Search

Greenkeeper retires after 43-year-career tending the fairways and greens of Woodford Golf Club

11:01 20 March 2013

Stuart Runciman (right) with his assistant Steve Thorogood

Stuart Runciman (right) with his assistant Steve Thorogood

Archant

A nature-lover, talented artist and one of the last people to see boxer Rocky Marciano alive retired from his job as Woodford Golf Club’s head greenkeeper today.

Stuart Runciman has called time on a 43-year career tending the fairways and greens of the club in Sunset Avenue on the same day he celebrates his 65th birthday. He trained as an artist, winning travelling scholarships from the Royal Society of Arts, but a newspaper advert brought him to the nine-hole course, set in Epping Forest, land in 1970.

Working with nature had been the most enjoyable part of his job, said Stuart.

Speaking about his retirement, he added: “I’ve had lots of time to think about it. I’m 65 and it’s time to think about doing other things.”

Stuart started out as the assistant greenkeeper, when the course was in “much worse shape than it is now”, according to current club captain John Michael Wade.

And during a heatwave in the summer of 1976, Stuart had to deal with frequent fires.

He said: “Everything was scorched and burnt to smithereens. I never thought we’d get it back to looking like it did. It took two or three years and it looked right again.”

He put his drawing talents to good use, drawing caricatures of 22 club members for a centenary brochure in 1990.

And his RSA bursary took him to America in 1969, where the Italian-American family he was staying with also had heavyweight boxer Marciano as a guest.

Stuart had his photo taken with the boxer before he and the family saw Marciano off at a Californian airport, on the fateful flight which was downed, killing the undefeated champion.

Stuart, of North Chingford, will still visit the club three days a week to help out and is looking forward to seeing more of London.

He said: “I’ve got the Freedom Pass but I’ve hardly used it.”

Mr Wade said: “Stuart has been a huge asset to the club for decades.”

0 comments

Latest News Stories

31 minutes ago
Press Gang reviewer, Phoebe Colson, 11, gives us her view of Rachel Hamilton's The Case of the Exploding Brains

Noelle “Know-All” Hawkins has another case on her hands.

09:00
Wanstead Society hustings at Wanstead Library for Leyton and Wanstead candidates

Housing, zero-hours contracts and Trident were on the agenda at a hustings event.

09:00
Hilda Hooper in the King & I Photo credit: Kenneth More Theatre

When Hilda Hooper sang the title role in The Bohemian Girl aged 12 at school she would not have known her incredible gift would give her four decade long career at the Kenneth More Theatre.

Yesterday, 21:34
Ilford South candidates attended a hustings event at the Vine United Reformed Church in Ilford

Churchgoers quizzed election candidates at a hustings event last night.

Most read news

Competitions

Spruce up for spring with this beauty bundle from Justmylook!

Looking to update your look for spring? Well, you’re in luck.

Glen Moray whiskey could be winging its way to you.

The Glen Moray Classic is a classic Speyside single malt and forms the starting point for the Classic Range.

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Ilford Recorder e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24


Our trusted business finder