The beginnings of golf in Mellor occurred at a time of considerable changes. The coal mines and textile mills that had dominated the surrounding area had mostly closed down, and the village was evolving into more of a dormitory community where people lived and travelled to their places of work. It’s amid this changing environment that golf in Mellor started and with which it is intrinsically linked.
The village of Mellor, historically in Derbyshire, established its first Golf Club in 1894 just below the high plateau of Cobden edge.
There was, however, for a short period of time spanning the Great War, another independent golf club in Mellor. It was located, less than a mile to the north of Mellor Golf club, across the valley (and Longhurst Lane) in an area of Mellor just off Longhurst Lane known as Townscliffe. Its greens climbed up from the clubhouse at Townscliffe Farm past Knowle Farm to the prominent beauty spot occupied by Mellor Church (now usually known as St Thomas’ Church)
Formed in 1908 Townscliffe Golf Club struggled through to 1920 when it was finally dissolved.
But, Townscliffe’s loss was Mellor’s gain. In the same year it closed as an independent golf club it amalgamated with Mellor Golf Club complete with its membership, the promises of returning Mellor Golf Club back from twelve to eighteen holes, and to safeguard the future of golf in Mellor by securing tenure of the land occupied by the club.
Though Townscliffe Golf Club has now been extinct as a club for a century, the name lives on to this day as part of the world-renowned Mellor and Townscliffe Golf Club and as befitting tributes, not only is the current twelfth fairway appropriately named Townscliffe, but the clubhouse has a function room also named the Townscliffe Suite to commemorate the clubs historic past.
The year 2020 marks a significant landmark in the history of golf in Mellor. Not only is it over one hundred and twenty five years of Mellor Golf Club, it is also one hundred years since the demise of Townscliffe Golf Club, but more significantly, it’s the centenary of the birth of the Mellor and Townscliffe Golf Club that we know and love to this day.
My book entitled ‘Townscliffe Golf Club – Mellor’s other Golf Club‘ gives the complete history of the early days of golf in Mellor and is available to buy online by clicking the following link.