Forgotten Golfing Greens Of Scotland
 Forgotten Golfing Greens Of Scotland

                 Broxburn

Broxburn Golf Club.  Instituted 1901. 

Proposed Golf Club

 

   "Golfers in Broxburn are seriously considering the idea of having a club in the town and a movement is on foot with the object of securing a part of Drumshoreland Muir for a course. The matter is being pushed on in an enthusiastic manner and it is hoped that success will attend the efforts of the promoters."   (WLC 24.3.1900)

 

   "A meeting of gentlemen interested in the above movement was held on Tuesday evening  to further consider the matter. It was decided to go on with the project, and a committee  - Messrs G McKillop, T.Y. Craig, A Millar, W. brand and F. Addison – was appointed to make the necessary arrangements. 

   The proposed course lies at Drumshoreland, and is expected to make a very fine course."   (WLC 25.1.1901)

 

    "A meeting of those favourable to the formation of a golf course for Broxburn was held some days ago. It was intimated that over 40 gentlemen had stated their intention to become members at once, and over a score of others were willing also to join when the course was ready. 

   It was therefore agreed to go on with negotiations for the securing of the ground. The club was duly formed and the following gentlemen elected officers for the year : - Hon. President , N.M. Henderson, Esq, Acting President, Dr Alex Scott : Hon. Vice Presidents, Mr Geo. Mitchell, Broxburn Park : Mr Stewart Wilson, Powflats : Rev. Wm. Johnstone, Uphall : and Dr Kelso, Broxburn, Captain, Mr Wm. BrandVice Captain and Secretary, Mr John Hastie: Treasurer, Mr John Baillie. 

   A working committee was also appointed, consisting of the office bearers and Messrs G.P. smith, John Mulhern and George McKillop."    (WLC 1 3 1901)

   "A meeting was held in the institute on Wednesday evening of those gentlemen interested in the formation of this club.

   After reports by the secretary had been given of the results of the negotiations for the lease of the proposed course, it was agreed to accept the offer of the farmer (Mr Wilson, Powflats) for his part of the ground. No arrangement had been come to with Mr Mitchell for his part of the proposed course.

   It was then arranged that the course be made as far as the Powflats ground permitted. The ground is sufficient in extent to make a course much larger than that of Uphall Golf Club.

   It is expected that the course will be opened very shortly."  

(WLC 10/5/1901)

   "On Saturday a nine hole course for the newly formed golf club at Broxburn and situated a short distance to the west of Drumshoreland Railway Station, was formally opened by the Hon. President of the club, Dr Alex Scott, in presence of a good attendance of ladies and gentlemen. 

   The course having been declared open, Mrs Brand, wife of the captain of the club, played the first ball, after which a game was played between sides picked by the captain and vice captain."   (S 17.6.1901)

   "Eighteen players aside  from the Broxburn and Saughton clubs played their return match in foursomes over the Drumshoreland course (Broxburn) last Saturday. Victory rested with the Broxburn cub, the score being Broxburn 6 matches to Saughtons 2."

   (WLC 24.5.1907)

New Golf Course.     West Lothian Advertiser June 11th 1909.

 

A new nine hole golf course and clubhouse for Broxburn Golf Club was opened on Saturday at Drumshoreland, near the Railway Station. The course is situated on the Almondell Estate , and a nineteen year lease has ben obtained on easy terms from the Earl of Buchan. The opening ceremony was attended by a large company of ladies and gentlemen from all parts of the district. Mr N.M. Henderson, manager of Broxburn works, opened the club – house and declared the course open, after which Mrs W. Brand, wife of the club captain, drove off the first ball.

 

Opening of New Course At Broxburn.

A Brilliant Function

Mr N.M. Henderson’s Word Painting

 

   "On Saturday afternoon, in delightful weather, the new golf course at Broxburn and the recently erected club – house were formally opened by Mr N.M. Henderson, Honorary President.

   "It is now some eight years ago since Broxburn Golf Club was instituted. The old course was on the Drumshoreland side of the Bathgate and Glasgow railway, and though never an ideal course, it served it’s day and generation well. The situation of the old course was somewhat unfortunate, as besides being rather difficult to access, it was much damaged by quantities of dust blown from waste heaps, while the players were oftentimes treated to odours that could not be exactly designated mellifluous.

   The club was well supported, the membership averaging 20 ladies and 50 gentlemen, and, it has to be added that during the past eight years the club was self supporting. In order to make a course worthy the name of Broxburn, negotiations were some time ago entered into with the Earl of Buchan, who on most reasonable terms, leased ground adjacent to Drumshoreland Station. The members of the club, after arranging to make what is really a capital nine hole course, went a step farther and erected a handsome clubhouse. Already the alteration of the site of the course has created great enthusiasm, and the membership has leaped up to nearly 100 ladies and gentlemen.

