ID: ML2024_005_061 / Ron Green

TitleMemory Lane - Mersea Island Golf Club


I was delighted to see on Facebook the Golf Club advertising notice that Toni Vince found in papers belonging to her Grandfather, William Brunt.

My first connection with this club, strangely enough, was before I was born. There was a grand Christmas party in the clubhouse in 1931, before I was born. My mum was waitress at this event and I was told she had a crisp white apron over her little black dress hiding her bump, me. I arrived the following February.

The course at that time was acknowledged to be one of the finest for miles around and a notice mentioned Walt Disney once played a round there. I was also told the Ryder Cup team played there.

The Club was started before World War I by Mr Roberts of Ivy Farm, it closed at the outbreak of WW1 and it was sometime after the war ended that it got going again. The course ran from Cudmore Grove way round to the North side of the Island to where we now have the Colchester Oyster Fishery. The fine clubhouse survives and is now a private house. It was in use by the army in WW2 and I recall being out for a Sunday evening walk one warm evening with my family going past the clubhouse, the doors were open and music was flowing out. We were beckoned in to join the sparse audience where a girl was singing and playing the accordion. They were glad to have a slightly larger audience. It was an ENSA concert.

Mention is made of the concrete causeway - recently restored at the time of that notice. My uncle Arthur Green was a groundsman up until WW2 started. One of his daily jobs was to scrub this as it became slippery. It was for the use of yachtsmen, whose fine vessels were moored in the River Colne off Brightlingsea, to come ashore for a round of golf. My dad used to do caddying on occasions and he recalled being a caddy for a gentleman playing in an important match. He was about to play the last hole when he turned to dad and asked 'How shall I play this, caddy'? Whether it was dad's advice or not we don't know but he sunk the put and won the match. He turned to dad and gave him a ten shilling note, a lot of money in those days.

The telephone number is given as East Mersea 2. I believe East Mersea Hall had No. 1 but it reminded me that East Mersea had it's own automatic exchange. It was in a little brick building just past the Dog and Pheasant next to the grove. It has since been replaced by Bluebell Cottage. The notice also mentioned the sprinkler system installed on every green. There was a little pumphouse by the freshwater lake which fed all this. The lake is still there, overlooked by a hide for the birdwatchers.

The Club never reopened after World War 2 and in 1950 the Clubhouse and seven double-fronted dormy houses were sold. Much of the land is now part of Cudmore Grove Country Park.

Members assembled for the opening of the Club as a full 18-hole golf course April 1929

AuthorRon Green
SourceMersea Museum