Julia has been chair of the Suffolk Lawn Tennis Association for four years. After moving to Suffolk in 1993 she quickly became involved with Wortham Tennis Club, helping to grow their membership, and subsequently has worked as a volunteer for the Suffolk LTA. She supports British tennis players all over the world, including the men’s Davis Cup and women’s Billie Jean King Cup teams. Julia also enjoyed a successful career working in the civil service for 36 years. She talks to Gina Long

What is your connection to East Anglia?

I married a 'Suffolk boy' and moved from Wales to Botesdale. I was born in Rhayader.

What is your East Anglian heaven?

The weather - it’s much drier and warmer than the hills of mid Wales.

What is your East Anglian hell?

The A14. Roadworks, hold ups, diversions, 40mph speed limits for miles upon miles.

What are your favourite East Anglian restaurants?

You can’t beat local! Mrs T’s Fish & Chips at Southwold Harbour and Wortham Tea Shop.

What’s your favourite East Anglian landmark?

Not so much a landmark, but crab fishing at Walberswick. We used to love taking our nephews and nieces there, and now even that they are grown up, when they visit they still say 'let’s go to Walberswick crab fishing'.

What’s the best thing that happens in East Anglia every year?

The Thursford Christmas Spectacular. It's the best variety show I have ever been to, and to think that it’s in rural Norfolk makes it more fantastic.

What's your specialist Mastermind subject?

Wimbledon! I’ve seen so many changes there, from standing on Centre Court, to seeing a new Number 1 court being built and roofs installed on both because of the great British summers.

What is always in your fridge?

Orange juice.

What’s your simple philosophy of life?

Treat everybody like you would like to be treated yourself. Look after each other.

What’s your favourite film?

I’m not a great film buff, but I like The Sound of Music. I recently went with a group of tennis friends to a tournament in Kitzbuhl, Austria, and we had to go on the Sound of Music Tour in Salzburg, with us all blasting out The Hills are Alive with the Sound of Music.

What was your first job?

At my grandad's roadside garage serving petrol when it was 32p per gallon!

What is your most treasured possession?

A ring my nan gave me when I was young.

Who do you admire most?

The late Cathie Sabin. The first woman president of the Lawn Tennis Association, who treated everyone the equally, whether at grass roots level, presenting the trophy on the Centre Court at Wimbledon, or escorting the Duchess of Gloucester on official visits.

What is your biggest indulgence?

Tennis rackets and trainers. My husband says every cupboard is full of different colour trainers that come falling out to meet him when he opens the door.

What do you like about yourself most?

That I’m Welsh.

What’s your worst character trait?

I’m messy and untidy, but in an organised kind of way.

Where is your favourite holiday destination?

I love the varied scenery in North and South islands of New Zealand. And Turkey because of the varied history of the country.

Best day of your life?

In 2015 being in Ghent in Belgium to watch Great Britain win the Davis Cup for the first time since 1936. Our Wortham fan group was featured on the ITN news with a giant cardboard cut-out of the Trophy, and the reporter said: 'This is going be a great girls night out in Ghent'.

What’s your favourite breakfast?

The mushroom omelette at Wortham Tea Shop.

What’s your favourite tipple?

Diet Coke or Pepsi Max. Although I’ve toured the wine regions of France, Australia and New Zealand, I’m not a great lover of alcohol.

What’s your hidden talent?

My friends say I can strike up a conversation with anyone about anything.

What would you like played at your funeral?

We’ll Keep a Welcome in the Hillside sung by Shirley Bassey, and the theme tune from the BBC Wimbledon coverage.

Tell us something people don’t know about you?

I used to play the violin in the Radnorshire Schools Youth Orchestra -  not that I could play a note now.

What’s the worst thing anyone has ever said to you?

Difficult one, but probably as a Cardiff City fan, someone once said to me

'Do you support Swansea?' which is a bit like asking a Norwich fan if they support Ipswich.

Tell us why you live here and nowhere else?

It’s a great area to live in as its rural, yet not too far from towns and cities.

What do you want to tell our readers about most?

Suffolk LTA celebrates its 100th year 2022 - an amazing feat when one considers it is run by volunteers giving up hundreds of hours of their precious time.

In the county we have teams representing Suffolk from the ages of eight to 80, and recently our U12 girls became national champions.

With the help of the GeeWizz charity, we are now being able to support the LTA’s Tennis Opened Up programme by getting children and young adults with disabilities actively involved in the sport.


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