125 Years - Celebration & Integration

Dear Members,

It is a great honour to be your Captains this year as we are celebrating the 125th anniversary of Alfreton Golf Club.

We would like to thank the many people who have participated in making this year a great success.

We continue to undertake activities during the year to mark the special anniversary of the Club both ‘on course’ and social events that we hope as many members, and their families have enjoyed.

It is easy to look back at times like this, but it is also our responsibility going forward to find ways to ensure the Club is still here and commercially viable for future generations. The club will continue to develop and change; older members may play less golf but must still feel welcome, and newer ones should be prepared take up the baton, to not only maintain the key traditions of the Club, but also to look at ways to make it relevant within the current lifestyle of today’s society where flexible and more immediate results are demanded.

We would ask that you find ways to continue to support your Club this year, including the pro shop and the clubhouse. Take time to meet and play golf with different people, attend some social events and importantly we would ask that you please support our well deserving local Ripley based charity for this year, Derbyshire Autism Services.

We are sure that you will find this year at Alfreton Golf Club both enjoyable and rewarding.

With thanks from your Captains,

Trevor Parrett and Olivia Dowling

Bygone Times

To celebrate our 125th Anniversary, we asked Bruce and Lorna Morris, to give us some of their memories of past times at Alfreton Golf Club:

They recall how they joined; it was in 1962 when they were invited to the annual dinner and dance at the Royal Alfred Hotel. By the end of that evening, their application form had been signed and a month later became members, paying £7 guineas annual subscription plus a £2 guinea entry fee!

Course development is too big a subject, but it is remarkable that the changes have nearly all been completed by staff and members.

Who remembers the old wooden clubhouse? It came from Swanwick Hayes Conference Centre and had been used to house German and Italian prisoners during WWII. It had a small room on entry with a bar, fireplace, two settees, the ‘billiard table’ and a one armed bandit. Glass doors led to the long room which had settees, tables and chairs. The floor on party nights was a bit like a bouncy castle and had to be stiffened. The room was set off by a huge brickwork fireplace and a grate for log fires; though smoky at times it was always a welcome sight.

In 1974 the Derbyshire lady veterans preferred it to the stormy day outside, playing bridge with plenty of G&Ts. Declaring ‘its lovely don’t ever replace it’. But time marches on and the new clubhouse was opened in 1976.

Social events were of great importance including dinner dances that over the years have been held at various venues such as:

  • The New Bath Hotel in Matlock when the tickets were £2.50 and a room for the night £2.
  • The New Pacific at Somercotes, it was the Empire cinema and now a fishing tackle shop.
  • Hills Café Alfreton where at about 11.30pm they served a supper table of all chocolatey things.
  • In 1992: The Club House with surrounding marquee for Centenary Year was magical.

By the way, in the 70s every ticket to the Annual Dinner/Dance had to be, by tradition, a personal invitation from the Captain!

The men’s annual dinner was always in the clubhouse, and one year the caterers came from Chesterfield bringing a full field kitchen, setting it up down the 9th fairway and providing a full Christmas dinner.

The room was so packed for the occasion, you had to eat in sequence, odds leaned backwards, evens ate, then you alternated. If you were on the outside of the table and wanted a comfort break you had to crawl under it to get out.

The tradition of ‘Taking wine with the Captain’ was a laugh; toasting winners, losers, visitors, anything or anybody, so by the time of the actual presentation everyone was certainly in HIGH SPIRITS!

Back in the time before drinking laws after social functions, most arranged lifts or were collected, but for the ‘die hards’, around 2am, Dot Turner and later Sue Turnbull would bring out bacon butties and after that anyone wanting a lift home could rely on Dot or Sue as they both had a mattress in the back of their vans and would cart you safely off!

Thanks to Bruce and Lorna for these recollections, apologies for having to edit out some others, but perhaps you can stop them and ask for further memories, including the plans to reroute the A38 through the golf course!!