WE’RE?still open for business! That was the message from Tony Rooke, chairman of Dawlish Warren Golf Club.
Golfers turning up for a round at what Tony proudly says is the only links club in south Devon were surpised to see a long section of fencing had blown down and put the 18th hole out of action.
Strong winds had damaged fencing alongside the Dawlish Warren railway halt which as it fell had taken a telegraph pole down with it.
The fallen fencing put the 18th hole out of play and took out power and phone lines at the club house.
Tony said: ‘The fencing belongs to Network Rail and was there to keep passengers from falling off the platform – and to stop our golf balls hitting them and the trains. Rail passengers are now leaving carriages at a stretch of platform away from the open section until the fence is reinstated.
‘For a period marshals were used to keep the passengers away from that section.
‘Network Rail, Open Reach and Western Power have all rallied round to help. Thier main concern was the safety of passengers.
‘All the services have been fantastic. Everyone has been pulling together on this one.
‘We were more than a bit surprised to see one section had fallen on Sunday afternoon, and the rest fell down overnight.
‘Things were getting back to normal by the end of the next day. We now have phone lines and internet back up and running, and we’re getting temporary power from generators.’
‘We had to relocate the 18th hole near to the club house while that section is not in use. We had to give the grass a close cut and dig a new hole.’
Network Rail are in discussions with Western Power to figure out a plan to restore power and rebuild the fence between the railway platform and the links golf course.
The fallen section of fencing has now been removed but the 18th hole will continue in its new temporary location until things return to normal.
Tony is now prepared for a long wait until the green is back in use. Tony explained: ‘Western power are talking to Devon Wildlife Trust – they are planning to bring in the power cables by trenches.
‘We’ll have to depend on generators for a couple of months until mains power gets back on line.’
‘It’s a big year for the club – we’re celebrating our 125th anniversary and we have plenty of events planned. Coming up is an open competition with a Texas scramble on March 25 and next month we’re holding a fun day with a jazz band and BBQ. So I want everybody to know we are still open for business!’ he said.