   "In order to meet initial expenses it is calculated that between £250 and £300 will be required, and in order to raise this sum a Bazaar will be held towards the end of the present year when, no doubt, the money will be forthcoming. Thereafter, it is believed the club will, as in former years, be self supporting.

   There was a record crowd present at Saturday’s proceedings, and at intervals the Broxburn Public Band discoursed excellent music.

   The officials of the club present were: - Mr N.M. Henderson, Hon. President; Rev. H. Ferguson; Mr W. Cuthbertson; Mr G.S. Morrison, Hon. Vice Presidents; Dr A. Scott, President; Mr W Clark, Vice President; Mr W. Brand, Captain; Mr R.H. Findlater, Vice Captain; Mr J.B. Ruffell, Hon. Treasurer; Mr G.F. McKillop, Hon. Secy; Committee – Messrs Addison, Constable, Craig, Murray, MacKay, Strathie, and Wilson; Miss Hunter Captain; Miss Paterson, Hon Secy ; Committee, Misses Cadger, Kennedy, J. Kennedy, Pagan, and Woodrow.

   The invited guests present included : - Mrs Addison, Mr and Mrs Alexander, Mr J.B. Brown, Uphall, Mrs Bell Gerson Bank; Mrs Brand and Miss Bran : Mrs Brown, Mr and Misses Bell; Dr Bartholomew, Winchburg ; Mrs Constable, Mrs Cuthbertson, Mr and Miss Clark, Miss Campbell, Mrs Cowan, Miss Crawford, Mr and Mrs D. Crozier, Bathgate, Mrs Cowan, Mrs Craig, Mr and Miss Cunningham, Mr Dargo, Mrs Davidson, Edinburgh, Rev. Mr Erskine and Mrs Erskine, Mr Forrest, Uphall, Miss Ferguson, Uphall, Miss Faulds, Dr Gordon and Miss Gordon, Bathgate, Miss Gordon and Friends, Drumshoreland Hospital, Miss Henderson, The Lodge, Mrs Hislop, Mrs Johnston, The Manse, Uphall ; Mr,Mrs and the Misses Kennedy ; Rev. J. Lindsay, Bathgate, Miss McLeod ; Mrs McLean, Mr Mulvenna, Winchburgh, Mr McLaren, H.M.I. of mines, and Mr McLaren, Junr ; Mrs Murray, Mrs Marshall ; Mr, Mrs and Miss Mitchell ; Mrs Montgomerie, Mr and Mrs Morrison, Mrs Pagan, Mr, Mrs and Miss Paterson ; Miss Robertson, Uphall ; Miss Robertson, Miss Ruffell, Mr and Mrs A. Ruffell, Mr and Mrs J.B. Ruffell ; Dr Stewart and Mrs Stewart, Uphall, Mrs Scott and Party ; Mr and Mrs F Stuart and Miss Stuart ; Miss Stewart ; Mrs Steel, Miss Steuart, Mrs Steven, Mrs Thomson, Miss Walker, Miss West, Main st, Miss West, Mid Street, Mrs A Woodrow, Miss Woodrow, Miss McVey, Edinburgh ; Mr Weir, Winchburgh, .

Under a brilliant sky the proceedings were most auspiciously begun.

Dr Scott occupied the chair, and introduced Mr Henderson, In doing so.

Dr Scott said : - Ladies and gentlemen, on behalf of the Broxburn Golf Club I have much pleasure in giving you all a very hearty welcome to the ceremonies of opening our Club – House and our golf course. It is very gratifying to us to see such a large turnout of those who are wishing us good luck – who have come to give us a hearty send off in our new venture. ( Applause )

I have said venture, but really I can assure you it is more than a venture, it is a reality – ( Applause ) – in so much as we have had great support from everyone in connection with the Bazaar, from the proceeds of which we are going to pay off this undertaking. The membership, too, has grown quickly, and we are assured of success. ( Applause ) I do not wish to anticipate anything that Mr Henderson will want to say, so I will not go into any details ; We have it with us today our good friend, Mr Henderson, to whom we are very much indebted already for having helped us very materially with the preliminary details in connection with the securing of the feu from the Earl of Buchan, and other matters, and he has increased our indebtedness to him by generously coming forward today to open the new Club – House and the new course, and to wish us good luck.I have much pleasure in calling upon Mr Henderson ( Applause ).

