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Gathurst Golf Club

The four founding fathers of Gathurst Golf Club were Alfred Broach, William Griffin, Matthew Taylor and Ernest Brooks (EB) Naylor, all neighbours living in Gathurst Lane, Shevington. They convened a meeting on 18 December 1913 at which 15 men decided to form the club and to sign a lease for a plot of land owned by a local farmer, John Ball. The land measured 13 acres, 3 roods and 26 perches (how many of us remember these old measurements?). William Griffin was appointed the first Captain for 1914 and Matthew Taylor was President. The first reference to lady members relates to a prize presented to the ladies in 1917 by the Captain, E B Naylor.

One can only speculate as to the condition of the course which was opened to play 5 days after the inaugural meeting. Of the 9 holes, the longest was no more than 150 yards and three were less than 50 yards so by present standards it was more like a pitch and putt course. The part-time greenkeeper was assisted by a boy fitted with a halter to pull the mower. The only “clubhouse” facility for the early years was a barn at Naylor’s Farm until a disused cricket pavilion was acquired but even this had no basic amenities. The greenkeeper also had the less than pleasant task of emptying the contents of the outside privy pail into the open ditch at Liptrot’s Wood. Health and safety was not a consideration in those days!

The playing area was doubled in 1922 when an additional 15 acres were leased from Mr Liptrot. The members still had to contend with grazing animals and playing over hedgerows but at least they had 9 holes of reasonable length on which to play. In 1927 the club had its first custom-designed clubhouse situated on Gathurst Lane but further trouble was looming after a dispute with the landlord. The outcome was the purchase of the freehold in 1937 and this was to provide some much needed stability until the arrival of the M6 in 1959. The motorway bisected the course affecting 8 out of the 9 holes and left the clubhouse on the “wrong” side of the motorway. Fortunately, a local farmer was in the same situation and a swap deal was arranged. Compensation money enabled the course to be re-planned and a new clubhouse erected on the present site.

In the years between 1959 and 1989 the course was extended to 12 holes as a step towards the creation of an 18 hole course. In 1991 Mr J Wilkinson, a local landowner, agreed to sell 26 hectares of land on the west side of the course thus allowing a further 6 holes to be created. The proposals were approved by the membership and in December 1993 the contract for purchase was signed. Mr M Pearson was appointed to design the layout of the new holes and the 18 hole course was formally opened on 22 July 1995.

Gathurst joined the Society on 28 November 1968 and Frank Smith, Captain of Gathurst in 1966, was elected Society Captain for 1997/98. Tom King, who had been Club Captain in 2004, became the second Society Captain from the club when he was elected for 2017/18.

1913  W J Griffin
1914  W J Griffin
1915  W J Griffin
1916  J D Reid
1917  E B Naylor
1918  E B Naylor 
1919  E B Naylor
1920  E B Naylor 
1921  E B Naylor 
1922  E B Naylor 
1923  E B Naylor 
1924  E B Naylor 
1925  E B Naylor 
1926  E B Naylor 
1927  D G Wilkie
1928  W W Wilson 
1929  W W Wilson 
1930  W W Wilson 
1931  W W Wilson 
1932  J Benson
1933  J Benson 
1934  J Benson 
1935  J Benson 
1936  J Holland 
1037  L S Jolley 
1938  L S Jolley 
1939  F Payne
1940  P G Watkins
1941  H Roscoe
1942  H Roscoe 
1943  H Roscoe 
1944  E Ball 
1945  E Ball 
1946  J Farrimond
1947  N Abbott
1948  P G Watkins
1949  W B Fleming
1950  R F Norris
1951  R F Norris 
1952  S Greene
1953  J Prescott
1954  H Thornton
1955  J Greenwood 
1956  N Rigby 
1957 N Rigby 
1958  E A Rigby 
1959  E A Rigby 
1960  E A Rigby 
1961  E A Rigby 
1962  E A Rigby 
1963  E A Rigby 
1964  W F E Simpson 
1965 G F Barton 
1966  E F Smith 
1967  P G Seston 
1968  K Clarke 
1969  J W Kirkham 
1970  F Pigot 
1971  A W Ashurst 
1972  J Speakman 
1973  G Tait 
1974  R Tomlinson 
1975  L Walford 
1976  S Bennetta 
1977  E J Jordan 
1978  A Parkinson 
1979  B R Fouracre 
1980  J Walls 
1981  T Charnley 
1982  J F O'Neil 
1983  E Cheetham 
1984  E Beasley 
1985  H Marrow 
1986  E Leigh 
1987  R Galloway 
1988  R F Jones 
1989  J M Lomax 
1990  W L Penk 
1991  G G Whitter 
1992  A Blan 
1993  J Clarke 
1994  M Lang 
1995  B G Ball 
1996  R Else 
1997 D Wilde 
1998  A A Goulden 
1999  N Clark 
2000  S G Lythgoe 
2001  D A Holland 
2002  G Saunders 
2003  S W Haigh 
2004  T King 
2005  J P Torney 
2006  J C Hudson 
2007  R A Hodder 
2008  W H McMath 
2009  T K Fisher
2010  J D T Scott 
2011  D Stockley
2012  P I H Davies
2013  M P Jordan 
2014  A Priestley 
2015  R Jones 
2016  T B Nelson 
2017  R Nicholson 
2018  J D Dean 
2019  J Wall 

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