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BCLGA - History Milestones

1922 - 1952

The LGU was founded in 1893 and County golf was under its control until 1952 when the County Associations were formed. By 1900 there were 14 County Clubs in England and Wales, and 32 by 1922, but Berkshire was not one of them.

In 1922 the captains of Sonning, East Berks, Maidenhead and Temple together with some club members felt it was time Berkshire took its place in County golf. Miss Marjorie Orde of East Berks (Hcp-6) proposed the formation of a Berkshire Ladies County Golf Club. (Clubs became Associations only in 1930).

It was decided to ask Princess Alice of Athlone to be President, with Mrs Orde as secretary and treasurer (an office she held until 1939). The subscription was 7/6d per year with each club appointing two members to the Committee.

At the first committee meeting held on 23 January 1923, Mrs Vlasto of Sonning was elected captain, and as Princess Alice declined to be president, Lady Mary Crichton accepted the position. The initial membership was 63; Sonning having most members with 25. Newbury joined the club in 1925.

By 1929, it was felt that Lady Mary Crichton had lost touch with the club and Mrs Cave (Temple) was appointed Vice-President, becoming President in 1930.

Calcot Park joined the County in 1931 followed by Goring & Streatley and Reading & South Oxon in 1938. Reading & South Oxon had been an Oxfordshire Green until the County boundary changed in 1934, when Caversham became part of Berkshire, enabling members living in Caversham to become members of Berkshire LGA. Reading & South Oxon golf club became a Berkshire Club in 1938.

In addition to the courses of the member clubs, Swinley Forest, The Berkshire and Frilford Heath offered their courses as County Greens.

In 1939 all the officials resigned at the outbreak of war and County activities were not resumed until 1947 with Mrs Dudley Charles as President and Mrs Battiscombe as Captain; however, 1950 was the first full year of events. In 1951 there were 105 members.

When the English Ladies Golf Association was formed in 1952, Mrs Audrey Van Oss donated the "Bible" in which to record the history of the Berkshire County Ladies Golf Association from that time.

Typed by Albin Pallikunnel, St. Joseph's Catholic High School

County Matches

County matches began in 1900 when 13 Counties were involved. There were 33 in 1923 when Berkshire became part of the Northern Sub-division of the South Eastern Division of England. The other Counties in the Sub-division were Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire, Essex and Oxfordshire. Teams consisted of seven players and matches were played home and away each year. Players invariably had caddies (trolleys were not in general use until the 1950s) and return tickets at reduced fares were available on the railways.

In both 1924 and 1925, Berkshire led the Northern Sub-division but were beaten each time by Surrey (holders of the County Championship) in the Sub-division finals.

Berkshire second team matches started in 1928 and were played in February and March against Hertfordshire, Essex, Kent (until 1934), Buckinghamshire or Oxfordshire, but the number of matches varied between two and four, each played home and away. Travelling must have been quite a problem!

Until 1959 Berkshire 1st team played against Essex, Oxon, Herts & Bucks. In 1960 the match against Essex was replaced by a match against Hampshire.

In 1974 Berkshire 2nd Team won all of their matches against Bucks, Oxon, Herts & Hants. The squad included two juniors Stephanie Jolly (aged 14) & Denise Mason(aged 17).

In 1999 the format of County first team matches changed from individual day matches to a County Match Week format. This format had been tried and tested by the other SE Division (Div 2). Although the cost significantly increased it was felt that players benefited from reduced travelling. The first such County week for SE Division 1 was held at Hadley Wood GC in Hertfordshire and would rotate around the Counties of Division 1 in subsequent years. Berkshire hosted its first County Match Week in 2002 at Bearwood Lakes GC.

Second Team matches continued to be played on the individual day basis.

In 2008 EWGA changed the regional structure such that Berkshire became part of the Midland South Region. This meant that County March Week was then played between Northamptonshire, Warwickshire, Worcester & Herefordshire, Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Berkshire.

