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Leyburn Golf Club, North Yorkshire. (1895 - WW2)

On the 2nd October 1895 a meeting was held at the Bolton Arms Hotel regarding the formation of a golf club at Leyburn, Mr C E Riddell JP presided. It was stated that first class links could be secured on easy terms on Leyburn shawl. It was then unanimously resolved to form a golf club, the Hon W T Orde-Powlett being elected the first president; Mr C E Riddell, vice-president; Mr Chris Horner, secretary. D Beilby, C E Dixon, R Feetham, F W Heaton, W W Matthews and Dr Lightfoot were elected to the committee. A start was to be made immediately on the course.


Leyburn Golf Club, North Yorkshire. The C E Riddell Silver Cup.

The monthly silver cup presented by Chas E Riddell. Thanks to Graham Rowley at for the above image.


The winners engraved on the above cup as follows; February 1896, J R Wray; March 1896, F W Heaton; April 1896, P C Matthews; May/June 1896, C E Dixon.


Leyburn Golf Club, Yorkshire. Club button.

Leyburn Golf Club button from the 1890s. 


On Saturday 10th April 1897 the members competed for the first time for the silver cup presented by Mr Chas E Riddell J.P. The course was in “grand” condition, result; William Graves, 125-28-97; D Beilby, 16-28-98; J A Burgoyne, 126-28-98; R D Herne, 125-24-101; C E Dixon, 109-8-101; Geo Spensley, 127-22-105; A Hodgson, 120-12-108; W Harne, 146-38-108; J R Wray, 122-14-108; F C Wyke, 146-36-110; F W Heaton, 134-18-116; C Horner, 185-40-145.

We would like to thank David Copland for supplying the pictures of the Challenge Cup (below). It was presented by Robert Shaw to the Leyburn Golf Club in 1896.

The famous Tweddell name appears five times on the Challenge Cup; W Tweddell won it in 1912 and 1913; R Tweddell winning in 1924, 1926 and 1927.

The Tweddell family moved to Leyburn in the 1900s and the young William (born in 1897) learnt to play golf on the Leyburn course. He went on to win the Amateur Championship in 1927. He also played in the Walker Cup during the 1920s and 1930s. The top image shows a picture of Dr William (Bill) Tweddell alongside the trophy.     


Leyburn Golf Club, North Yorkshire. Picture of the Challenge Cup presented by Joseph Shaw in 1896.


Leyburn Golf Club, North Yorkshire. Picture of the Challenge Cup presented by Joseph Shaw in 1896.

Above images courtesy of David Copland.


Below, result of a club match played on Wednesday 12th April 1899 against Settle Golf Club at Leyburn. The home club suffered a heavy defeat but were without the following leading players; John Maughan, Hugh Maughan, C E Dixon and A Hodgson. The weather was fine and the course was in splendid condition. GML

Leyburn Golf Club   Settle Golf Club  
E Rowntree 0 J C Rees (capt) 12
J R Wray 0 C M Wood 0
R D Horne 0 H Hirsch 1
C O Wright (capt) 0 A C Houston 7
F W Heaton 0 C A L Swale 3
J A Burgoyne 7 J W Edgar 0
  7   23

On Saturday April 22nd 1899 the final competition for the trophy presented by Mr Chas E Riddell J.P took place, result as follows; A Hodgson, 92; J R Wray, 107; C O Wright, 107; R D Horne, 110; G Spensley, 111; F W Heaton, 111; J Maughan, 114; W Graves, 117; William Horne, 112; J A Burgoyne, 123; D Beilby, 128; J Ridley, 137; the following had no returns, E Rowntree, T Horner, and G Collishaw.

In March 1900 an interesting foursomes match took place on the Leyburn course. The competitors were Mr Watts and Mr Gibson of Hawes (club now defunct) against Mr C E Dixon and Mr J R Wray of Leyburn, after an exciting game the visitors won 2 up.

In the early 1900s an "American" competition was held at the club, the trophy was presented by Mr Chas E Riddell JP. The qualifiers were; Mr Hodgson, Mr Ed Rowntree, Mr Jas Ray, Mr Ralph Horne, Mr George Spencley, Mr M Craddock, Mr Chas E Riddell and Mr W Horne.

In 1905/6 the joint secretaries were R D Horne and J R Wray, Leyburn, RSO. A 9 hole course. Amateur course record holder was J R Wray with a score of 80. Visitors’ fees were  1/- a day and 5/- a week. The station at Leyburn (NER) was ¾ mile away. Local hotels were the Golden Lion, Bolton Arms, Black Swan and the Wensleydale.

Below is the result of a match played at Leyburn against Hawes (Wensleydale) Golf Club on Saturday 5th May 1906.

Leyburn Golf Club   Hawes (Wensleydale) Golf Club  
F A Whaley 0 H A Crallan 1
F W Heaton 1 D Beilby 0
R D Horne 1 Rev R Pickering 0
C E Dixon 1 E P Gibson 0
W R Horne 1 K B Ashby 0
J Chapman 1 W Robinson 0
W Horne (senior) 1 G A Aviss 0
Mrs Whaley 1 Mrs Crallan 0
Mrs Dixon 1 Miss Richardson 0
  8   1

In October 1907 it was reported that club membership was 120. Charles E Riddell had been appointed president and captain. 

