North Worcestershire Golf Club Statement in its entirety
The North Worcestershire Golf Club Ltd Frankley Beeches Road Northfield,
A short history of the Golf Club – Some facts
To clear up some of the incorrect statements being made on social media.
The land owned by The North Worcestershire Golf Club Ltd was not gifted to the club. It is land once part of Mason Leys Farm and purchased by members from a farmer named Thomas Quincey in 1907. The members had raised all of the money themselves to buy the land.
Our history explains that Mr Edward Cadbury owned a short 9 hole golf course at Woodbrooke, between Griffins Hill and Bournville. For a while he allowed up to fifty people to play the course for a fee, reserving the right to cancel the concession at any time. This proved so popular that Mr Cadbury cancelled the arrangement, returning the fees to those who had paid them.
The enthusiasm for golf saw a group of golfers getting together and initially leased enough land to create a 9 hole golf course at Mason Leys Farm, naming it The Northfield Golf Club, later expanded to 18 holes and renamed as NWGC Ltd. The title deeds show this to be fact.
The club has struggled to survive for many years, losing about £40,000 per year, but for selling off land for building houses and flats on Frankley Beeches Rd, Hanging Lane and Tessall Lane and for the valiant efforts of many aging members volunteering to carry out essential day to day maintenance the club would have closed a few years earlier. In recent times well over one hundred other golf clubs in the country, especially those which had no spare land and an ageing membership in which to expand have seen their doors close.
As part of our desire to keep the land in reasonable condition, we have occasionally carried out some boundary tree removal or pruning and organised an agricultural contractor to carry out a grass cutting programme. The latest site visit commenced a couple of weeks later than envisaged due to a breakdown of one their specialist machines. It was pure coincidence that some grass cutting occurred the day prior to an unlawful entry by the travellers. We strongly refute the allegations made that this was part of a deliberate plan to assist trespassers.
To confirm the position, travellers gained access to the site sometime on Sunday by sawing through a thick galvanised metal security rod releasing our security padlock. This was done without our permission, neither a director nor a shareholder had any conversation with the travellers and we strongly refute any claim otherwise. As soon as we were aware of this trespass we discussed the matter with the police and took advice from the city enforcement officer.
As a result, we appointed a bailiff, who the City regularly use for such unlawful events. The bailiffs served a legal notice to the travellers, who became very aggressive, on Monday 4th September, instructing them to vacate our site within the next 48 hrs. The bailiffs attended site on Tuesday to confirm with the travellers what actions would be taken and again on Thursday morning around 11:00 a.m. when they lawfully moved the travellers on and re-secured our entrance gates. We had previously informed the neighbourhood police officer of our intentions who said he would be monitoring the situation for us.
You will be aware of the involvement of the police who made arrests during the period of the travellers occupying the site. We have no further information on this other than seeing a video involving a traveller and a police dog & his handler.
We confirm that The North Worcestershire Golf Club Ltd were not present nor involved in these matters, some of which are ongoing and made the news headlines..
In terms of the security arrangements the site boundaries are well provided with propriety 1.8 metre-high galvanised steel security fencing, secured at the Hanging Lane main entrance and separate maintenance entrance off Frankley Beeches Road with similar propriety matching locked gates.
The entire site is nominated as a police dog training facility and used regularly by several dog handlers plus one police trainer with his dog who has daily access and regularly patrolled the site since closure last year. We maintain documentary evidence of the weekly security checks undertaken by ourselves plus, when found necessary, actions taken to repair any damage to the boundary security fencing and buildings.
Despite the security measures in place since the closure of the Golf Course, there have been a considerable number of trespassers gaining access by climbing fences or other unlawful means. At the end of July, one of our Directors, whilst carrying out an inspection from a previous reported trespass, was attacked and injured by a vandal who was then arrested by the police.
Upon closure, security boarding was fixed to the entrances and other openings of the Clubhouse. Despite these considerable and expensive efforts, trespassing vandals continue to thwart these methods causing considerable vandalism to the clubhouse interior and roof. After each event, we have swiftly repaired the damaged boarding, adding extra measures to the clubhouse to try and stop further access. It is helpful when local residents also notify the police of intruders.
We incur considerable costs and time in dealing with these unnecessary actions!
We have since installed, again at considerable cost, propriety security metal sheeting to all ground floor openings.
12th September 2017
North Worcestershire Golf Club Ltd