Wednesday, 26 Jan 2022

The First 100 Years - 1885 - 1985

The original Directors were: Edward Broughton Rouse, Solicitor - Charles William Godball, Gentleman - Robert Gosling, Engineer - Oliver Thomas Gibbons, Contractor - Spencer Dixon, Accountant - Henry Medgett Eyton, Architect - Charles Ernest Tempest, Sharebroker

No list of the first members exists. However, one T. Banks Reid was made a Life Member in 1947 having been one of the original members for about sixty years.

To get some impression of the Club layout in the early days we must remember that the present Dining Room didn't exist, only one Billiard Room was there. The outside at the front had a small drive in through the Pykenham Gate leading to the servants quarters. The main front door must have been the inner door in the present hallway. Reference is made to a shrubbery in the front of the Archdeacon's House behind the tall brick wall which still screens us from public view and even more importantly, masks the traffic noise in the now busy Northgate Street.

At the rear a large garden existed, the western boundary wall was at about the line of the present kerbstone in Tower Street. References are frequently made to the garden.

The small gate in the southern wall enabled the Archdeacon to slip into the Tower Church from his garden. Ownership of the wall seems to have been skilfully "ping-ponged" from Church Commissioners to the Club according to its necessity for repair.

At what stage the Bowling Green was laid in the garden we don't know. It was certainly there in 1912. In June of that year by request of some fourteen members a Foursome Competition was suggested and organised. In the same year, recorded is a, request for more use of the heavy roller. Over the years many references are made to the care of the green, and its treatment, Some sort of feud developed between Harold Sadd, a local seed merchant, and other members as to the advisability of leaving the cuttings on the green or collecting them in the mower. Tommy Symes led the latter school of belief.