Many famous people have played the links at Seaton Carew, but perhaps our most famous visitor eventually went on to become King.

The visit by HRH Prince Edward, Prince of Wales,(pictured far right in the group) took place during a short stay at the home of the Marquess of Londonderry, who was then President of Seaton Carew Golf Club.

The Royal party arrived on the same day as the Club's annual match against the Artisans, so most members were out on the course. However, four caddies were hurriedly arranged.

Jimmy Lithgo was supposed to carry for the Prince, but after some confusion with the bags he in fact caddied for Lord Londonderry. Alf Andrews eventually took the Prince's bag, with David Sturrock caddying for Viscount Castlereagh (son of Lord Londonderry), and it's believed Harry Waller carried the bag of Captain J R Aird, the Prince's equerry.

His Royal Highness had already dressed for golf, except for his shoes which he changed in the men's locker room. The Royal party duly set off, shortly after 4pm, with a few local villagers watching them tee-off. The Club Captain, Harry Salmon, was anxious that the golfers ahead shouldn't hold up the VIPs and sent the assistant professional, “Mac” Nellist to tell them to let the Prince play through.

As he passed the Royal party on the second hole, Nellist had the presence of mind to ask the equerry what drinks they'd like on their return to the clubhouse. The Club had no bar in those days and you had to ring a bell for service. After a few holes it seems the group split into two singles, with the Prince playing Viscount Castlereagh. They finished in about one and three quarter hours, although it's believed they missed out two or three holes, and then took drinks in the Smoke Room. The Prince of Wales had a lager.

Before the party left Alf Andrews realised he couldn't find the Prince's panama hat, which had been entrusted to him. A frantic search proved fruitless and eventually the Prince left without it. However, a promise was made that when it was eventually found it would be forwarded to His Royal Higness. The exploration resumed the next day and thankfully the missing “chapeau” was found by Mark Adlard, near the 8th green, where it had obviously fallen from the golf bag. It was duly packed in a golf ball box and dispatched, and a few days later the Club received a letter of appreciation from the Prince's equerry, Captain Aird, and the honour of Seaton Carew Golf Club was upheld.
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