Club celebrates its centenary

Flag raising to mark the 100th anniversary of Seaham Golf Club. Pictured from left are Tom Thirkell (captain), John Goodwill centenary committee chairman, Jim Dyson past captain, Charles Johnson past captain, Matt Stoves longest serving member who raised the flag, Mable Hepplewhite ladies captain and Kevin McCallum past captain.

Flag raising to mark the 100th anniversary of Seaham Golf Club. Pictured from left are Tom Thirkell (captain), John Goodwill centenary committee chairman, Jim Dyson past captain, Charles Johnson past captain, Matt Stoves longest serving member who raised the flag, Mable Hepplewhite ladies captain and Kevin McCallum past captain.

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A FLAG was raised to tee-off a club’s centenary celebrations.

Seaham Golf Club has reached its 100th birthday and has launched a programme of events to mark the milestone.

scanned pics''Seaham Golf Club - first 100 hundred years 1911 - 2011

scanned pics''Seaham Golf Club - first 100 hundred years 1911 - 2011

The celebrations began with a flag-raising ceremony, which saw the club premiere its newly-designed crest, which now features crossed golf clubs instead of an image of a lighthouse.

Mattie Stoves, 84, who has been a member for 62 years and is the course’s most senior patron, raised the flag.

A competition followed, with a presentation of prizes and a barbecue.

Club captain for this year is Tom “Ossie” Thirkell, who runs Thirkell’s garage near the Stadium of Light, and oversees the team’s games in the Durham County Golf Union’s second division.

He said: “I take it as a great honour to be captain this year.

“I’ve had fantastic support from everybody at Seaham Golf Club and found it a pleasure, particularly as the team have had a fantastic start to the season.

“The flag day was great fun, a lot of people were there and the atmosphere was fantastic.”

Mabel Hepplewhite, women’s captain, added: “When the flag was raised, it was a proud moment for the club.

“We also share our centenary with Consett and Whickham, so we are also having tri-meetings to bring us all together.”

Other events lined up as part of the celebrations include a gala dinner at Martino’s in the town, where opera singer Sir Thomas Allan will be made an honorary member, and an Edwardian day, when players will dress in the style of 1911 for a game and use hickory shaft clubs.

A book on the history of the club, Seaham Golf Club: The First 100 Years, has been researched and written by Peter Sutton with the support of its centenary committee. Pictured right is a shot from the book.

It is £10 and can be bought from the club, off Shrewsbury Street in Dawdon.

A series of mementos, including club balls, have been produced to mark the anniversary.

@EchoEastDurham