Seaham Golf Club names its new bar after its oldest member with the completion of its clubhouse revamp
A golf club which has welcomed players to its greens for more than 110 years has championed its longest serving member by raising a drink to him with its new bar.
Seaham Golf Club has upgraded its clubhouse, transforming it into a modern bar and restaurant open to all.
In tribute to its longest-serving member, Matty Stoves, who has been a member for 73 years, the Shrewsbury Street club has named its bar in his honour.
During the pandemic, many members supported Matty - who lives in the neighbouring street – with food deliveries and welfare visits.
Unveiling The Matty Stoves Bar yesterday, former pitman, who who turns 94 at the end of this month, spoke of his pride.
“It is absolutely tremendous and an honour to have this development named after me,” says Matty, who worked at Dawdon Colliery for more than 45 years.
“I have been a member since 1948 and no-one has enjoyed their time here as much as me.
"I have had many games of golf and many social nights with friends and this bar is going to be a great asset so people can do the same for years to come.”
The renovation work, which has also created a conference room for hire, has been supported by a number of members, including many who donated times and services.
The club’s catering offering has also changed and is now provided by The Tee Time Kitchen, run by Lesley Johnson and her husband Stuart, with the onus on home-cooked food and cakes.
The club also boasts a golf simulator, one of a handful in the region, which attracted people from across the North East prior to its closure due to Covid-19.
Club manager Michael Trippett, said: “We are very proud of our reputation as a community golf club which is totally loyal and committed to its members and we’ve seen that repaid in spades through this renovation, which has been a massive project for us to undertake.
“Matty is such a special part of the club and so many of our members, myself included, have been there for him all through the pandemic.
"That’s how well he is thought of at Seaham Golf Club and by naming our bar in his honour, he’ll be with us for generations to come.”