AT a recent event, the President of Didcot Chamber of Commerce asked me where I get the ideas for this column from.

We have so many sources of inspiration at Didcot Railway Centre that it is usually quite simple.

He is a golfer and challenged me to wire an article about golf.

So here goes.

We have an amazing collection of ephemera at Didcot Railway Centre, including many leaflets and books publicising various aspects of the Great Western Railway, produced by the GWR Publishing Department.

And, of course, there is a series on golf.

The booklets have beautiful 1930s pictures of golfers on their covers.

The introduction says whichever type of golfer you are and whatever type of course you prefer to play on, you will find several of that type to suit your desire on the Great Western Railway.

The GWR network went as far north as Birkenhead, and on Merseyside golfers of championship class could play on the Royal Liverpool Golf Club where the back tees gave the course a length of well over 7,000 yards.

Ordinary golfers with a generous handicap would find no difficulty in playing Hoylake from the ordinary tees.

An early List of Golf Links on or near the GWR System has 15 pages of golf courses listed from Aberdovey to Yelverton.

In addition to the usual golfing facilities, weekend tickets were issued to the majority of these places from many of the principal stations on the Great Western Railway.

There isn’t anything listed in Didcot but if you wanted to play golf in Oxford the North Oxford Golf Club’s green fees were 6d a day cheaper than the University of Oxford’s. And of course, visitors at the university club had to be introduced by a member.

In 1934 the Oxford City Golf Club had been added and had 185 members, while North Oxford had 280 members and the university club 600, and the latter seemed to have dropped its requirement for a member’s introduction.

The nearest courses to Didcot were at Abingdon. Abingdon Golf Club was a nine-hole course 1½ miles from Abingdon Station and there were 18 and 9 hole courses at Frilford Heath.

The Great Western Railway itself had golf courses at its hotels, including the Manor House Hotel at Moretonhampstead – a delightful place for a holiday that also boasted a squash racquets court.

We have a selection of GWR leaflets on display in the museum so why not come and see them for yourself.