During the late 1800s golf was becoming a popular game in England,
and this was mirrored in the Barton area.A group of well-to-do people in Barton met to discuss the possibility of
starting a golf club in the town and the result was that in October 1899 the
Barton upon Humber Golf Club was formed.
The Rev. H. G. C. North Cox was the first
president, Mr O. Knight the first secretary and Mr G. Nowell (of the firm of
solicitors Nowell and Dix) the first treasurer.There was already a membership of 30 at this time.
This golf club had its first links in a
field belonging to Mr Tombleson near the Blow Wells, it being a nine-hole
course. Having the links in this location
was not ideal however, and this was emphasised by a report in the
Hull and Lincolnshire Times of 28th October
which stated “Barton Golf Club is now in working order, but the link is very
rough, making putting and driving difficult and causing the loss of many balls.”Despite the bad links play was still held there, and in January the
monthly handicap medal, presented by Mr A. Towle, was won by Mr H. Knight.On Monday 7th May 1900
a committee meeting was held to consider the links and other business.The Rev. L. Mason presided over the meeting, with Messrs W. T. Gooseman,
W. H. Whitty, H. R. Dix, C. Hunt jun., and others present.One of the items considered was whether the game should be carried on
throughout the summer months.The
committee decided against this as they thought cricket and tennis would demand
greater attention in the town.The
provision of new links was also considered.The present links, near to Barton Cliff, were nearly two miles from the
town, so the committee decided that Mr Hunt be approached with a view to
securing the use of his fields on the Bardney estate.
By September of 1900 new links had been
obtained, reportedly spreading across several fields up the East Ackridge,
in close proximity to the town.
Altogether these links covered about 40 acres, and the course was 1 ½ miles
long.There were plenty of natural
bunkers, and a capital nine-hole course was laid out by Messrs. A. Towle, H. R.
Dix, G. Nowell, and H. O. Knight.
The season commenced on October 1st and it was hoped that some of the ardent
golfers of the town who struggled to play last year, due to the fact the links
were so far away, may support the club this season.The annual meeting of the Golf Club that year took place on the 5th
October at the GeorgeHotel
with Mr Whitty presiding.Amongst
those present were H. Piggott, W. T. Gooseman, H. R. Dix, L. Mason, C. Hart, H.
O. Knight and G. Nowell.The
officers were re-elected as follows: secretary and captain, Mr H. O. Knight;
treasurer, Mr G. H. Nowell; committee members, Dix, Gooseman, Mason, Piggott,
Hart and Whitty.The committee fixed
the playing season to last until the 6th April, and also agreed to erect a club
room and engage a groundsman.The
rules were adopted and several new members elected.
One of these new members, Mr P. Hunt, won
the first handicap of the season, although it was reported that to some extent
he owed his victory to the liberal handicapping.
Despite a lack of newspaper reports on the golf club for the next year it was
still going strong.In January 1902
Mr W. T. Gooseman won the Golf Handicap Driving Match on the links at
Barton, which were still reportedly situated on East Ackridge.The driving was 187
yards and the prize a golf club.On
the 4th January a match was played on the East Ackridge
links between Barton and Brigg, which Barton won by three holes.The golf continued to flourish during the year in Barton and the
surrounding area and in September the annual meeting, held at the
George Hotel on the 10th, reported
that the same nine-hole course would be available, and the groundsman had been
re-engaged.The finances were in
satisfactory condition, and the membership was good.Mr G. H. Nowell presided over the meeting.
October 1902 capital golf links were laid out at Elsham, in the Mill Field near
the station.It was not expected to
attract large numbers from Barton however, as it was stated that
“Barton-on-Humber, six miles away, was a larger community [than Brigg] but there
was already an established golf course there in Horkstow Lane, so that a new and
primitive nine-hole course on an Elsham pasture was not likely to attract any
appreciable numbers from that quarter”1.
The current Horkstow Road
is not in the modern East Acridge
area of Barton, but the report mentions “an established golf course” there
suggesting it was not a new course.
It can be presumed that there was another lane in Barton called Horkstow Lane at
this time, close to or in the East Acridge area, or the above report was
incorrect, the latter being probably more likely.
Barton golf club members did
visit the Elsham course however.A
great number of golf enthusiasts from both Barton and Brigg visited the course
on the 25th October 1902, and the Barton club visited again on the 3rd January
1903 when “the links were in splendid condition, and some exiting play took
The 31st August 1903
saw the clubs 4th annual meeting held at the GeorgeHotel.Mr George Winship
(auctioneer) presided, and reported that the year commenced with a balance in
hand of £4 7s 11d, and closed with one amounting to 5s 8d.The officers for the following year were appointed, those being
president, Mr F. Hopper (of F. Hopper and Co Cycle Manufacturers); captain and honorary
secretary, Mr H. O. Knight; and treasurer, Mr T. H. Ball.The committee was made up of Messrs. C. Hunt, P. Hunt, W. T. Gooseman, H.