Seniors Team – In 1997 the first Seniors qualifying competition was held for players over the age of 50. In 1998 Teresa Taylor was appointed as the first Berkshire Senior Ladies Captain. She met with representatives from the others SE Counties and was instrumental in setting up the Seniors League that started the following year between Berks, Bucks, Oxon, Herts & Hants.

Berkshire International Players

Angela Uzielli

1976 was the first recorded time when a Berkshire player emerged onto the National stage. Mrs Angela Uzielli, at the age of 36, was runner up in the English Womens Championship and was picked to play for England. This was the beginning of a long and illustrious international career in golf. In 1976 Angela was runner-up in the English Ladies Championship at Hollingwell GC and in 1977 she won the British Womens Championship at Hillside GC. In 1978 she was picked to play for Britain in the Curtis Cup team at Rye. In 1990 Angela was awarded the Daily Telegraph Women Golfer of the Year having won the unique double of the English Ladies Championship and the British Seniors Championship at her first attempt in that year. Angela went on to Captain England several times during the 1990s and went on to win the British Seniors title 6 times. At a local level Angela won the Berkshire County Championships 15 times and represented the County in 166 matches between 1976 and 1999 when she died aged 59. She will long be remembered for her wonderful relaxed manner on and off the course.

Angela was Captain of Berkshire in 1981 & 1982.

Carol Caldwell

Carol was selected to play in the same Curtis Cup team as Angela Uzielli in 1978. Carol was a member of Sunningdale and played for the Berkshire first team between 1982 & 1984.

Greta Hobbs

In 1982 Greta won the Czechoslovakian Championship.

Lisa Walton

In 1989 Lisa Walton (Calcot Park GC) won the English Under 18 girls Championship. In 1994 Lisa became the second Berkshire player to be picked to play for Britain in the Curtis Cup. In 1995 Lisa went on to win the English Ladies Closed Amateur Strokeplay.

Laura Webb

Laura (Bolton) played for Ireland as a Junior and went on to represent Ireland at Senior level. She twice won the Irish Closed Ladies Championship in 1989 and 1994 and then the Irish Seniors Championship in 2014. She went on to win the British Seniors Title in 2016 with the lowest score this century.

Lisa Meredith

In 1996 (aged 15) Miss Lisa Meredith (Reading GC) was picked as reserve for the Girls Home Internationals. In 1998 Lisa won the English Ladies Closed Amateur Strokeplay and also became the England Under 21 Strokeplay Champion.

Teresa Taylor

In 1999 Teresa Taylor represented the English Seniors in a friendly match in Sweden. She also played for England in the Marissa Sgaravatti Tournament in Rome where England finished second. In 2003 Teresa was part of the England team that won the Marissa Sgaravatti Tournament in Germany.

Pat Bennett

In 2003 Pat Bennett joined Teresa Taylor in the winning England team in the Marissa Sgaravatti Tournament in Germany and the next year went on to play in the same tournament in Rome. In 2006 Pat Bennett won the English Senior Ladies Championship Division B.

Shelley McKevitt

In 1996 (aged 15) Miss Shelley McKevitt (Reading GC) was picked to play for England in the Girls Home Internationals. In 1997 she was the first Berkshire girl to win the English Girls Championship. On her return from studying in America in 2003 Shelly won the Bridget Jackson Trophy and British Ladies Open Strokeplay Championship in that year. She also represented England in the Espirito International and the Commonwealth Championships. At the end of that year she won the New Zealand Open and topped the ELGA Order of Merit. In 2004 she played for Britain in the Curtis Cup at Formby, Lancashire.

Francesca Robertson

In 2005 Miss Francesca Robertson was the first Berkshire girl to win the ELGA Abraham Trophy.

This history has been copied from the booklet "Berkshire County Ladies Golf Association, Early History, 1922-1952" compiled by Mrs N Nash.
If you have more information about the history of BCLGA please send it to Webmaster Nicky Jones
webmaster@bclga.co.uk