Unsung Heroes Awarded
By Carol Dutton
Brian Payne (nominated by Burnham Beeches' general manager (Mr. T.P. Jackson) was praised by the judges for his tireless hard work over 33 years, always keeping the course in superb condition and instigating many improvements. Although it is widely accepted that Burnham Beeches owes its reputation for excellence during important golfing occasions to Brian's efforts, he has always shunned any form of official recognition. Mr. Jackson, who kept his nomination secret until the judges had made their selections commented: " Brian will be devastated to think praise may be heaped on him".
Tim Parker, who holds a full time job as Groundsman during the day, was nominated by the chairman of his village cricket club, Mr. E. Walker, for his unpaid after-work activities which have made Woolpit's cricket wicket one of the finest in the county. The judges were particularly impressed by the fact that Tim not only maintains the cricket wickets in his spare time, but also care for the whole sports field, helping all other sports users in the village. Mr. Walker said Tim's efforts had proved vital to the success of the cricket club's thriving new section.
Tim Lodge of the STRI announced the winners at BTME on behalf of his fellow judges, Gordon Child (BIGGA) and Derek Walder (IOG), before the unsung heroes were presented with the keys to a house in Neffies, South of France, by Lynda Green of Terrain Aeration who has mounted the award. Chris Biddle of Turf Professional magazine and John Richards from Pitchcare (the award's sponsors) presented a cheque for £150 to each winner towards travelling expenses. The winners will both enjoy a week of their choice at the house in recognition of their efforts.
Picture line up from left to right Chris Biddle, Tim Lodge, Tim Parker, John Richards, Derek Walder, Brian Payne, Gordon Child.