In 1896 a meeting was held at the Wellington Hotel in Great Harwood, when the Great Harwood and Rishton Golf Club was formed.
"Dr. Smith reported at the meeting that an area of land at Belmont Farm, for thirteen links, could be obtained from the Ladies of the Manor".
Rishton Golf Club Ltd. was formed in 1929 when the then "Great Harwood & Rishton Golf Club" separated due to the expiry of a lease on Belmont Farm.
Other information gathered says 1926! This was by Councillor John Parker, Rishton Architect who lived at Barnston on Blackburn Road. Mr. Parker wanted to see as many amenities as possible in Rishton and he did not play golf himself!
He arranged a meeting in the Co-Operative Assembly rooms in the early summer of 1926, with about 20 residents of the town responding to the invitation. One lady in particular was present, Mrs. Muriel Little. Not many of these had ever played golf, but they were all very keen to try! Within a short time they had enrolled 60 members each paying £1 membership.
The land was leased from the Dunkenhalgh, the land formerly being part of Eachill Farm, and at first it was intended to use the old farm house, but it was decided that this was too far away from the links.
These stalwarts even employed a green keeper, Mr. Tom Fish, at a wage of £3 per week, and purchased a mower and a horse at a cost of £80.
Mr. George Knowles was appointed as first President of the club, and unfortunately for him, the club horse developed a habit of wandering off in the middle of the night! Because of this he was woken a t all times of the night to retrieve the horse. However, at an early meeting, he told the Committee he would find an early solution, and within a few weeks he had purchased a donkey for 5s, and although there was much amusement the horse stopped straying, all it had needed was company.
These few enterprising people quickly swelled the ranks, and an army hut was purchased to serve as club house.
Mr. Fred Bradshaw who had played a prominent part in the clubs rise was appointed the first club captain. Mr. Milton Duckworth and Mr. Rex Hart had been secretary and treasurer since the formation of the club, and they had very little funding to juggle.
During Mr. Bradshaw's period of Office a loan account was opened and extensive construction work commenced on the course, and the first two greens were made. This was regarding as a wonderful achievement during his 1st year in office.
Mr. Noel Hellewell J. P., was then elected Captain, and was the first Rishton Resident to become Captain of the Club, a position he held for 3 years. Under Noels leadership the club made rapid progress, and a further 7 greens were created.
The club continued to progress and the army hut was converted into the present well appointed and commodious golf house, which was amongst the best in the North East Lancashire area.
The club was converted into a limited company in 1932 with the subsequent employment of the first professional, Mr Harold Boswell.
The arrival of Mr. Donald McNeil in 1937 as honorary Secretary was the start of a new era for the club. During his time with the club he was also the Captain and became a Council Member in 1996, and it was he who in 1946 after the end of WWII voted along with the then Captain to re-start the club after it fell into disarray.
On the 16th April 1953, An application was received from the Golf Club for permission to erect a sign on the lamp standard at the junction of Station Road and Blackburn Road.
On the 9th July 1953, A letter was submitted from the Secretary of the Golf Club regarding the condition of their approach road which it was alleged had suffered from the effects of surface water from the Playground. Further consideration was given to the request of the Golf Club on the 13th August 1953, for steps to be taken to prevent water washing across the roadway. It was Resolved—That no action be taken in the matter.
On the 14th January 1954, The Chairman reported on a meeting held on the site between representatives of the County Council, the Golf Club, the Dunkenhalgh Estate and this Council. After discussion it was Resolved—That the Surveyor be instructed to prepare an estimate of cost for providing a ditch on the inside of the railings on this playground to receive water from the Pickup Road area and convey it round the playground thence under the occupation road and into a ditch which is the responsibility of the County Council.
The 1980s saw the biggest threat to Rishton Golf Club with the arrival of the M65 motorway. The decision had been made by the developers to cut the Motorway straight through the course. This was completed and the course lost two of it's holes. However the club received substantial compensation from the contractors and decided to use this money to buy some adjacent land and commissioned Peter Alliss and Dave Thomas to re-design the course with three extra holes.
Despite this upheaval the club survived and is now a first class course with a full membership list.
The course is 2,921 yards long or 2,671 meters (Approximately).
Aerial view of Rishton Golf Club.
The former Rishton Golf Club Web Site.
A Hyndburn Chronology by Paul Lanham
A Chronology of Accrington and Men of Mark, by R. S. Crossley
Rishton on Record, The Festival of Britain 1951.