Willingdon golfers tell tales - and hospice will benefit

It all started when a group of Willingdon Golf Club seniors went on a golfing holiday at the Dorset Golf & Country Club last summer.

Saturday, 17th July 2021, 12:00 pm
Pam Robinson, volunteer fundraiser for Demelza, Paul Roberts (red shirt), senior captain, and Mel Lockett with the book “What’s Your Story?” that is netting funds for Demelza Hospice
Pam Robinson, volunteer fundraiser for Demelza, Paul Roberts (red shirt), senior captain, and Mel Lockett with the book “What’s Your Story?” that is netting funds for Demelza Hospice

It all started when a group of Willingdon Golf Club seniors went on a golfing holiday at the Dorset Golf & Country Club last summer.

They were accommodated in lodges of six and, as is the wont of a few old guys who get together and have a few beers, glasses of wine or their favourite tipple, they started to tell each other stories.

Someone tells one story which is then quickly followed up by someone else saying, “That reminds me of when…..” or “When I was in the…..” or “I used to have a boss…..” and the stories start pouring out.

The end result is a book.

This, they say, is not a book to compete for the Booker Prize, rather just a collection of their own memories of yesteryear.

Nevertheless, it is a small piece of social history.

You can imagine as the night went on, the stories became more humorous and risqué – and often extreme and unbelievable. What was common though is they were all true. Well, memory said they were...

Seniors member Mel Lockett said: “At some point I made the comment that when our time came to leave this world, these stories would be lost forever. Future generations, our family and descendants would never know what we got up to during our lives which were mostly lived in the second half of the 20th century.

“I said to the group these memorable stories were an integral part of social history and they needed to be written down.

“Before I knew what had happened, maybe it was the wine or more probably in my case, the whisky, I had offered to gather together a selection of the collective memories of the senior golfers at Willingdon Golf Club.

“I think most of our group of six thought I was joking but no, I had made a commitment, drunk or not, and the results are in the pages of What’s Your Story?

“Some are funny, some serious, many tragic, some emotional but all real stories from over 2,250 collective years of memory.

“Among the little group of six of us, there were a couple of great storytellers. Yes, they could keep you in tucks with their stories, reeled off in easy style that just flowed naturally. This was going to be an easy task, thought I.

“Wrong! The ideal way to compile a book like this would be to sit with each contributor and record their stories, ask the questions, seek clarification, then begin the written editing, bringing out the highlights, making it flow, just like a conversation.

“Even better would be listening over a drink or two – when inhibitions have fallen away and the story is embellished with the full depth of detail and ‘truth’ behind it.

“Sadly, this wasn’t practicable. The idea came about during a brief release from the first lockdown restriction imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic and work on collecting and compiling started during lockdowns two and three, there simply was no opportunity to meet one on one.

“I have nothing but admiration for the guys who contributed. Whilst some clearly demonstrate skills as writers, many others stepped out of their comfort zone to get something down on paper that would contribute to and support the fulfilment of the idea for this book.

“I agreed with our senior captain Paul Roberts that any proceeds raised would go to the charity of the senior captain in office at the time of sale – and Paul’s charity this year is Demelza Hospice Care for Children.

“I hope people enjoy reading it as much as I did while collating and editing it.”

The book can be purchased at Willingdon Golf Club for £10. This method raises the most for the charity and organisers don’t want to post copies.

Alternatively it can be downloaded either as an e-book or paperback from Amazon. The e-book raises more for the charity than the paperback but any support will be welcome.

Go to amazon.co.uk and search Mel Lockett, What’s Your Story?