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Mersea Island Golf Club, East Mersea, Essex.

The club was founded in 1911. The nine-hole course was laid out on the east of the island overlooking the Colne and Blackwater and the North Sea. W R Lonie, formerly of Warlingham Golf Club, Surrey, (also now defunct) was the first professional. The secretary was P A Moodie, 2 Basinghall Avenue, London E.C. A steam launch would meet trains arriving and leaving Brightlingsea. There was also a bus service to the course during the day from West Mersea.

The course was opened on Whit-Monday 1911 by Mr H K Newton M.P. A professional exhibition match was arranged to take place immediately after lunch which was served to members and friends at 1.30.

W R Lonie left his position as professional in 1913.

*Thomas Powell was the professional just prior to WW1.

*Following information courtesy of "The PGA Remembers" project - Thomas Charles Powell; Mersea Island Golf Club, Essex 1913 -1914; Regiment - Bombardier: Royal Garrison Artillery; Service Number 74712; Died - Died of wounds 14th September 1918. Age 29; Buried - Duisans British Cemetery, Etrun. Ref: VI. H. 3; Notes - Born in Parkstone, Dorset in 1889 Powell was the Professional at Mersea Island Golf Club before enlisting in the army. He served as a Bombardier in the Royal Garrison Artillery. After being severely injured in battle he died of his wounds in September 1918 leaving a wife and two small children. 

 

Mersea Island Golf Club, Essex. Thomas Charles Powell.

Thomas Charles Powell. Thanks to the Mersea Island Museum www.merseamuseum.org.uk for allowing us to use the above image.

 

In 1914 the secretary was P A Moodie, 2 Basingham Avenue, London EC or at the clubhouse. The professionals were W R Lonie (1912/3) T C Powell (1913/4). A 9 hole course on old down turf with gravel soil. There was a membership of 70. The entry fee was £1/1/0 and the subs £2/2/0, honorary members paid 10/6.  Visitors were welcome at 2/- a day. Sunday play was allowed with caddies. There was a Ferry from Brightlingsea 10 minutes away. The Great Eeastern Railway was 1 ½ hours from London. There was a ferry at Brightlingsea 10 minutes away also a bus service from Colchester 10 miles away.

 

Mersea Island Golf Club, Essex. The Clubhouse.

The Golf Clubhouse, East Mersea. Authors Collection.

 

Mersea Island was one of the 16 clubs which attended the Inaugural meeting of Essex Golf Union on 27th February 1924.

In 1928/29 the secretary was M Jones. It was now listed as an 18 hole course. 

In 1929 the course was extended to 18-holes, there was also a new clubhouse. The formal opening of the course took place on Friday 26th April. Brigadier R Beale Colvin hit the opening shot and so pleased was he with his effort that he proposed to have the ball mounted, and would ask the club to accept it as a souvenir of the occasion. Also present at the opening was Lady Gwendoline Colvin, Miss Colvin, George Duncan (captain of the Ryder Cup team), Abe Mitchell, Charles A Whitcombe and the veteran James Braid.

To the delight of the crowd the professional’s played two four-ball matches, Duncan and Braid representing Scotland, and Mitchell and Whitcomb, England. In the morning game, in which Whitcombe holed a shot off the green at the fourth, and Braid holed the short thirteenth in two and a chip shot at the sixteenth, the Scottish won the match by 3&1. The driving of Duncan was a feature of the round showing the Ryder Cup captain in his best form. In the afternoon match the English turned the tables, winning the match by 4&2.

Also during the afternoon the Brigadier Colvin and Miss Colvin played a foursome against Colonel Bradbridge and Mrs Guthrie Smith.

Thanks to the Mersea Island Museum www.merseamuseum.org.uk for allowing us to use the images below.

 

Mersea Island Golf Club, Essex. The opening shot.

Brigadier General R. Beale Colvin C.B. the Lord Lieutenant of Essex, hitting the opening shot.

 

Mersea Island Golf Club, Essex. Abe Mitchell putting.

Abe Mitchell (St Albans) putting on the 9th green, the new Clubhouse can be seen in the background.

 

Mersea Island Golf Club, Essex. The secretaries.

The Hon. Secretaries - Mr Bishop and Barbara Mears.

 

Mersea Island Golf Club, Essex. On the seventh fairway.

Golfers playing on the seventh fairway, the Colne Estuary in the background.

 

In 1930 the secretary was W Herbert Bishop the professional P Munro (1929 to 1938). 18 holes with a membership of 150. Amateur course record by S A Trick 79. Visitors’ fees from the 1st Nov to 31st March were, gents 3/- a round, 3/6 a day, 5/- a day at weekend and Bank Holidays and 15/- a week. Ladies 2/-, 2/6, 4/-, 10/6 respectively. From 1st April to 31st October gents, 3/- a round, 4/- a day, 5/- a day at weekend and Bank Holidays and 21/- a week. Ladies 2/6,  3/6, 4/- and 15/-.

Result of the May medal 1930; Mr G A Dutfield, 94-9-85; Ladies’ Mrs F M Austin, 113-36-77.

In August 1930 the holiday 18 hole medal competition result; G Green, 111-16-95, J Pudney, 111-12-99, A Waterman, 106-6-100. Result of the 18 hole flag competition; first, Mr Robert Grigg, second, Miss B M Mears, third, Mrs Guthrie Smith.

