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1911: No fly zone above Cuckfield Golf Club

Mid Sussex Times - Tuesday 21 March 1911


To the Editor of The Mid-Sussex Times.

Dear Sir,—lt seems hardly right that a matter of such national, and local, importance as the granting, or refusal, of permission to the Army and Navy Aviation Society to fly over the Cuckfield Golf course should have been left solely to the decision of the Committee.

Surely all the members of the Club, and the debenture holders, should have been consulted. Apart from patriotism, it is considered by many people, of all classes, that immense loss to the neighbourhood has been caused by the decision arrived at.

As regards the “footpath,'’ it could easily have been stipulated that the Aviation Society should erect an efficient fence, and so prevent sightseers from trespassing on to the Golf Links.

The other reasons brought forward point to “Golfers’ selfishness!”

I feel convinced that had our late President been alive he would not have allowed the matter to be so summarily dealt with. If not too late, a general meeting should be called, and the matter reconsidered, in the interest of the whole neighbourhood.

Yours truly, “ MEMBER SINCE THE CLUB WAS STARTED.” March 18th, 1911.

The response....... Mid Sussex Times - Tuesday 21 March 1911

The Hon. Organising Director of the Military and Naval Aviation Society (Mr. D. F. Steuart-Seton) has written to a contemporary pointing out that the Cuckfield Golf Club’s decision not to sanction flying over its course has caused him very much regret. He further stated that unless the Golf Club cares to dispose of its lease to the Society it will be necessary for him to look elsewhere for a ground.

We are in a position to state that the Golf Club Committee will not dispose of its lease, and that there are a number of private residents in and around Haywards Heath who would not remain in the locality if the Committee decided to do so. These people have come to the town because they desire quietness, and they certainly would not get it with flying machines anywhere near their places of residence.

The existence of the Golf Club has helped to fill a number of vacant houses in Haywards Heath, and very many people would lose all interest in the place if the Club was disbanded. Thousands of pounds, as we mentioned last week, have been spent on the course, and as it is much played upon it is not fair to expect golfers to retire in favour of men anxious to become flyers.

In our correspondence column will be found a letter signed “A Member since the Club was started,” and the Golf Club Committee will see that there least one of the Club members ready to criticise their action. The writer evidently feels, as do a number of business people, that it would have been an advantage—rather than a disadvantage—to have met the wishes of the Aviation Society.


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