GOLF AT HOPE CEMENT
A Personalised history by Les Robinson(Past President)
The first Golf played at Hope Cement was instigated by Sir George Earle in the early thirties, when he sent a large golf Bag, containing numerous hickory shafted clubs to the Works Manager, Mr Wedgewood.
Each employee interested in playing golf was invited to pick three clubs from the bag. There were four golf greens cut out, at each corner of the sports field.
Earliest recorded members were Mr Wedgewood,the Manager, together with P.M.Cox, G.Symonds, D.Bradley, E.J.Smith,T.A.Sidwell and F.Wilson.
Soon after, two new greens were added, the present first hole, and the present Eighth, which was played as a dog-leg from the old tee near the 150 yards marker, on the present fifth hole.
In 1933, Philip Cox won the first Captain’s Cup, beating Frank Wilson in the Final, and the trophy was presented by Sir George Earle at the Annual General Meeting of the Works Welfare Association, held in the Peak Pavilion,Castleton.
From 1946 to 1956, there was a Golf Welfare Section run by Sammy Rodgers. (In 1954, I was persuaded to go out during the lunch hour to play golf with Ken Brammer, Philip Cox, Herbert Cook, and Doug Harrison, and I became addicted!. We played for threepence each lunch hour!
In 1957, the following members were recorded P.M.Cox,S.Rodgers,T.A.Sidwell F.Wilson,G.E.Griffin, K.Brammer, L.Robinson, J.Jackson, K.Palmer, D.Williams, A.Barnsley, J.Rowbottom,J.Lloyd and E.Lancaster.
Jim Lloyd was the first recorded Captain in 1957, followed by George Griffin in 1958 – 59.
At the first recorded A.G.M, held on 4th February 1960, we became EARLES GOLF CLUB. There were twenty-five Works Members and four Associates. Subscriptions were One shilling for Works Members, and Five Shillings for Associates.(Associates could only play with a Works Member for the fee of One Shilling!) Total subscriptions for 1960 were One Pound, Fourteen Shillings!.
At the first meeting of Earles Golf Club, held on 4th April 1960, Les Robinson took over the duties of Secretary from Sammy Rodgers. At that time there was no Committee, all meetings were general meetings attended by any Members(Jim McColgan attended the first meeting)
In 1960, George Griffin gave the Griffin Cup, and the Greensomes Knock-out was started.. Matches were played(not at the Works!) against Mirrlees, Chapel Sickleholme, and for the R.C.Burton Cup against Humber Works.
In 1961, the first Summer Meeting was held with the entrance fee set at Five shillings. The Annual Dinner Tickets were Ten Shillings!.
1962 saw the opening up of the back of the wood, playing it as a dog-leg to the green, which is presently the eighth,seventeenth. We also had our first visit to Wortley Golf Club.
In 1963 the subscriptions were increased to Five Shillings, and we began a Winter League from January to April.
(Author’s Note: In 1963, I had problems with a slipped disc, and was non-Playing Secretary, until I went to Cauldon Works in July of that year as Welfare & Safety Officer. I was to retuen to Hope in 1966, due to the same back problems, and did not play again until 1973)
During the period 1963 to 1965 Eric Lancaster took over as Secretary, and at
the A.G.M on 18 December 1965, we became A.P.C.M.Golf Club. From 1966 to 1967 Walter Henderson took over as Secretary, and at the 1967 A.G.M. a Committee was elected to run the Club.
In 1968 B.Thorpe was Secretary, and he was followed from 1969 to 1970 by
Johnny Strachan. In 1969 the Associate Membership was raised to twenty.
The period from 1970 to 1975 was more settled, with Charlie Parkin as Secretary. 1973 saw the first membership tags issued, and subscriptions were fifty pence for Works Members, and Five Pounds for Associates. Gran Jones also gave a Rose Bowl in this year.
(Author’s Note: The above period was harder to research, as the minutes were not recorded to the same standard, as those recorded by myself and Derek Smith.)
