John Oldham was one of the first members of Newark Golf Club and Seacroft Golf Club (Skegness). The two clubs have been playing matches against each other since 1908. In 1931, John presented the beautiful and valuable gilt trophy the Oldham Cup. This was to be played for in an annual match between the two Clubs. Up to 1955, the matches were played at Seacroft but thereafter on a home and away basis on alternate years.
The inaugural cup match took place on Sunday, 1 June 1931 and ended in a win for Seacroft by six matches to three, with one halved. They were all singles. Newark won a friendly foursomes match in the afternoon.
According to the report in the Newark Advertiser, the playing conditions were good, except for a blustery wind blowing across the course which made things a little tricky for the Newark players. The Newark team was: F E Allott (Capt), A V Tully, F G Allott, J Longdon, R Edis, E C Thrale, S Peet, J R Henderson, W Armitage and H D Mumby.
Newark had its revenge the following year. This time there was social golf on the Sunday and the match was played on Monday, 13 June 1932. What blissful, relaxed times! There were 10 singles matches in the morning and five foursomes in the afternoon. At lunchtime the match stood all square at five wins each, so all depended on the foursomes. Newark just managed to win by three matches to two and proudly brought the cup back with them to grace the clubhouse.
In tribute to their triumph, the golf correspondent of the Newark Advertiser penned the following lines, not quite to Lord Tennyson's standard, but they must have brought smiles to the Newark members.
'Well the lads have won the Cup, They brought it home one night, Their faces wreathed with smiles, And bursting with delight.
At the Club they hailed the news, Which was quickly wirelessed up, And everybody said "Blow me! The lads have won the Cup.'
Newark Oldham Cup winners 1950 (left to right)
N Bainton,H Siley,A V Balfor,W C Cook,J Bardsley,
H Savage, J Scott (capt), C H Ford,T A Dobbs,
R A Hambling, F Squires and C Masding
Some years later John Oldham presented the club with a framed picture of the winning team. Does anyone know the present whereabouts of this? All we have now is a photo of the team which won in 1950.
The annual fixture against Seacroft has continued down the years, interrupted only by the Second World War. It is a match especially looked forward to and it is always played in a friendly but competitive spirit. In the year 2000 the overall result after 65 meetings stood at Seacroft 33 wins to Newark's 32. Lets hope the results will still be as close at the end of our next century.
The club still has a very real link with John Oldham in that his grandson, Philip, is a member of our greenstaff.
John E Oldham:
John Oldham was never a Captain, a director or a Chairman of our club but we feel he deserves special mention because of his contribution to the longstanding relationship between Newark and Seacroft. He was born in 1878 and later became managing director of Oldhams, the catering firm founded by his great grandfather in 1763. In 1902, at the age of 24, he won an international gold cup for artistic and commercial confectionery and began an outstanding career as a prize winning specialist in his own field.
In 1912, a cake he made for King Alfonso XIII of Spain brought him a treasured royal warrant which used to hang in Oldham's Market Place cafe. He was responsible for catering at nearly all the important civic functions in Newark. Oldham's catered for the visit to Newark of King George V and Queen Mary, at Lincoln for the visit of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth and at Derby for the Queen (when she was Princess Elizabeth) and the Duke of Edinburgh.
He bought the Crown Hotel in Skegness in 1930 and ran this concurrently with his catering business in Newark until the hotel was requisitioned at the outbreak of the Second World War. Before the War the visiting Newark team would stay at his hotel for the weekend!
John Oldham died in 1957 at his home in Market Place, Newark aged 79.