Pigott, G. H. Nowell, W. Whitehead and George Winship. The groundsman, J.
Wright, was re-appointed.It was
also decided at this meeting to hold an annual dinner.
Golf Club didn’t always get a good press however, and in the
Hull and Lincolnshire Times of October 17th 1903
a report was made entitled “Why Game is Scarce”.This wasn’t the game of golf it was referring to, rather game birds.On Thursday 15th October some gentlemen were enjoying an afternoon game
of golf on the Barton links when they discovered a partridge’s nest with 17
eggs.They removed the eggs to adorn
the museum in the National school.
This obviously didn’t go down too well with the local press.
Wednesday the 10th February
1904 saw the Barton club gather at the
Wheat Sheaf Inn, under the chairmanship of their genial president
(councillor Hopper), for their first annual dinner.It was noted at this dinner that golfing had taken a very strong hold in
the town, there were many enthusiasts, and the membership was on the increase.
Barton Golf Club travelled to Elsham on Monday 4th April 1904,
for a game against the Elsham club.
Victory did not rest with the Barton Club, but a capital series of games
resulted.Elsham won the singles
and the doubles three to nil.Not
long after this date the Barton Club would suffer a major blow.It became homeless and linkless when its tenancy came to a compulsory
termination.The landlord refused
the club the use of his field any longer, which was even more of a blow because
of the good sum of money the club had spent on it preparing the ground.This forced the committee to spend the summer months looking for some
fields that could be quickly converted to splendid links.
was good news reported in the Hull and
Lincolnshire Times of September 24th 1904.It stated “the Golf Club
is not to fall through, as seemed likely in the spring of this year. They have
been able to secure some fields near the Humber-side, to make a nine-hole
course. The chief of these is known as Clipson’s Marsh, and is fifty acres in
extent, and there are others adjoining it. The members are busy marking out, and
they will soon be ready for play”.
This was good news for the club and its increasing membership.This ground must have been ideal for a golf course because in the
Hull and Lincolnshire Times of November 19th 1904
it was reported that “The Golf Club is now firmly established. Excellent links
have been secured off the Waterside road, mainly in what is known as the ‘Long
Close’, and a course of nine holes laid out. Considerable money has been spent
in laying the links, but it may now claim to be amongst the best in Lincolnshire.”It also went on to report that the membership of the club is good and
enthusiast in the town remained high.H. O. Knight was the secretary at this time, and also the owner of the
whiting mill called Bank Mills along Waterside road.This may give us a clue to the location of the golf course at this time.
continued to be popular in Barton during 1905.The annual dinner was held at the GeorgeHotel
during May, when Mr A. Towle presided over matters.On the 9th December the third qualifying round for the cup presented by
Mr F. Hopper was played.Mr Percy
Hunt was the winner.His card of
four down to bogey was an excellent score, according to the
Hull and Lincolnshire Times,
considering his handicap, the state of the ground, and the difficulty of the
course.The two previous winners
were Mr G. Winship and Mr H. Pigott.
There were two more competitions held in December, on the 26th, for the
Captains’ and the Treasurers’ prizes.J. P. Hunt gained the first prize (3 down) and H. Pigott the second (9
down).Other players who returned
cards were Messrs. A. F. Towle, T. H. Ball, G. H. Hunt, H. Whitehead, C. P. Hunt
and G. Winship.
1906 saw closer ties between
the Barton and Elsham Golf clubs, which may have been the start of the Barton
clubs’ initial demise.H. O. Knight,
a founder member of the Barton club, had taken up the captaincy at the Elsham
golf club.We can assume that many
of his friends played there too.
Golf was still going strong in Barton at this time though.In October the first qualifying round of the
Challenge Cup, given by Mr. Hopper the
president, took place.Mr J. P. Hunt
was the winner, with Messrs. T. H. Ball, C. P. Hunt, H. Whitehead and J. W.
Whitehead also competing.The
entrant numbers were down on previous years though.