In 1976 Charles Parkin had a long period of illness, and Les Robinson took over as Secretary, confirmed at the A.G.M, and in this year the Club joined The Derbyshire and English Unions In 1977, we held the first President’s Evening, under the patronage of A.D.Stirling.
1978 saw the introduction of Club Ties.
In 1980 we paid our first visit to Westbury Works, and the Groundsman’s and Bob Rhodes Trophies were given. This year was an important year in the records of the Club, because the Secretary’s job was taking up more time, and I seriously thought of Resigning, however thanks to Barry Elliott’s intervention, at the 1980 A.G.M Derek Smith, our current Secretary took over the job of Assistant Secretary, and I cannot stress enough the importance of the Committee’s work supported by Derek and myself to the contribution made to the future of the Hope Club and Course, over the next six years. In 1981,at the A.G.M, we became Blue Circle Golf Club, a name which was
to stay with the Club until the Millenium
In 1982 the Company had to bring in some landscaping around the Shale Quarry area, and fishing ponds, and the Works Manager, together with Ron Smith,the Assistant Manager decided that, the Company, with the possible Help of the Welfare Council, would make some extensions to the Golf Course.
I must admit, on the day I was asked to accompany Fred Sams down to look at his proposals for the present second, third and fourth holes, I didn’t believe that what they were suggesting was possible. However over the next two years, together with the support of the Welfare Council, the Golf Committee, and the Contractor Mr McGregor, and, despite worries of flooding on the new third and fourth fairways, the present course, as we know it, began to take shape.
In late 1983, Ron Smith and myself, together with the Captain and Secretary of the Derbyshire Union, played the new course, and approval was given.
In November 1983, the Chairman Barry Elliott, together with Derek Smith, and the Sickleholme Professional Patrick Taylor, played the course, and following this, the Committee at a special meeting in November approved the Stroke Index, and provisional names for the holes.
At the 1983 A.G.M. the following names were approved by the Meeting.
Holes No 1/10 “Clayfields”, Holes 2/11 “Fred’s Folly” (This was decided because The hole was envisaged by Fred Sams – it’s still the most difficult Par Three hole I know!.
Holes 3/12 “Eccles”, Holes 4//13 “Wilson’s Wish, named in memory of Frank Wilson, one of the founder members, who had his ashes spread around the green, so you can blame him, if the ball rolls back on to the fairway!.
Holes 5/14 “ Back o’T’Wood” . Holes 6/15 “Boot Hill”, named in memory of Ken Brammer, because when the hole was first landscaped, all the trees on the left-hand side , were quite small, and protected by white plastic sleeves, and looked like small crosses, therefore Ken’s remark, on first seeing the hole; “It looks like bloody Boot Hill” seemed appropriate!
Holes 7/16 “Birdie Chance”. Holes 8/17 “Mam Tor” and Holes 9/18 “T’Club” At the above meeting Pat Frith presented his Rose Bowl to the Club. Following ths A.G.M, another meeting was held to amend the Local Rules. This year also saw the introduction of a Club Sweater, which was arranged by Derek Smith, through Patrick Taylor of Sickleholme Golf Club – the Logo being a Pelican( The G & T Earle Portland Cement Brand Logo), which was drawn,and designed for us by my daughter Helena, who now runs the Human Resources Department at Hope Cement.
1984 saw the official opening of the present course, which was held on the weekend of 28th/29th April. On the Saturday morning, the following guests were invited to play the course – The President, Captain and Secretary of the Derbyshire Union, the Captain and Derbyshire Union Representative from Chatsworth G.C, The President, Captain and Professional from Sickleholme G.C, Two representatives from Mirrlees G.C. The Captain from Cavendish G.C, the Professional and Guest from Chapel G.C., and Mr Mark Latimer from the Bank. They were joined by the Officials from the Works and Club, who, after the
round, retired to the Peak Hotel, Castleton. The rest of the weekend, the course was to be enjoyed by all the rest of the members.
