When a Scottish ex-pat Mr.W.W.Wilson arrived as manager of the Carrbrook print works in 1899, he recruited two of his local country men Mr.Alex Knox and Mr. D.D.Morton to play golf locally, the nearest Clubs being Fairfield and Oldham. In those days to travel to Fairfield and Oldham from Stalybridge carrying a bag of clubs was a major undertaking particularly on a weekly basis. After much searching and discussions with local farmers a nine hole course was built using land and buildings rented from Farmer Henry Trueman for fifteen shillings per annum.
The front parlour of Crows i'th Wood farmhouse was used as the first Clubhouse when the club was incorporated on Saturday 24th August 1901. Traces of the farmhouse and cottages from that day can still be seen, as you approach your drive from the eighth Rabbit tee.
"Few golf clubs can have had such a varied history as Stamford. From an informal gathering of enthusiasts playing over the Crows i'th Wood fields at the beginning of the twentieth century, to the club as it is today, one hundred years later.
During this period the clubhouse has occupied three different buildings and introduced many changes to the extent and location of the course, which have led to the use of more than forty different greens at one time or another!" Click to see credit (A)
The buoyant and thriving Stamford that exists today with its traditions and customs, its fine golf course and clubhouse, is a fitting tribute to our founders and all those generations of succeeding members throughout the whole span of the 1900's, their industry and resourcefulness kept the club alive and functioning throughout all the lean years and two world wars. The fact that it survived at all to reach its centenary is a testament to their tenacity and spirit.
There have been many times when Stamford has had difficulties, but due to the traditional tenacity of the membership as a whole and sometimes individuals the club has gradually progressed through hard times. There are some of these occurences that warrant mention here.
During the first world war half the course had to be abandoned by order of the first World War cabinet due to the need to grow crops. By 1921 land had been once more acquired and the course was back to 18 holes due to the hard work of the membership in building the course.
The legacy of the war on the membership was the loss of ten members who are remembered by a memorial displayed in the 18th hole.
The war also caused great financial hardship on the whole country in the early twenties, resulting in a reduction of membership. This caused the club hard financial times and despite raising £146 by voluntary donations it became neccessary to raise the two guinea subs by half a guinea, a 25% increase ("I wonder what the reaction would be to a similar increase today"....Webmaster).
Even greater financial crisis was to overcome the club in the "Great Depression" of the thirties again due to falling membership. In 1933 it was decided to give notice to the landlord to terminate the tenancies on the land and the clubhouse, but at the eleventh hour at the AGM, £160 was raised by the membership to once more save the club.
The second world war had an even greater effect on the club in both membership and finance and the club faced closure once more. Due to the generosity of members as a whole and individuals in particular the then President of the time H. Mumford Smith, Herbert Hyde and Herbert Shaw loaned the club £50 each (All three in September 1942 decided to forego their debentures) and a legacy of £25 from former member Mr. J.E.Cook saved the day once more.
That the Club survived the twentieth century at all was due not only to the exceptional efforts of certain individuals but to the club spirit of the members in general. A strong sense of pride in the history, traditions and achievements of the club had developed which was to prove invaluable in securing the continued existence of Stamford in the years ahead.
So now, as we start out on our second century, we can be justly proud of our progress and achievements and also the fact that we, in turn, will be able to pass on to our successors in future generations, a club that now stands in the forefront of golfing excellence in the area