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Fire Destroys Royal Mid Surrey Clubhouse

At about 10.30 pm on Friday night the 30th March the Artisan Section of Royal Mid Surrey were enjoying a snooker match in their clubhouse when flames were seen shooting from the main clubhouse at Royal Mid Surrey. The fire brigade and police were called and members of the artisan section helped the 2 members of staff who live in the building to safety.

Although the authorities were swiftly on the scene the entire building including the proshop was destroyed in the intense heat and flames, which took four hours to get under control. Whilst many additions and improvements have been made over the years the clubhouse is basically the original building constructed when the club opened in 1892.

Club records, memorabilia, silver trophies, and trophy boards have all been destroyed, as well as all members belongings left in lockers. A unique and irreplaceable photographic record created by the well-known journalist and writer Michael Charlton displayed in the building was also destroyed. Included were scenes of the building of the course, and the clubhouse, and even Taylor giving a lesson to the immortal W.G.Grace. A magnificent painting of J.H. Taylor in the club dining room, photos of all the past captains, and many other items too many to mention have been destroyed.

The club captain Middlesex cricketer Bill Clarke was representing the club at the Canberra Golf Club centenary function was only aware of the tragedy when he arrived back in the UK today.

Whilst the police and fire authority have been carrying out a full investigation into the cause of the fire both the courses have been closed but will reopen tomorrow Tuesday the 3rd of April. In the first place the club will make use of the Artisan's Clubhouse until other arrangements have been made.

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