A History of Heworth Golf Club - The 50's

1950 -1960 During this period the club continued to function as a 9-hole course, some years fairing better than others, but most of them at a struggle.

Membership increased and many of the old Jarrow and Hebburn members came to Heworth. During these years gradual changes and improvements were made to the course and clubhouse. With limited resources the committee and members worked hard to give Heworth a strong foundation.

1950 Heworth joined the league. The team for the first match which was against Houghton was Sid Carter, Billy Marley, Fr. Stronge, Dan Cassidy, Dick Sedgwick, Bob Flynn and John Kennedy. Their handicaps ranged from 5 to 10.

The ladies introduced their Calcutta competition. They had exchange matches with Westerhope Golf Club. The ladies held their committee meetings, “Bring and Buy Sales” and Coffee Mornings in their houses in aid of the Club Building Fund.

1951 The club started repaying the loan to members and the annual levy was lifted.

1952 Now came the bad news - a communication from the County Surveyor about a proposed new road from White Mare Pool Bridge to Blackfells. This would pass through the beginning of No.4 fairway (now No.17) and the middle of No.3 fairway which would mean the loss of No.3 green. The ground in front of the clubhouse was converted into a colourful garden by boys from St. John's S.M. School and maintained as such for many years.

The ladies became members of the L.G.U. and commenced monthly medal rounds.

During these years we had one of our most colourful characters, Stephen. Who was Stephen you may well ask? Well, he was the cat. In the early fifties a quiet gentle man, an ex school attendance officer, now retired spent his spare time walking past the golf course accompanied by his dog. It was well trained to find golf balls which were returned to the club. His name was Charlie Taylor. As we did not then have a steward, the committee decided to employ him as a part-time caretaker. Not long after starting, he brought along Stephen, a large black cat, which kept "others" in check. Although his function was to control mice, stoats and other creatures venturing under or near the clubhouse, he was so well fed by Charlie and grew so big, he still sought the creatures out, but deposited them proudly on the veranda. Somewhere on a balance sheet are expenses for milk and cat food for him. Incidentally Mr. Taylor, interested in local history was responsible for the names of roads and streets in the Felling area, those of Anglo-Saxon origin.

1953 A new competition was introduced, “The Winter Turkey Competition” with members donating all the prizes.

1954 Progress, a telephone was installed. A part-time barman was appointed and committee members formed a rota to take over bar duty for the rest of the time. The clubhouse was painted by volunteer members.

1955 The loans from 30 generous members were now fully repaid. Senior membership was introduced. There were 95 Full Members, 27 Ladies, 3 Senior, 3 Country, 2 Junior and 5 Social Members. Ladies played their first league matches against Houghton, Ryton and Crook.

1956 A new greenkeeper, Fred Higgs was appointed full time. One loan of £300 was still owing to Mr. Moses, the President.

1957 due to lack of money, we were still unable to extend the building for the men's locker room. The estimated cost was £190 for the building and £58 10s for the floor. Two members put in a cheap offer for bricks, timber and roofing felt £20, labour £45 to be considered when money available.

1958 The Annual Golf Outings were started. A new levy of £1 1s. 0d. for men, 14/- for ladies was introduced to start a fund to buy a new tractor and to repair the boundary fence.

1959 At last it was possible to start work on the locker extension. The bar was still being served by committee members. We received a loan of £250 from Newcastle Breweries to help furnish the General Room, to be repaid at £10 per month.