'We are completely devastated': Lutterworth Golf Club's reaction after a huge fire destroyed their historic clubhouse

“We have lost so much history, so much memorabilia, so many treasured photographs in this fire" said the club captain

By Red Williams
Monday, 3rd May 2021, 2:04 pm

The club captain of Lutterworth Golf Club declared today (Monday) after a ferocious fire destroyed their historic clubhouse – we are “completely devastated”.

Toby Deas said they are battling to deal with the shocking blow after the devastating blaze tore through the clubhouse at the heart of the popular golf club on Rugby Road, Lutterworth, late on Saturday night.

He spoke as specialist fire investigators are stepping up efforts over the next 48 hours to establish what sparked the huge fire at the 117-year-old club just after 10pm on Saturday night.

The huge fire at Lutterworth Golf Club.

Emotional club captain Toby told the Harborough Mail today: “We are completely devastated.

“We have lost so much history, so much memorabilia, so many treasured photographs in this fire.

“Buildings can be replaced – but our history and heritage is totally irreplaceable, it’s priceless.”

He added: “We are all gutted.

An aerial photo of the damage the next month

“We have got about 700 members who come here from all over this area – Leicestershire, Warwickshire and Northamptonshire.

“They all love our fantastic club.

“So this has come as a terrible shock to all of us.

“In the hallway lobby we had dozens of photos of years and years of past presidents stretching back to the start.

“They have all gone now,” said Toby, who lives in Lutterworth.

“Our members hail from all over the Lutterworth area as well as Rugby, Northampton and Daventry and beyond.

“It’s very hard to believe and take in what’s happened.

“It’s just so sad.

“It’s especially tough because we had just opened up again three weeks ago on Monday April 12 after being shut for so long during the lockdowns,” he said.

“I actually played at our club on Saturday morning.

“I got a phone call late on Saturday night to tell me the fire had broken out.

“I was on the phone until 2am in the morning talking to people who were there at the scene.

“I was there all day yesterday (Sunday) helping out, doing what ever I could,” said Toby.

“I have actually been club captain here since 2019 – even though captains normally just serve one year in office.

“I’ve stayed on because we have been closed for all this time during the pandemic.

“And now we are hit by this fire.

“It’s fair to say that none of our previous club captains have ever had a time like mine as captain – it’s entirely unprecedented.”

But Toby insisted that Lutterworth Golf Club, which proudly dates back to 1904, will come roaring back like the legendary phoenix from the ashes.

“We will rebuild and we will bounce back.

“We have a lot of hope for the future.

“We have had so much support already from our members, other local golf clubs, the general public,” said Toby, a director of locally-based Deaselec Ltd, which specialises in commercial and industrial maintenance and installation.

“We have been overwhelmed by the numbers of calls, texts and messages we’ve had from people.

“People are really getting behind us – and we fully appreciate that.

“I also want to say a massive thank you to the 999 services – the fire service and the police.

“They’ve been absolutely fantastic, bravely fighting the fire and trying to save what ever they could,” said the club stalwart.

Toby spoke as the shattered club gave the Mail a statement this afternoon setting out their devastation.

“The past year has been incredibly difficult and impactful on our loyal members and staff.

“It’s almost impossible to describe the sadness or say how devastated everyone connected with Lutterworth Golf club feel - staff, members and the local community alike.

“We would like to say thank you for the 100s of messages of support and offers of help.

“It’s uplifting to know that Lutterworth Golf Club is a much loved asset of our community,” said the club.

“We were all looking forward to welcoming visitors back to our great golf course to play in our mixed open competition yesterday (Sunday). “Instead, we woke to the shocking news that our clubhouse had been razed to the ground by a fire that started late on Saturday evening. “The cause of the fire is not yet known, but we are extremely thankful that no one was at the golf club at the time of the fire.

“A fire investigation is under way – as soon as this is completed the course will re-open to members.

“The club’s directors and officials met late on Sunday afternoon to put the recovery plans in place to ensure that our loyal members can continue to enjoy playing the course while we work with our insurers on providing temporary facilities as soon as possible and a permanent replacement in the longer term.

“Lutterworth Golf Club, founded in 1904, has a long and resilient history.

“The directors and club officials are all fully committed to the mammoth task ahead to replace our clubhouse and facilities.”

Saluting firefighters and police, the club added: “Our sincere thanks to the Lutterworth Fire and Rescue Service and surrounding counties, and Leicestershire Police for their fast, professional and continued response to this incident.

“We are truly grateful to everyone for their good wishes, the offers of help and support we have received from our members, neighbouring golf clubs, Leicestershire & Rutland Golf Union and the local community.

“It’s heartwarming at this difficult time, they really do mean a lot to us all.”

Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service today said investigators will go back to the gutted clubhouse tomorrow (Tuesday) as they continue their probe into the blaze.

Arson has not been ruled out as they carry out a meticulous investigation into the major incident alongside police.

Firefighters were returning to the club this afternoon to check for “hotspots” which may flare back up.

As we reported yesterday, up to 40 firefighters raced to fight the fierce blaze at the club late on Saturday night.

Luckily no one was hurt as the clubhouse was empty when the blaze erupted.

Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service were flooded with 999 calls from shocked eye-witnesses raising the alarm as flames leapt hundreds of feet into the dark night sky over Lutterworth.

The fire could be seen for miles around.

Fire appliances from Lutterworth, Kibworth, Rugby, Leicester’s Southern station, Western, Hinckley, Wigston, Birstall and Loughborough dashed to the scene.

Six pumps, a water carrier and a specialist aerial ladder platform were all drafted in to help crews tackle the inferno.

“On arrival the Incident Commander confirmed the building involved in the fire was well alight.

“Further fire engines and aerial ladder requested to assist fire-fighting,” said the fire service.

Firefighters deployed two main water jets, water from the aerial ladder platform and two hose reels to battle the fire.

Propane gas cylinders were also kept at the site but fortunately didn’t explode as the blaze quickly spread.

Police also went to the fire as they closed off a stretch of the A5 Rugby Road in Lutterworth.

“Gas and Electricity boards attended to isolate utilities,” said the fire service.

A Leicestershire Police spokeswoman said: “A cordon was put in place along with road closures on Rugby Road, Swinford Road, Sharwell Lane and Gibbet Lane to allow emergency services to deal with the incident – closures were lifted earlier on Sunday morning.

“No one was injured in the incident.

“Enquiries are continuing to determine the exact cause of the fire.”