Mr N.M. Henderson said : - Mr chairman, ladies and gentlemen, I have very great pleasure in being here today to open – To Formally open your Golf – House and Golf Course. I am sure we are all pleased to know that Broxburn has got such a magnificent golf course – a course that is finely situated, is surrounded by splendid scenery. ( Applause ). The first thing I should like to mention is that I think we are very much indebted to the Earl of Buchan for his great generosity, his considerate kindness, to the committee of the golf club.

He conceded the terms for a lease asked by the committee, and a lease for nineteen years has been secured at a reasonable rental, a rental that I have no doubt there will be no difficulty in the members meeting easily. ( Applause )

 

Historic Ground

 

 The ground upon which the course was situated, and upon which we now stand, may be said to be Historic ground. We have heard and read a great deal about the romans and about roman camps in Britain.Well, at the west end of the course was once a roman camp. The trenches were traced, some old coins and roman requisites found, several years ago. Later, we also know that Sir William Wallace reconnoitered the district, having being stationed in Drumshoreland Muir when King Edward 1’s army was encamped at Kirkliston. So the members have a great incentive  to deeds of daring. ( Laughter and Applause ).

You have historic ground, but you have also a course pleasantly situated. I have to congratulate you on the splendid view you can obtain, in fact, on at least three sides you can see a distance of 50 miles, and the view on each side is a fine one.(Applause )

We have near at hand, and in the valley beautiful green fields, showing that they have been well tilled, and giving promise of a fair return to the farmers who have tilled them – the reward of their peaceful persuits. ( Applause )

Looking towards the north we see Broxburn ; well, when I came to the town, about 1878, I think there were 1500 inhabitants in the village and 2100 inhabitants in the parish of Uphall. Now in Broxburn alone there is a population of between 8,000 and 9,000. That I consider, a pretty fair increase for a country district. ( Applause )

In the Uphall parish, and for a radius of 8 or 10 miles about, the population depended for their livelihood on the shale industrythat had caused the rise in the population of the parish. ( Applause )

Well, Broxburn must show very nicely, and to advantage on a day like this, when the sun is shining overhead so brilliantly. We can observe the substantial buildings providing homes for it’s industrious and thriving people – thriving people – they are all making a fair living, many are building their own houses – all are in easy circumstances, as compared with those in many many places around us.

I think we ought to be thankful that we have plenty of good work, plenty of trade in the district. ( Applause ).

There is a saying “ That distance lends enchantment to the view”. Well, you can see the Broxburn Oil Works, situated on rising ground, one of the principal industries of the place, and there you will see those fine towering chimney’s, like large towers in the distance, vieing with the spires of the churches of Broxburn as to which is the handsomest. I think there may be a doubt as to which was the handsomest, but I have my own opinion as to which is the most useful. ( Laughter. Then to west was Uphall, about a mile away, and there they saw a fine view of the eastern portion of Uphall t all events, nestling in it’s nice secure neuk, with a population of about 5,000 inhabitants.

In this connection we must not forget that Uphall has a golf course as well as Broxburn and a good one. ( Hear. Hear. )

I overheard some of the Broxburn players, I think it was about a fortnight ago, say, that there were really some good players at Uphall. ( Laughter. )

I think the least thing the Broxburn club can do, to bring out the best players on each side, is to invite Uphall club to a friendly match – it would prove helpful to both clubs. ( applause )

Uphall has it’s industrial work and to the south was seen Uphall Oil Works.

A little to the south –west they had the Pumpherston Works, and although they were not in the parish, he could not help referring to them, because they were their nearest neighbours, and just over the line.Thus they would see they were well surrounded by the industrial works of the district.

Now, as to your golf course, I do not know very well what to say. I am not a golfer ; I have tried golfing in my day, and raised a good deal of turf, but I was never a success.

I have to congratulate you again on your fine golf course, and the excellent manner in which it has been laid out. It is confined at present to nine holes, but has good natural hazards, and the greens are on the natural surface, no levelling up or down has been required, so you have the best means at hand for developing scientific play. You have also erected a magnificent club-house. Here too, accommodation has been provided for both ladies and gentlemen. The cost of the house and the laying out of the course has been computed at nearly £250. Well, it is a good deal of money, but if once that debt has been wiped off there will be no difficulty in the members supporting their own course. To wipe off the initial cost, the committee have arranged to hold a Bazaar, and a large number of the ladies in the district have [romised to lend a hand, and I believe that the Bazaar will prove thoroughly successful. ( Applause )

After this £250 is wiped off, I think there should be no more begging. ( Laughter )

