Haste Hill Golf Club in Middlesex has had its honours boards taken down by the council so they don't put off potential customers looking to hire the venue
Clubhouse Honours Boards Ripped Down To Encourage Functions
Haste Hill Golf Club, a well-established Middlesex club in Northwood, is fighting to maintain its history and identity.
For most club members getting your name on one or more of the clubhouse boards is a dream, or a very proud achievement if you’ve managed to do it, but Haste Hill’s members no longer have that option.
Hillingdon Council, who run and own the clubhouse facility as well as the public golf course, have decided to remove all of the club’s wooden honours boards from the two function rooms and bar areas to encourage functions such as weddings and birthday parties.
The boards were ripped down for a refurb but are not being put back up.
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Instead, the council have offered to install a small digital honours board as a ‘gesture of goodwill’.
Club members were officially informed of the Council’s decision at the AGM last month.
The Council say the reason for banishing the wooden boards is that people who want to hire the premises for functions in the future will be put off by them, although there has been no evidence yet to support these claims.
The club have attempted to explain to the Council how important the retention and visibility of these wooden boards are – both to current and past members whose names appear on those boards.
However, their appeals seem to have fallen on deaf ears.
Indeed, whatever compromises and appeals Haste Hill Golf Club have suggested, the response from the Council has simply been to refuse to engage in any meaningful conversations with the club’s representatives.
The Council refuses to understand the club’s genuine concerns of the need to celebrate and remember the achievements of members over the decades.
Many members started off as juniors and, in a number of instances, the names which appear on those boards chart the successes and achievements of families over many decades – not only current members but also fathers and grandfathers spanning three generations.
Golf clubs up and down the country regularly let their premises for a variety of reasons, and there is little evidence that any club has been asked to remove their boards for a letting.
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Indeed, it is rare that any club has found the existence of these boards has prevented them from achieving whatever extra income they wanted from letting their premises.
In fact, many people may actually choose to host events at golf clubs and other similar establishments because of the characterful history on show.
Haste Hill Golf Club President John Paterson said: “I’m devastated at what the Council have done. They have taken away the history of our Club. I have played here since 1980 and now all my memories have gone. These people don’t really understand, do they?”
The council told the London Evening Standard, “The public golf course and its clubhouse is very popular and open to everyone, and the venue is hired out for events and weddings to increase revenue.
“Haste Hill Golf Club is a separately organised group that uses the course but does not contribute financially to the building or its upkeep, and their 26 wooden boards were dis-suading people from hiring the venue.
“The council offered to replace them with a digital board. The clubhouse is set in beautiful surroundings and we hope the refurbishment will encourage more residents to visit.”
Haste Hill was designed by the renowned golf architect Harry Colt in 1926 and the club has been in existence at Haste Hill Golf Course since at least 1930.
How would you feel if all of your club’s honours boards were taken down? And do you think honours boards discourage functions?