Members will be very saddened to learn that John passed away peacefully, at home at 6pm on Thursday 9th January. He had been battling lung cancer for nearly a year, but developed secondary brain cancer.
John was a former Club Manager here at Cobham, appointed in 1988, and held the post for 14 years, including those tumultuous years when the Channel Tunnel Rail Link* and the Wainscott Bypass* caused major upheavals at the Club, ultimately resulting in the new clubhouse and the greatly enhanced golf course that we enjoy today.
Our thoughts and prayers are with Sam and the family at this sad time.
John’s funeral will take place on Tuesday 4th February at 12.15pm at Salisbury Crematorium, 1 Barrington Road, Salisbury SP1 3JB.
Following the service, a reception will be held at Pembroke Arms Hotel, Minster Street, Wilton, Salisbury SP2 0BH.
No flowers please, donations to Royal British Legion.
All the above information, together with directions and details of how to donate to the Legion, can be found by following this link.
*To remind members who were here at that time, and for the interest of those who have joined the Club subsequently, perhaps a short summary of the scope of those projects is appropriate.
The Board undertook a massive volume of extra work for some five or more years, while John Irvine himself was a key member of two small ad hoc sub-committees. One of them handled all financial negotiations with government and the railway, as well as with planners at national, county and local levels. This involved struggling against English Heritage and English Nature (with their conflicting agendas); countless statutory consultees such as footpaths associations; landscape consultants; archaeologists; traffic specialists; lawyers and surveyors.
The sub-committee was also responsible for negotiating grants and interest-free loans from the R&A and other benefactors, to cover those added costs which did not attract compensation from government. It also got involved with the identification and acquisition of extra land to accommodate what became the first three holes and the practice ground.
A late feature of the process was the retrieval of our original clubhouse site which today provides access to the bridge over the M2.
The second sub-committee was tasked with the planning, design and implementation of all physical aspects of building and fitting out a new, enlarged clubhouse and the total reconfiguration of the golf course, including 18 new greens. The project management team of consultants included architects, engineers, surveyors and golf course architects. The committee achieved its ambitious target to have 18 holes of golf in play throughout the entire process.
The acquisition of part of our land, required for the Wainscott Bypass, was relatively minor in scope, but, overlapping in time, it still added a considerable layer of work for John and his colleagues to achieve a successful result in terms of compensation.