You have a golf-house that will compare favourably with any other in the county, while your course, though a small one – smaller than many in the county – will also compare favourably with any in Linlithgowshire. ( Applause ) The course is easily got at ; it is just at the station, and lies within a mile of Broxburn and Uphall districts, and they would welcome members from a distance – such as Edinburgh. ( Applause )

They would also be pleased to have members from the surrounding district. ( Hear. Hear. ) He had no doubt that many from Edinburgh would join – some have already joined – the train service was quite favourable, and he hoped the local members would give Edinburgh people every encouragement. ( Applause )

At this stage I would also like to say that the club owe a debt of gratitude to Mr George Mitchell, Broxburn Park Farm, who very generously gave up his fields, which he had on lease, in favour of the club ( Applause )

I have pleasure in opening the door of the new club-house. ( Cheers. )

I hope you will have many enjoyable games over the new course, and I wish you every prosperity and luck. ( Cheers. )

 

Presenting a Souvenir Key

 

After Mr Henderson had opened the doorof the club-house, the chairman said – I have much pleasure in calling upon Miss Hunter, the Captain of our ladies club, to present to Mr Henderson a little souvenir as a momento of the occasion ( Applause )

In asking Mr Henderson to accept of it, we wish to assure him that we are very grateful to him not only for the duty he has performed to-day, but for his many great services to the club in the immediate past. We hope he will be long spared to wear the  momento Miss Hunter will now present. ( Applause )

Miss Hunter – Ihave much pleasure in presenting this gold key as a souvenir of this interesting occasion. ( Applause )Miss Hunter then very gracefully attatched the key to Mr Henderson’s chain. Mr Henderson returned thanks.

The large crowd was then photographed after which the ceremony of opening the course was proceeded with.

 

Opening the Course

 

Mr Henderson – I have much pleasure in calling upon Mrs Brand, wife of Mr Brand, Captain, to drive off the first ball of the new course. ( Applause )

Mr Cuthbertson – Before Mrs Brand performs the ceremony, I have much pleasure on behalf of the members of Broxburn Golf Club, in presenting her with a cleek, which will be a momento of the occasion. I think it is very proper that the wife of the Captain of the club should be asked to perform the ceremony. (Applause )

She say’s she is not a golfer ; however that be, we know she has four sons who can be relied upon to give a good account of themselves. ( Hear. Hear. ) We also all know the powers of our captain, and the young lady who is following in the footsteps of her brothers and her father bids fair to make a good golfer. ( Applause )

Mrs Brand thanked Mr Cuthbertson, and the club for their kindness. She then addressed the ball, and after posing for a photograph, drove off the ball amidst cheers.

Mr Henderson then formally declared the green open.

Mr Brand called for a vote of thanks Henderson for opening the course. In doing so, he referred to the fact that Mr Henderson in his younger days had been a keen sportsman. As a voulunteer and Bowler he had been most successful, and he 

( Mr Brand ) confessed that the reason he himself was such a keen sportsman was because of the enthusiasm which had been engendered through Mr Henderson.

Hearty votes of thanks were then accorded Mr Henderson and Miss Henderson.

The large company was then served with tea and cake, while a programme of delightful music was discoursed by the Broxburn Public Band.

After tea, Dr Scott, on behalf of the club, thanked Mrs Brand for the duty she had performed that day in driving off the first ball, and Mr Cuthbertson replied on her behalf. Mr Clark proposed a vote of thanks to the visitors, and Mr McLaren replied.

Mr Constable proposed a vote of thanks to the band for turning out that day and rendering such a choice programme of music.

A foursome match, President versus Vice President was engaged in and resulted as follows : - A win for the Vice President by one match.

The whole proceedings passed off without a hitch, and the success of the opening function augers well for the future success of Broxburn Golf Club.

 

There is a large gap during which no references to the club have been found. Even allowing for  the years involved in WW1, during which it is quite possible that the club went into abeyance, there is still around 15 years which cannot be accounted for.

   "On Wednesday evening the golf course at Drumshoreland was officially opened without formal ceremony. A fair number of players took part. The conditions were excellent barring a bitter east wind.

   The opening match was between sides led by Mr James G. Glass, President, and Mr Jas. Miller, Vice President, and ended all square. A very nice tea purveyed by the Broxburn Co-operative Society followed the match. The President, in the course of a few remarks, expressed the hope that the mixed foursomes and social evening of last year would be repeated with the same success this year, and that once again the experienced members would tutor and encourage the new players – sentiments which were echoed all round. There will be a large number of competitions this year, and part of these will be played off almost immediately.

   The Late train service which will afford City Golfers an extra hour commenced on Monday, and this convenience will be highly appreciated when summer time and the long day’s arrive."   (WLC 12.4.1929)

Last recorded 1948.

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