THIS month will signal the end of an incredible era at Marsden Golf Club.
For in two weeks time, stewardess Nancy Wood will retire from the post she made her own for a staggering 31 years!
Nancy, who was born and bred down the Colne Valley in Slaithwaite, took over from joint stewards Norris and Irene Hoyle on April 12, 1977, since when she has become part of the fixtures and fittings at the Hemplow clubhouse, where she lives on the premises with husband Philip, who also helps out when not on duty with his day job.
But it’s Nancy who has been the full-time ‘boss’ and responsible for all the catering at the club, be it sandwiches at lunchtimes, or dinners in the evenings.
After leaving school, Nancy spent five years working in a bank followed by another five-year stint at the Rose and Crown at Cop Hill before moving into the golf club.
“My life has revolved round the Marsden club and, along with my husband, raising four children and nine grandchilden, it hasn’t left me time for anything else,” said Nancy, who admits she has never played golf, but is eminently capable of talking about it!
“Of course, I’ve seen a lot of changes during my time here, some good, some not so good.
“But it’s been our life and there have been too many highlights to remember.
“When you are at a small club like this, you obviously get to know all the members as well as everything about them.”
After so long attending to people’s needs, you could be forgiven for thinking she was now going to take it easy and put her feet up for a bit. Not so!
“We officially retired on November 30 and, on December 1, I will be moving down into the village to help out with the catering at the Swan pub, which my son Steven has just taken over.
“Everyone raves on about my homemade pies, I don’t know why, but I think they may be finding their way on to the menu down there.”
Current club captain Alan Starling is just one of 30 captains the redoubtable stewardess has had the pleasure (or otherwise!) of working alongside, and he was quick to pay tribute to a remarkable lady
“I think it’s safe to say that Nancy probably knows more about the club than anyone else in a career spanning four decades,” said Starling.
“Thirty-one years is a truly fantastic length of service, and probably a record for a golf club stewardess.
“She is certainly going to be very difficult to replace, and there’s no doubt this club is going to really miss her.”