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Mid Bedfordshire Golf Club, Biggleswade.

Following WW1 the Mid Beds Golf Club appears, this club became established on Biggleswade Common (home of the old North Beds club).

On the 30th September1920 an “International four ball” took place on the Mid Bedfordshire course between Mitchell & Taylor and Duncan & Braid. The match was halved. Best ball scores as follows:-

Mitchell & Taylor; 3,4,5,3,4,3,4,4,2 = 32; 5,4,3,4,4,4, 4,3,2 = 33 – Total 65.

Duncan & Braid; 3,4,4,3,5,3,4,4,3, = 33; 5,3,3,4,3,4,4,3,3 = 32 – Total 65.

Result of the Bank Holiday Medal played on Monday 6th August 1923; L C H Fuller, 80-10-70; W E Parish, 87-16-71; C W Rawlings, 87-16-71; Sydney Smith, 88-12-76; A D Harrison, 93-16-77; R O Watson, 90-12-78.

It seems as though this earlier club may have gone into abeyance, as can be seen below.

A public meeting was called by the committee of the recently formed Mid Bedfordshire Golf Club. It was held at the Masonic Hall on 18th December 1929. Mr Dudley Stewart Redman of Bleak Hall, Biggleswade, club captain, stated that the committee had engaged a groundsman, who had begun to lay out the course, and it was hoped that it would be open for play in May. Already 61 gentlemen and 29 ladies had put their names forward for membership. The pavilion at Furzen Hall was being removed. It was to be re-sited and extended at the Potton Road entrance to the Common.    

This implies that the club played at a different location in the 1920s.

The secretary R M Whybray, The Bank House, Barclays Bank, Biggleswade, telephone number 3, the professional and green-keeper was R A King. Both the secretary and the professional continued in their positions until the outbreak of WW2. The course was now 9-holes and visitors’ fees were 1/6 a round (9 Holes), 2/6 a day, 7/6 a week, 25/- a month. Local hotels were the Swan and the Crown.

The following report appeared in the Bedfordshire Times and Independent on 12th September 1930. “The Mid Bedfordshire Golf Club held their first monthly medal on Biggleswade Common on the 4th September. Mr J A Redman won with a score of 88. A new professional (R A King), from the Mildenhall Golf Club, had been engaged.  

In December 1931 Ronald A King, the Mid Bedfordshire professional, married Hilda Mary Tuffs.

On the 28th April 1932 an exhibition match was arranged by the committee. W J Moore junior, Biddenham Golf Club, partnered E E Beverley junior, of the Royston Golf Club. A Ashby, Letchworth Golf Club played with R A King, Mid Bedfordshire. Moore and Beverley won on the twentieth hole and each received an inscribed chromium plated clock.

On the 20th April 1933 Abe Mitchell played an exhibition match at Biggleswade with three local professionals; R A King, Mid Bedfordshire; W J Moore junior, Biddenham, and A Ashby, Letchworth. Mitchell and Ashby won on the sixteenth green. Mitchell returned a score of 70 (four under bogey), and R A King, 71.

The annual meeting was held at the Masonic Rooms on the 26th April 1933, the president, Dr R D Bridger, in the chair. Mr R H Whybray, secretary, presented the satisfactory report. He said there was now a membership of 131, a slight decrease. The following officers were elected; president, Dr R D Bridger; captain, F P Allbutt; vice-captain, F J Levitt; secretary, R M Whybray; treasurer, L U Cooper; committee – Dr J  J H Anderson, M Bennett, W H Brooks, B Cooper, W Cooper, J E Fisher, T J Moore, P W Moffat, A Walers, J A Redman, D Watson, F C Levitt, F D Maynard and B Mantle. Two cups had been presented during the year by Mr L U Cooper and Mr F C Levitt. The following prizes were presented; Fletcher Cup, Miss G Wren & D R Watson; Captain’s Cup, F C Levitt; Spring Medal Cup, W H Copus.      

Below is the result of a match played at Castle Ashby Golf Club (also now defunct) against Mid Bedfordshire Golf Club in May 1939.

Castle Ashby Golf Club   Mid Bedfordshire Golf Club  
E Wood 0 H E Phillips 1
W Hollingsworth 1 H Wale 0
W Percival 0 R Hayes 1
A Gilks 0 W H Croker 1
G Ward 1 W H Copers 0
K Waite 0 B Mantle 1
S Kilsby 1 R Wale 0
F Fuller (captain) 1 W S Green (captain) 0
E Wood & W Hollingsworth 1 H E Phillips & H Wale 0
W Percival & A Gilks 1 R Hayes & W H Croker 0
G Ward & K Waite 1 W H Copers & B Mantle 0
S Kilsby & F Fuller 1 R Wale & W S Green 0
  8   4

 

In 1940 the address was given as Mid Beds Golf Club, Potton Rd. The 9 hole course had a SSS and Par of 74. There was a membership of 140. Course Records were: Amateur R D Bridger with a score of 73 and Professional Abe Mitchell 70. Visitors’ fees were 2/6 a day, 2/- after 5pm, 7/6 a week and 25/- a month. Sunday play was allowed. The club was also licensed. The station at Biggleswade 1 mile away.

The annual party of the Mid Bedfordshire Golf Club was held in the Masonic Rooms, Biggleswade, in March 1940. Arrangements were made by Mr F C Levitt, club captain, Mr L L C Howard, secretary, and Miss J A Mantle, ladies’ secretary. 

In 1947/8 the secretary was L L C Howard, 133 London Rd, Biggleswade, Telephone number 2133. Membership was now 120, rising to 130 in 1948/9. The professional  and greenkeeper was now M Foster. All other information as 1940.

Mid Bedfordshire Golf Club, Biggleswade. Location of the former golf course.

Location of the Mid Beds golf course in the 1930's.Grid reference TL19870,46915, co-ordinates 519870,246915.

 

Mid Bedfordshire Golf Club on Biggleswade Common disappeared following WW2.

The following unpublished article was written in the early 1980s by F C Levitt, a founder member of the club, whose reminiscences of the former Mid Beds Golf Club are certainly worth recording. It also mentions the earlier defunct North Bedfordshire Golf Club. Thanks to Michael Tuffs for sending it to us.

 

Mid Bedforshire Golf Club, Biggleswade Common. Recollections of the club from F C Levitt.

 

Mid Bedforshire Golf Club, Biggleswade Common. Recollections of the club from F C Levitt.

 

Mid Bedforshire Golf Club, Biggleswade Common. Recollections of the club from F C Levitt.

 

Mid Bedforshire Golf Club, Biggleswade Common. Recollections of the club from F C Levitt.

 

The Mid Bedfordshire Golf Course closed following WW2. Mr Levitt went on to become a leading light in the formation of the John O’ Gaunt Golf Club which was established in 1948.

More memories of Mid-Beds Golf Club from A G Mayston.

“My late father was a member of the Mid Beds Golf Club which ceased operations at the end of the 1940s. The course was situated on common pasture land of Biggleswade on the Potton Road, the (B1040). I am not sure how long the club was in existence but I believe it had a wooden clubhouse, now long gone. The course was flat and the Northern aspect looked towards the wooded sand bar which is now the HQ of the RSPB at Sandy. The reason the club closed is because the estate at Sutton Park, near Potton became available at the end of  WW2. This afforded attractive landscaped grounds and a substantial property which could be converted to a clubhouse. The members of the Mid Beds club transferred and formed the John O’Gaunt Golf Club at Sutton Park”