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Gravesend golf club honours its Battle of Britain past

PUBLISHED: 14:15 13 October 2010

Southern Valley Golf course with director Paul Thornberry

kneeling On hole No 6 which is named after Ginger Lacy

Other members are l to r Peter robinson, Richard Charman , Bob Jackson and Jim McDonald

Southern Valley Golf course with director Paul Thornberry kneeling On hole No 6 which is named after Ginger Lacy Other members are l to r Peter robinson, Richard Charman , Bob Jackson and Jim McDonald

Archant

GOLF course chiefs plan to celebrate the historic setting of their course by naming holes with a Battle of Britain theme.

Southern Valley Golf Course is built over areas of the former Gravesend airfield, the home to two squadrons of fighter pilots who battled invading German aircraft during World War Two.

The celebration of the 70th anniversary of the famous campaign has coincided with a re-branding of the Thong Lane course and to commemorate the significance of the area to the defence of the country a number of the 18 holes have been given fighter plane-themed names.

Paul Thornberry, one of the club’s directors said: “It is important to recognise the importance of this area. We are undergoing a few changes at the club and it seemed appropriate.”

Hole three has been named Spitfire, while hole seven is Hurricane and the longest hole of the course, number 13, has been dubbed runway.

The most distinguished pilot to fly out of Gravesend, James “Ginger” Lacey, has been honoured at hole six and the 18th has been called Tail-end Charlie, the name given to the final pilot to return after each mission.

Plaques are currently being engraved and will be unveiled at the end of the month to mark a new Kent wide amateur tournament being organised at the club.

It comes just weeks after a memorial to the 15 pilots who died fighting out of Gravesend airfield was unveiled at the neighbouring Cascades Leisure Centre.

The Gravesham Open, which is open to any golfers who live in Kent, is due to take place on October 31, with the winner earning a place a the World Amateur Championships in Dubai early next year.

Mr Thornberry said: “Some members of the club mentioned there used to be a Gravesham Open so we have decided to revive it. Rules state a winner can only take a cash prize of up to £500 but we have checked and this reward is within the rules.”

To sign up visit www.southernvalley.co.uk

nick.hitchens@archant.co.uk

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