Dereck Martin: I was both proud and honoured to be asked to be Captain of Alfreton Golf Club for the year of 2018. Having played with and against many Members from here over the years there was only one Club I was ever going to join on leaving Ormonde Fields Golf Club and this was it. The friendliness and camaraderie of this Club is second to none.

We were talking around the table some months ago and Trevor Pearson said some people he knew had been to play here and had said ‘what a little gem it was and how lucky we were to play here’.

Andy Fenn and his staff keep this course in wonderful condition and are to be congratulated. Thank you Andy, I hope that I can look forward to your support for the coming year for Invitation and Charity days, representative matches and friendly matches too.

Our fundraising efforts this year will be going towards improvements around the Golf Club and Course.

Finally my Vice Captain Peter Labas and myself wish you a happy and successful golfing year for 2018/2019.

Ellie Bennett: I am honoured to represent the ladies of AGC as their 2018/19 Lady Captain.

At a time when some golf clubs membership is dwindling, I am very happy to say that our Ladies Section continues to thrive and grow with new members joining within the last few months.

I look forward to working alongside Dereck and his team, representing the Alfreton Ladies and hopefully recruiting even more lady members.

One of my aims in my year as Lady Captain is to play golf with as many members as I can.

With thanks from your Captains; Ellie Bennett and Dereck Martin

A brief history

To celebrate our Golf Club, 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!!