More competition results from August 1930 (still trying to work out the putting and approaching competition rules); Putting competition for ladies, Miss Olive Reeves, 533 yards; men,  T A White, 631 yards, W H Mears, 629 ½ yards and Leslie Ochiltree, 622 yards; Approaching competition for ladies, Miss Olives Reeves, 10 and Mrs Forbes. 10; men, R Grigg, 9, Oliver Reeves, 10, George A Dutfield JP, 10, Leslie Ochiltree, 10, T A White, 10; The Founders Challenge Cup was won by Herbert Bishop jun, and the Mixed Foursomes Challenge Cup by Mrs Sandford Dod and P G Thomson.

On Saturday 11th July 1931 the club held a dinner to welcome home Mr C W A Scott, the air record holder for a flight to Australia and back, Mr W G Wright was in the chair. Mr W H Bishop proposing the health of “our guest” said Mr Scott had been well known to Mersea ever since his boyhood and was an ideal British sportsman. He had been honoured by the King with the Air Force Cross, and they were going to ask him to accept an honorary membership of the club. Mr Scott said he gratefully accepted membership, but would ask them not to say too much about his achievements on a golf course.    

 

Mersea Island Golf Club, Essex. The golf course and clubhouse.

The golf course and clubhouse.

 

Mersea Island Golf Club, Essex. Article from The Illustrated Sporting News May 1935.

 

Mersea Island Golf Club, Essex. Article from The Illustrated Sporting News May 1935.

 

Mersea Island Golf Club, Essex. Article from The Illustrated Sporting News May 1935.

Above images from The Illustrated Sporting & Dramatic News May 3rd 1935. Image © Illustrated London News Group. Image created courtesy of THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD.

 

In 1935 the  green-keeper was W Gilliatt. The amateur course record was now held by L A Wilson74.

 

Mersea Island Golf Club, Essex. Article from The Bystander in September 1936.

Above from The Bystander September 23rd 1936. Image © Illustrated London News Group. Image created courtesy of THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD.

 

The above picture shows, from top left; (1) W H Bishop (hon.secretary), Dr Roberts-Harris, Ronald Reid (captain); (2) W Herbert Bishop Junr., (committee member), W H Mears; (3) John MacLachlan, Major Cecil Fowler (committee member); (4) Norman Reeves, Lloyd Davies; (5) Walter Brown, R J T Thompson; (6) H R Clark, E W M Richardson; (7) Keith Ingram, Kenneth Brown; (8) Ronald Long, Llewellyn Briggs; (9) B Munro (professional), J Scholey (steward.)  

The winner of the 1938 May monthly medal was H Lloyd Davies, 85-19-66.

Major Cecil Fowler D.S.O., captain of the club, presided over the annual dinner dance held at Claridges Hotel in December 1938. In proposing “The Club” Anthony Spalding, the well known golf journalist, said last year had been the most successful in the history of the club, and the course continued to improve. The club had won the Mullis Trophy foursomes of the East Sussex Amateur Golf Union for the third year in succession. Mr Spalding thanked the captain and Mrs Gwen Davies, the ladies’ captain, for their work, saying that the highest compliment had been paid to both by the members unanimously electing them for the second year. “The Ladies” was proposed by Sir Charles McRea, and was acknowledged by Mrs W E Chamberlain. 

The winner of the monthly stroke competition for March 1939 was Alan Skelton, 95-20-75.

In August 1939 Reginald Plumridge, the professional, set a new course record of 66, he was playing with a member, W E Howard. Both the professional and amateur records had been broken within a week, the amateur being L A Wilson, 69. The Anthony Spalding Cup, an annual mixed foursome 18-hole medal competition, was played for on Sunday 13th August 1939, there were 40 entries, result; B M Howard and L A Wilson (6), 72; Miss B M Mears and H A Jarred (12½), 72½; Mrs Monica O’Donoghue and Cyril Nicholson (15), 73; Mrs Philip and William Lawes (14), 73.

The last recorded year for the club was 1940 when the secretary was still W Herbert Bishop, telephone East Mersea 2. The professional was R T Plumbridge and the greenkeeper G Binstead. The 18-hole course had a SSS and Par of 75 and a membership of 300. Course records were, amateur L A Wilson 69 and professional R T Plumbridge 66. The nearest railway station was at Colchester 10 miles away. Visitors’ fees from the 1st  Nov to 31st March were, gents 2/6 a round, 3/6 a day, 5/- a day at weekend and Bank Holidays and 15/- a week. Ladies 2/-, 2/6, 4/-, 10/6 respectively. From 1st April to 31st October gents, 3/- a round, 4/- a day, 5/- a day at weekend and Bank Holidays and 21/- a week. Ladies 2/6,  3/6, 4/- and 15/-.

 

Mersea Island Golf Club, Essex. Club button.

Mersea Island Golf Club button. 

 

It was reported in Hansard on 22.1.02 that Tim Boswell, MP for Daventry, referred to Mersea Island Golf Club. He stated that his mother (then in her 90s) claimed to be the undefeated ladies golf champion of Mersea Island. “She won the Championship in 1939 and the course was closed for the duration of hostilities. It has not re-opened and has been largely subject to inundation, so she remains triumphant.”

Mersea Island Golf Club. Essex. Location of the golf course.

Location of the course on Mersea Island. Grid reference TM07025,15265, co-ordinates 607025,215265.