New bench honours Bridgnorth Golf Club stalwarts

A new bench has been dedicated at Bridgnorth Golf Club in memory of two stalwart members.

Mike Purnell, left, and Michael Winters enjoy a quiet moment on the new bench at Bridgnorth Golf Club
Mike Purnell, left, and Michael Winters enjoy a quiet moment on the new bench at Bridgnorth Golf Club

Peter Winters and Eric Rollinson were long time members of both the golf club and Bridgnorth Probus Club and in their twilight years decided to buy a bench so that they and other seniors could take a rest on the 10th tee before tackling the remaining nine holes.

It was put in place in 2010 but sadly the softwood bench deteriorated over the years and in the spring of 2020 it had to be removed as it was in a dangerous condition.

Both men had by then passed on but an old friend, Mike Purnell, who had used the bench many times himself, took it upon himself to remove the memorial plaque and contact their families to see if they would like to contribute to a replacement.

Mike says he received a very positive response from both families and with their contributions was able to buy a new oak bench. After many delays, mainly caused by the Covid pandemic, it is now in place, complete with the original memorial plaque.

The original 2010 plaque is back in place

Now Peter's son Michael Winters has visited Bridgnorth Golf Club to dedicate the new Peter Winters & Eric Rollinson Memorial Oak bench on what, fittingly, would have been his father's 99th birthday.

The dedication was also due to be attended by Eric’s family, but unforeseen circumstances meant they could not go, and they are planning to visit the club in the near future.

The original 2010 plaque is back in position and reads: "Presented to Bridgnorth Golf Club by Seniors Eric Rollinson and Peter Winters. Rest awhile and take a look, Behold this beautiful Course and its surroundings. August 2010."

Peter kept remarkably fit and walked 18 holes of golf at the age of 93, when he last competed in a Bridgnorth Probus Golf Day.

Towards the end of the war he was an RAF pilot who was sent over to America to be instructed on how to fly Catalina flying boats so that he could train our RAF pilots on his return.

As for Eric, despite having a deformity of the spine and having lost his left eye, he decided at the age of 15 to try to enlist in the Army.

He described the day he was accepted as follows: "I was standing in line, starkers, gradually getting closer to the medic, when a Sergeant Major entered the room and shouted 'We are desperately short of men that can drive. Hands in the air anyone who can drive'."

Eric shot his hand in the air and was whisked away, so never had a medical, and through his life never let his physical problems hold him back.

Mike said: "It took a bit of effort to track down the families, but it was all worthwhile now that a new bench is in place, which hopefully can be enjoyed by many over the years to come."

Sorry, we are not accepting comments on this article.

Top Stories

More from the Express & Star

UK & International News