In 1913/4 the secretary was Dr James R Peacock, Trevor House and the professional E Rowntree. The 9 hole course was 800 feet above sea level with good turf and natural hazards. Club membership was 97. The entry fee was 10/- and the subs 10/-Visitors’ fees were 1/6 a day and 6/- a week. There was no Sunday play.

Below is the result of a match played at Leyburn against Studley Royal Golf Club (also now defunct) in June 1914. 

Leyburn Golf Club   Studley Royal Golf Club  
F A Whaley 1 Dr Stevens 0
C E Dixon 1 C H C Harrison 0
B Thompson 1 T F Spence 0
R Archer 1 R W Buchanan 0
R Horne 1 G H Peirson 0
Dr Peacock 0 P B Elliott 1
J Winsby 0 E Margen 1
F Thorman 0 J Bull 1
E Rowntree 1 O H Wade 0
A B Harland 0 E A Margen 1
H J Rea 0 F H Hargrave 1
  6   5

In the early and mid 1920s the secretary was E J Cook, High St, Leyburn and the greenkeeper J Wiggan. Club membership at this time was 80. Course records were, amateur J E Laidlay with a score of 70 and professional A Steer 67. Visitors’ fees were now 2/- a day and 6/6 a week.

In 1928 the secretary was P Uttley and the greenkeeper E Spence. Club membership of 75. Amateur course record held by Dr W Tweddell 66. Local hotels were the Golden Lion and Wensleydale.

In 1929 the secretary was H H Anson. Membership had dropped to 70. Visitors’ fees were 2/- a day and 6/- a week. Sunday play was allowed after 1pm.

In 1930 and 1931 the secretary was W A Groundwater and the green-keeper F Wilkinson. Amateur course record now held by W A Groundwater 63. Local hotels were the Bolton Arms, Black Swan, Kings Head and the Heanor private hotel.

Interesting article from August 1931.


Leyburn Golf Club, Yorkshire. Interesting article on Leyburn Golf Club in August 1931.

From the Yorkshire Post Friday 21st August 1931. Image © Johnston Press plc. Image created courtesy of THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD.


From 1932 to 1935 the secretary was J Winsby and the green-keeper N Merry.

In 1936 the secretary was W L Davies, Thornbourough Crecent and the professional P Wright.


Leyburn Golf Club, North Yorkshire. Pete Wright outside the clubhouse in1938.

The above picture is of Pete (Percy) Wright, professional at Leyburn Golf Club pre WW2, on the back of the above photo it has written on it August 1938.


Leyburn Golf Club, North Yorkshire. Pete Wright on the golf course.

Pete Wright on the golf course.


"Pete Wright was from Hornsea and was an assistant to the pro there before he took the job at Leyburn. He married before he went off to war where he fought in North Africa before been captured by the Germans and imprisoned in Italy before escaping and having almost a year on the run in Italy being hidden by locals in Tuscany before being re-captured and spending the rest of the war in a POW camp in Germany. I think he was away from his wife, Edith, for about 5 years.

I'm not sure if he went back to Leyburn as pro or not, I would think not, I would say that that is when he went to Catterick Golf Club but I am not sure how soon after he was back home."

Thanks to Howard Falshaw for the above information and images.

Below is the result of a match played at Leyburn against Richmond Golf Club in May 1939.  

Leyburn Golf Club   Richmond Golf Club  
H Beaumont and W Ride (2up) 1 Major Parrot and F Robinson 0
F Wray and R C Wright (3&2) 1 R A Frank and G Boland 0
E J Adamson and J Noble (half) 0 L R Norton and T Robinson (half) 0
  2   0

In June 1939 Percy Wright, the Leyburn professional, set a new record on the 2,518 yard course with a score of 33, the bogey for the course was 35. 

In August 1939 the mixed foursome competition was won by Miss E Groundwater and R Archer.

The annual meeting was held in December 1939, W H Campbell in the chair. Discussions took place with regards to further improvements on the course. Two new greens were suggested where the fifth green was situated. A Further increase of membership was reported by E J Adamson, the hon. secretary. 

The annual meeting in April 1940.


Leyburn Golf Club, Yorkshire. Report on the annual meeting in April 1940.

Daily Gazette for Middlesborough Wednesday 24th April 1940. Image © Trinity Mirror. Image created courtesy of THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD.


The club continued to be listed in the Golfer's Handbook from 1937 to 1957 when it appeared throughout as Leyburn & District Golf Club the secretary was E J Adamson, Broomhill, telephone 10 and the professional Percy Wright. Membership during this time was 80. Visitors’ fees had been reduced to 1/6 a day and 6/- a week. Sunday play was allowed. 

Obviously the above was a repetitive entry and it's likely the the club did not survive the war. 

Percy Wright, the Leyburn professional, was called up for WW2. It was reported in October 1942 that he had been taken as a prisoner of war 

Leyburn Golf Club, Yorkshire. The clubhouse.

The Leyburn clubhouse just after WW1 (postcard by H C Briceley).


Leyburn Golf Club, Yorkshire. The distinctive clubhouse.

Another view of the distinctive Leyburn clubhouse.


Leyburn Golf Club, Yorkshire. Location of the former golf Course.

Location of the Leyburn course. Grid reference SE09960,90900, 409960,490900.