In 1977 a group of older gentlemen assembled at the club most weekday mornings and played 12 or 14 holes of golf. This group included Gerry Marsh, Arthur Jones, Henry Clarke, Eric Gale, Eddie Bawn, Eric Gravel, Charles Lucas, Bill Cheek, Ted Parsons, Lloyd Larkinson, Frank Daybell and Frank Grierson-Peel. It is interesting to note that later Gerry Marsh would have the distinction of being Captain of the embryonic Seniors, Captain of the Club and Chairman of the Club.
At that time NGC offered a block membership to the police and Royal Air Force on the basis that that they could be posted or transferred literally anywhere at short notice. As the Police and Service personnel could retire at the age of 50 – 55 there were a few potential Seniors around. So in 1977, with the blessing of Newark Golf Club a section was formed. The first Seniors Captain was Eric Gravel and the Secretary was Charles Lucas.
The section was properly constituted and gradually increased in size. The Seniors Dinner was very popular and in 1984 they were ‘entertained’ by a soprano with piano accompanist but this did not impress the Seniors. One year later, a singer from the current Newark Amateur Operatic production of the Black and White Minstrels, topped the bill. Thereafter, dance music was played.
In the early days the Seniors quarterly meetings comprised of 14 holes of golf followed by lunch. They would start on the 10th tee and end on the fifth. Of course some of the more energetic would complete the 18 holes but the last 4 holes were just for fun. Prior to the existing half way house there was a wooden hut and it was in 1984 that the Seniors started to have refreshments.
Eric Ingall, a past Secretary recalls that on one occasion, while he was waiting there, two ladies were playing to the 9th green while some Seniors had yet to tee off. He invited the two ladies in for a coffee, which allowed the seniors to clear the tee. The two ladies were Brenda Dickinson and Joan Hudd and they asked Eric why he was not playing golf himself. He replied that, as it was a very cold day, he wanted to give the ‘old codgers’ a hot cup of tea or coffee with something warming added! Brenda and Joan took pity on him and they told him that they would take his place in the half way house if he wished to play himself. They were duly recruited and, starting with the quarterly meetings, grew into the custom that continues to this day.
The matches started in the early 1980’s when the Ladies were invited to play two matches. From 1992 these matches were played for the Reg Hall Salver. The matches were followed by a light lunch. Gradually, various trophies were kindly donated for specific competitions and these can be seen in our web trophy Cabinet. The next development was matches with other clubs which were very enjoyable and played in a great spirit. These have developed over the years and we now play 13 matches home and 13 matches away. Brenda and Joan also provide refreshments and nibbles for the 13 visiting inter club matches - a service that is very much appreciated by our visitors.
From those early beginnings the Seniors have gone from strength to strength and now 33 years later the same spirit and camaraderie still exists. The section has 150 affiliated Seniors which is probably the largest Seniors section in the East Midlands
John Lucey, Seniors Captain 2010
Thanks to Eric Ingall, Brenda Dickinson and Newark Golf Club 1901 - 2001