Padeswood and Buckley Golf Club History. Founded 1933
The first record we have of a golf club at Padeswood is on the 1912 OS map which shows Mold Golf Club occupying the land on the right of Station Lane. The course remained until 1922 when the members moved to Pantymwyn. Some documentation, however, suggests that the Mold club was at Padeswood as early as 1909 although no actual records have been found.
The Padeswood course was left derelict until 1932 when Arthur Joseph, holidaying in the area, spotted an ideal prospect and decided that he could make the land into a good golf course.
At the time he was the professional at Mellor and Townscliffe Golf Club, Derbyshire, and already had to his credit the design and construction of the 18 hole Great Ormes Head Golf course at Llandudno in 1903 and the Mellor Golf Course in 1919.
It is also believed that he was the professional at Bury Golf Club in 1913.
Arthur set up as a tenant at the Bridge Inn, Padeswood (now demolished), in 1932. Having obtained a lease from the Fairbairn-Eyton estate and a licence for playing golf from Mold Golf Club, he began to reconstruct the course.
He drained water from the ground into a stream that meandered through the course. All the groundwork was carried out single-handedly with just a spade and wheelbarrow! Gradually the course took shape and the newly constructed 9 hole course at Padeswood came into being.
Arthur Joseph was at this time the proprietor of the club, the professional and the greenkeeper. He had declared in a circular to prospective members in March 1933 that the course would be open for play as from April 1st. He had, however, little response possibly because he had set the annual fees too high (1 Guinea for Ladies, 2 Guineas for Gentlemen and 15 shillings for Juveniles).
When the 20 prospective members met in the inaugural A.G.M., the club officials were appointed and members were elected to serve on a general committee, which was to consist of twelve with four seats allocated to Lady members.
The annual subscription was set at half a crown with a request for a voluntary donation to defray the cost of a new clubhouse.
The first main officials of the club were: President – Mr Fairbairn-Eyton, Captain – Mr. T C Jones, Lady Captain – Miss Mostyn, Joint Secretaries – Dr Dobson and Mr. W Owen, Ladies’ Secretary – Miss D Cropper.
The minutes of subsequent meetings up to 1939 show a steady increase of players up to a total of 67 by the outbreak of war. The minutes themselves make fascinating reading and show how these pioneer members established their local rules, competitions, organised social functions and fundraising activities.
The recorded minutes of the meetings from 1939 – 1949 are unfortunately misplaced. It would appear that the official name of the club became Padeswood and Buckley at some time during this period.
The war years saw membership fall and it was recorded at the AGM of 1949 that only 23 members had enrolled at a fee of 5 shillings. No mention is made of any Lady members, but at the monthly meeting of 9th May 1950 it was decided to approach the Ladies with the intention of re-forming the Ladies’ section. A special meeting on 19th May 1950 saw the re-formation of the Ladies’ section with its own committee. The first Lady Captain was Mrs. Lewis and the first Lady Secretary Mrs. O Wood.
In 1954 the club acquired a new clubhouse. Although the facilities were far from palatial, this was an immense improvement on what had gone before.
The new clubhouse was a wooden building that had been used as a contractor’s office in the building of the Woodhead railway tunnel. It was bought for £100 and transported by lorry to the club.
Pictured below is Arthur Joseph teeing off outside the new clubhouse.
However, with the rapidly increasing popularity of golf, at the end of the 1960’s, the club decided to purchase more land and extend the course to 18 holes.
In 1970, negotiations were completed for the purchase of Caia Farm, which adjoined the existing 9-hole course, at a cost of £20,250.
An 18-hole course was planned although it was intended, at first, to confine the work to nine holes and use the existing nine holes to make the 18. The farm buildings and yard were to be converted into a clubhouse and car park.
By this time, the membership consisted 250 men, 75 ladies and 15 juniors.
The newly acquired land consisted of 85 acres of undulating farmland. Almost before the ink was dry on the contract, earth-moving machinery had started to contour the pastureland while volunteer club members turned out to handpick stones from the soil. Ditches were re-sited, ponds weeded and the enthusiasm which the committee and members exhibited was truly magnificent. Arthur Joseph, then aged 90, and living in a cottage by the original 7th green, must have seen this combined effort with the aid of powered machinery very differently from his one-man effort nearly 40 years earlier.
The 18-hole course opened in 1971 and the clubhouse was officially opened on 20th May 1972.