task.

Even to scratch the surface of the life and times of the great man would have required reams of newsprint and oceans of ink.

He had seen service as a lieutenant commander on the momentous Murmansk convoys during the Second World War.

In all the years I knew him, he, like true heroes, was too modest to discuss his experiences, which would have made a wonderful book.

I can see him even now in his immaculate double-breasted suit, or blazer and slacks if it was a Saturday. He certainly cut an imposing figure at the helm of the news desk. Everything he did was carried out with a calm assurance. Never did I see him ruffled, even on deadline at the height of the circulation wars of the sixties and seventies. Never did he have to raise his voice. Never did he resort to badgering his staff to get results.

His leadership was inspirational and it brought its rewards in full.

Angus, you carried it off with some style."
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