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Banbury & District Golf Club, Oxfordshire. (1901 - 1921)

From the Banbury Guardian Thursday 4 April 1901. "The principal event of the week has been the re-organisation of the Bodicote Golf Club, which will, in future, be known as the Banbury & District Golf Club. The old Bodicote club will be disbanded at the end of the present month, and the new links at Overthorpe - very suitable in every way - will be opened on the 27th inst.

An inaugural meeting was held at the Red Lion on Tuesday evening, when Mr A B Field was voted to the chair. There were also present - Mr E Lamley Fisher, Mr A Maxwell, Mr Eyre Crowe, Edgar Barrows, Arnold Stockton, Mr A D Allen (Overthorpe) and Mr Tayton. Mr Field said he had no doubt a great many of the old members would join.

He had a letter from Mr Blacklock offering him a cottage at very low rental. The cottage was at Nethercote, at the bottom of Blacklock's Hill, and the members could cycle up to the door.

Mr Maxwell accepted the office of treasurer. It was resolved to ask the Hon. A E FitzRoy to be president and among the vice-presidents mentioned were; the Earl of Jersey, Mr Brassey M.P, Mr Grazebrook, Mr W H Wilson Fitzgerald, Mr E Hopcraft, Mr J H Blacklock, Mr T W Holland, Mr O Bland, Mr G W Peareth."

A General Meeting was held on Tuesday 23 April 1901 at the Red Lion when 30 new members were elected. A club room and ladies' room had been acquired at No 5 Nethercote, within 200 yards of the first tee. The new links were to e opened on Saturday at 2 o'clock. Caddies would be available at the clubhouse. Considering the weather the greens were in excellent condition.

On Saturday 21 September 1901 an 18-hole stroke competition was played. It was won by J W Hadland with a net score of 80, joint runners-up were Dr A T Johns and E Crowe with 81 net.

In 1902 the secretary was A B Field, Banbury. The course of nine-holes was at Nethercote a mile to the east of Banbury Station. The hazards were hedges, a long deep gorge and a coppice of fir trees. There was a clubhouse close to the course, which was beautifully situated on very high undulating ground. The greens were very good. The membership was now 60. Subs were £2/2/0.

The report from the Banbury Guardian (below) is dated Thursday 23rd November 1905. It's obvious from this report that the club had again moved location to a course on Broughton Road laid out by J Sherlock. 


Banbury & District Golf Club. Report on the opening of a new golf course.


Banbury & District Golf Club. Report on the opening of a new golf course.

From the Banbury Guardian Thursday 23 November 1905. Image © THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.


In 1906 the secretary was J W Prescott, 40 High Street, Banbury. A 9-hole course and stated to be one of the most sporting courses in the midlands, with excellent putting greens. The professional course record was held by J Sherlock with a score of 75. Visitors’ fees on introduction were 5/- a week. One week free. Station at Banbury was 1 mile away. Local hotels were the Red Lion and the White Lion.

Below is the result of a match against North Berks Golf Club (now defunct) played in May 1908.


Bannbury and District Golf Club. Result of a match against North Berks Golf Club May 1908.

From the Banbury Advertiser Thursday 14 May 1908. Image © THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.


The opening of the new clubhouse by Lord North took place on Saturday 24 October 1908 at 2.15. It was followed by an exhibition match between J Sherlock (Oxford University Professional) and George H Cawsey (Great Malvern). Admission was 1 shilling. Entrance to the course was on Broughton Road, one mile from Banbury. Further particulars were available from the secretary; J W Prescott, Horse Fair. 

From 1910 to 1912 the professional was J B Lawley. 

*In 1912 Henry Gordon Thompson arrived as professional from Sandwich, he was brother of the Northampton Golf Club professional. 

*Following information courtesy of "The PGA Remembers" project - Henry Gordon Thompson; Regiment - Private The Buffs (East Kent Regiment); Service Number G/7665; Died - Killed in action 18th March 1916. Age 26; Buried - Loos Memorial. Ref: Panel 15 to 19; Notes - Born in 1890 in Sandwich, Kent it is presumed he was an assistant there as the 1911 census has him as a boarder in the town being described as Golf Professional. In 1912 Thompson was appointed Professional at Banbury & District Golf Club. In a letter to Henry’s wife in April 1916 he was listed as missing but it was later confirmed he fell in action in March of that year.

Result of a mixed foursome played on Boxing Day 1913; D Pellatt and Miss Samuelson, 106-20-86; S H Gillam and Mrs Prichard, 108-20-88; Mr & Mrs W G Page, 112-23-89; W G Wrigley and Miss Bloomfield, 114-24-90; Mr & Mrs E C Fortescue, 123-33-90; Major Martin and Mrs Johns, 103-12-91; J D Hyde and Mrs Bagnall, 118-25-93; H H Slatter and Miss George, 129-29-100; H P Wilks and Miss Walford, 133-28-105; M Windsor and Miss Windsor, 139-29-110; J E Griffin and Mrs T A Page, 154-35-119. 

In 1914 the joint secretaries were J W & W C Prescott, 42 High Street, Banbury. Club membership of 95. Entry fee was 10/6. Subscriptions for gents £2/2/0 and ladies £1/1/0.   Visitors’ fees  2/- a day and 7/6 a week. Ladies were only allowed to play after 2pm on Saturday and had to be accompanied by a gentleman. 

Below is a picture of the Dunnell Cup. Although  difficult to read the cup is engraved Banbury & District Golf Club Ladies' Challenge Cup. The shield at the front is engraved Mrs Pritchard 1915. It seems likely that this was the first and only time it was played for at B&DGC. The trophy is still played for at the Tadmarton Heath Golf Club.


Banbury & District Golf Club. The Dunnell Cup.

The Dunnell Cup. Image courtesy of Tadmarton Heath Golf Club.


Play was probably restricted at the time of WW1 although there must have been some activity as there were new course records recorded, amateur, A T Johns with a score of 74 and  professional J Sherlock 68. The secretary was G E Wrigley.

It was reported in December 1921 that the Banbury & District Golf Club were laying out a golf course at Tadmarton Heath which promised to be "one of the finest in the Midlands."

Opening match on the Tadmarton Hetah course in October 1922.


Banbury Golf Club, Tadmarton Heath Course. Opening of the new course in September 1922.

Daily Mirror Tuesday 17 October 1922. With thanks to Reach PLC. Digitised by Findmypast Newspaper Archive Limited. All rights reserved.


The Google Map below pinpoints the area occupied by the course around Withycombe, Broughton Road.