Romford Golf Club celebrates 125th anniversary with surpise Father Christmas and reindeer parade

PUBLISHED: 17:00 21 November 2018 | UPDATED: 17:00 21 November 2018

New Romford Golf Club captain John Fitch dressed up as Father Christmas with the former captain John Fuller.

New Romford Golf Club captain John Fitch dressed up as Father Christmas with the former captain John Fuller.


Members of the Romford Golf Club celebrated 125 years since their foundation in the borough with a special appearance from Father Christmas.

The new captain of the Romford Golf Club in Heath Drive, John Fitch, had his ‘Drive In’ on Sunday, November 18 on the same day that the club celebrated their 125th anniversary.

Each new captain at the club will choose a theme and plan a surprise reveal for their Drive In.

This year John Fitch dressed up as Father Christmas with all of his family members, daughters and grandchildren dressing up as his helpers.

“Father Christmas came early this year,” said John.

“It was amazing, a fantastic day. We had 200 people sitting down for a dinner and music entertainment in the evening.

“The golf club has been really good to me, so it’s good to be giving something back.”

Members of the new captain, John Fitch's family dressed up for John's drive in at the Romford Golf ClubMembers of the new captain, John Fitch's family dressed up for John's drive in at the Romford Golf Club

Romford Golf Club dates back to 1894 when Sir Herbert Raphael donated around 90 acres of the Gidea Park Estate to found the club and the course was designed by the Open Champion, James Braid.

The first captain of the club was Frederick Green from 1894 to 1896 and he was also the president of the club again in 1898.

During the war, the civil defence authorities requested that members worked to make the course unsuitable for the landing of enemy aircraft.

This was done by digging additional bunkers, stringing wire rope between suitably placed trees and by putting obstacles across the course.

The new captain, from Emmerson Park in Hornchurch, added: “The club has definitely changed a lot over the years.

“For example, it used to have rooms which only men could use. Now it’s much better.

The Romford Golf Club celebrated 125 years on Sunday, November 18.The Romford Golf Club celebrated 125 years on Sunday, November 18.

“[The clubs] is very social and really good for the area.”

John’s daughter, Kerry Fitch said that the club was very grateful to The Animal Company based in Stafford, who provided the reindeer.

“It was a really lovely day, especially as it’s such an important year for the club,” she said.

Romford Golf Club has many fund raising events and this year the captain has chosen Breast Cancer Now and charity events with Corbets Tey School in Upminster as the organisations that they will be supporting.

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