This is the transcription of a conversation Roy had with Graham Lawrence and Brian Lewis on 23 January 2007
I was the youngest one of a family of six. I was born at Hazleholt Farm in 1934. I remember in 1939 when I started school there was a school bus which ran for a couple of months and was taken out of service to conserve petrol. My starting school coincided with the outbreak of war. During the short time the bus was running I remember walking up Dundridge Lane to the junction of Park Lane with Sheep Pond Lane and catching the bus. It went along passed the Golf Club and then via Corhampton to the school at Droxford. One day I remember seeing the whole club house burnt out. The club house was smaller than its replacement and was at right angles to the road.
After the bus was taken off, Mr Jim Silvester, who had North End Farm, Droxford, would come along in his old Vauxhall car give me a lift to school. He sometimes came along on his white horse and would say to me “no lift today young man”.
I remember going up and watching cricket being played on the first and second fairways.
There were sheep on the course most of the time. I can’t remember if the greens were protected from the sheep.
The corner of our farm was right where the fifteenth green is now. The field where the fifteenth hole is was called “Little Ganges”. There were two other fields where the new 4 holes are. One was called the “Horse Meadow” and the other was called “11 acres”. In all there were about 26 acres but I think the Golf Club bought some more land by the woods to make up the 32 acres they purchased for the new four holes.
|We’d wander around the beech trees close to the eleventh and sixteenth fairways, scratch about the leaves and find golf balls. There weren’t many members in those days. The Clarks were grocers in Droxford. We knew them quite well. We dealt with them. I knew Horace and Rodney and one or two other members of the family. I knew Bunky Withers, Reg Reeves and Bert Dedman. We’d find these balls and wait for a member to come round, someone like Rodney or Horace, and we’d maybe get a tanner for the balls. It was just a bit of pocket money for us.|
There was an old man called Tom Shawyer (we called him “Uncle Tom”) who had a wooden caravan in the woods to the right of the sixteenth fairway and he used to coppice in there. He’d clear about an eighth of the wood each year. He’d make a lot of spars and hurdles for sheep. Nearly everything he did he did with a billhook. When the farm changed hands and Fred Clay bought it, Tom’s life improved because Fred Clay looked after him well. There were a lot of right ways through the woods.
A sketch of the woods as I remember it as a youngster
During the war, in the triangular field between the Winchester and Bishops Waltham road, troops would be hiding in the bushes. They has a searchlight in there. It was the main one in the area. There used to be a pond in that field but it has long gone. It had iron railings round it. Hazleholt was acquisitioned by the MOD and later it housed prisoners of war, Germans, Italians and Austrians.
I was at Hazleholt Farm till I was fifteen. I didn’t have a lot to do with the golf course but I did get to know the local farmers, like Ernest Silvester, who had Corhampton Farm. When I was sixteen I spent six weeks helping Ernest Silvester with his harvest. One day I remember Ernest was playing with his brother in law, Cecil McNeil, in the semi-finals of the Valentine Trophy. Mr Silvester was also known as Ern. His brother-in-law was Cecil McNeil (known as ‘Mac’). Cecil’s wife was Evelyn McNeil and she won several cups at the club (Cooper Trophy three times) and people knew as ‘Babe’.
When I was sixteen I moved to Soberton for a year and then moved to Denmead.
I had very little to do with the golf course until I was about thirty three, when in 1967, Bob Harvey was doing a job for us. He invited me up to the golf course one Wednesday evening and we played nine holes. I got bitten by it. I joined the Club for about £8 or £9.
When I joined Tug Wilson was captain for the second time because Sid Parrett was due to be captain but dropped out because of illness so Tug did it for a second year.
Normally I played during the week. I quite often played with Pat Collard who was the landlord of the White Lion at Soberton. We were sort of adopted by Henry Clark and Peter Dacombe and we’d have a game. They’d give us a shot a hole. I usually partnered Peter Dacombe against Henry and Pat.
I won the Reeves Trophy in 1973 and nearly won it again in 1993.
I had a short spell out for a couple years and then rejoined later. I still play golf at the Golf Club