At the next annual meeting,
held in September 1907, Mr A. Towle presiding, Mr T. H. Ball was elected
treasurer, Mr C. Hunt secretary and Mr G. H. Nowell captain, the vice-captain
being Mr W. Whitehead.There was a
Christmas golf competition held that year, which created much interest amongst
the members.In spite of the
unfavourable weather an excellent days’ play was reported.The medal competition was won by Mr H. O. Knight, and he also won the
first prize for the Bogey competition.1907 also saw the Barton Golf Club mentioned in the local directory.The captain was reported as Mr W. Whitehead, the treasurer Mr T. H. Ball,
the president Mr F. Hopper Esq., the Vice-Presidents Messrs Towle and Hill, and
the Secretary Mr C. P. Hunt.
1908 saw no reports at all
appear for the Barton Golf club in the local newspapers, possibly a sign that it
was loosing its popularity in the town, or the media.The ties with Elsham grew stronger too, with G. H. Nowell, the captain of
the Barton Golf club the year previous, becoming the captain of the Elsham Golf
club this year.March 1909 did see a
report on the club, however.On the
20th March the six monthly winners of the
Hopper Challenge Cup met to decide the future of the cup for the next twelve
months.There was some very close
and interesting play.Mr C. P. Hunt
was the first to finish, but Mr G. H. Nowell proved to be the overall winner
with a remarkable performance.
this point on the golf club in Barton is hardly mentioned in the local press,
and had possibly fallen out of favour to the improving Elsham club, or had once
again lost the use of its links eventually leading to its closure.The Kelly’s Directory of 1909 listed seven local Golf Clubs, Barton upon
being one of them, C. P. Hunt being the secretary at this time.However the Kelly’s Directoryof 1913 listed 13 local Golf Clubs,
including Elsham, but there was no mention of the Barton Club.Again, the Barton club was not mentioned in the trade directory of 1918.
Fig 1a : The front cover of the Barton-on-Humber
Golf Club card of the early 1920s.
Fig 1b : The rules and hole details of the
Barton-on-Humber Golf Club of the early 1920s.
Courtesy of the Barton and District History Group
club did re-form in the early-1920s however, being listed in the Kelly’s
Directory of 1922, 1926 and 1930.F.
Kimber was the honorary secretary in 1922 (Fig 1a) and Richard Wilmott was the
honorary secretary and treasurer in 1926 and 1930.The Golf Club was listed on Brigg Road
throughout this time. It is around this
time that the golf course can be located with some accuracy with the help of a
golf membership card of the time (Fig 1a and 1b).The rules stated that “balls driven out of bounds (viz: Mount
Rydal Mount, Providence Close and Mr Stamp’s garden) the penalty is the stroke
played and the distance” (Fig 1b).
This would place the golf course on the land to the west of the Baysgarth
estate, where Providence Crescent,
Millfields etc. lay.Mr John
Tombleson resided at Mount
along Brigg Road,
at this time.This card gives
details of the subscription rates and entrance fees, being £1 1 0 and 5/-
respectively for gentlemen and 10/6 and 2/6 respectively for ladies.Visitors could use the course for 1/- per day, 2/6 per week or 5/- per
month.It also states that the club
will follow the rules of the Royal and Ancient Club of St. Andrews.This card also provides the details of the length and the bogey score of
each hole (Fig 1b), the total course length being 1960 yards with a bogey score
of 38.The rules also mention that
if a ball is lying in a hoof mark, or in dung, it may be lifted out and placed
behind without penalty!The Barton
on Humber Golf Club continued through to the early 1930s when it finally met its
second and final demise2.It
was not listed in the Kelly’s directory of 1933 suggesting it was either 1931 or
1932 when it finally closed.
Gilbert Henry Nowell went on
to captain the Elsham club again in 1921 and 1933, and Thomas. H. Kirk of Barton
(surgeon) captained the club in 1930.G. H. Nowell also became the Elsham Club president from 1940 to his death
in 1951.Upon his death his wife
presented the Elsham club with the trophy her husband had won at the Barton Golf
Club with the express wish it be designated the
Nowell Memorial Trophy, in commemoration of his long and happy
relationship with the Elsham Club.
There was an objection from Fred Hopper at the time, who informed the committee
that the cup had been donated to the Barton Club by his late father, Mr Fred
Hopper.The committee changed its
mind and decided to call it The Hopper Cup.There were second thoughts to this however, as Gilbert Nowell had been a
member since the early years of the century and had been very important to the
club.It was finally decided to
designate it “The Nowell Memorial”
cup.This trophy is still competed
for today, and is a lasting reminder of the short-lived Barton Golf Club.
1)The Story of Elsham Golf
Club, Edward Dodd, p10.
2)The Story of Elsham Golf
Club, Edward Dodd, p55. Barton
Kelly’s Directory of Lincolnshire 1905 : 1909 : 1913 : 1918 : 1922 : 1926 : 1930
Various editions of the Hull