1985 saw the Presentation of the Lancaster Trophy, which was to run concurrently with the Griffin Cup. This year also saw the introduction of the first
Myself and Eric Oliver from Chatsworth G.C, were elected to serve on the Derbyshire Executive, for a two year period to represent the nine hole courses. The tickets for the Annual Dinner were five pounds, and following a proposal by Alf Gibbs, we introduced wine to be included with the meal for the first time.
Membership for this year was sixty-three Works, and fifty-one Associates.
At the end of the 1986 season my good friend and Assistant Secretary Derek Smith took over the reins of Secretary at the A.G.M.(I’m very pleased to say he is still there, doing a first-class job!)
During the period following my retirement from the post of Secretary, my most notable memories are as follows:
My friendships with Pat Frith who was President from 1985 to 1989, Jim McColgan, President from 1990 to 1998, and last but not least Derek Smith and Barry Elliott.
In 1993 I was asked by the Committee to oversee the purchase of Sweaters, and in doing so, together with Len Spencer, and Ken Slack, and his computer, the present Club Logo was designed, in which we managed to incorporate the three following items – The Old G & T Earle Pelican Logo, The Peak Park Logo, and, following our change to Lafarge Golf Club, The old Blue Circle!!
When Jim Mcolgan died, I had the great honour of being the first of the new Presidents who were to hold the office for a three year period, my period covering the Millenium Year. I have been followed by another good friend Barry Elliott, who finishes his term of office this year. In completing this Potted history of “Golf at Hope Cement”, I would like to record my thanks To Barry and Derek, and all the Golfers, and Committee Members at Hope, For the pleasure it has given me.
Now the course is back to full use ,with the new second hole, and third tee installed, and the course changed to accommodate the previous “Birdie Chance” as the ninth, and the re-introduced old ninth installed as the new eighteenth.
June 2009 saw the opening of the new changing rooms by Ashley Bryant Works Manager, and a chance to renew my friendship with Jim Lloyd, who is the oldest playing member.
Thanks need to be recorded to The President, Ray Horan and Richard Driver, who together with many helpers have brought this new facility to the Club.
At the time of writing Derek Smith has been replaced by Ray Horan ,who is to run the post of Secretary, together with his final year’s duties as President.
I hope that I can live long enough, and remain agile enough to play an Eighteen Hole course at Hope, which will mean that my fifty-six year obsession with this game will have been worthwhile!
Les Robinson – February 2010.
Earles Welfare Section
1946 – 1960 S.RODGERS
EARLES GOLF CLUB
1960 – 1963 L.ROBINSON
1963 – 1965 E.LANCASTER
A.P.C.M. GOLF CLUB
1966 – 1967 W.HENDERSON
1969 – 1970 J.STRACHAN
1970 – 1975 C.H.PARKIN
1976 – 1981 L.ROBINSON
BLUE CIRCLE GOLF CLUB
1982 – 1986 L.ROBINSON
1987 – 2002 D.S.SMITH
LAFARGE GOLF CLUB
2003 – 2009 D.S.SMITH
EARLES GOLF CLUB
1964 – 65 K.BRAMMER
1966 – 81 K.BRAMMER
BLUE CIRCLE GOLF CLUB
1983 – 89 B.ELLIOTT
1990 – 93 A.OLDRIDGE
Note: From 1994 – 1998, the Vice-President also acted as Chairman.
From 1999 there would be no Vice-President, and the Captain
Would take the Chair at Committee Meetings
A.P.C.M. GOLF CLUB
1977 – 78 A.D.STIRLING
1979 – 80 G.FIELD
BLUE CIRCLE GOLF CLUB
1982 – 83 R.D.SMITH
1985 – 89 D.P.FRITH
1990 – 98 J.McCOLGAN
1999 – 01 L.ROBINSON
LAFARGE GOLF CLUB
2002 – 04 B.ELLIOTT
2005 – 07 E.J.HARTLEY
2008 – 10 R.HORAN
1990 – 93 B.ELLIOTT
1995 – 96 W.B.HARPER
1997 – 98 L.ROBINSON