Horne Park golf was opened in 1995 and whilst we cannot claim to have the history of St Andrew’s and other famous names our course has a history that is something special.
In 1944 just World War II was coming to an end, a few acres of farm land straddling the north-south section of Bones Lane, this is the narrow road that runs along side the course, was used as a temporary airfield for the RAF. This was because the RAF was anxious to acquire additional airfields in the southeast of England. Known as ALG’s Advanced Landing Grounds, Horne was the only one in Surrey. It consisted of two grass runways and perimeter tracks with storage and tented accommodation. Over 300 RAF personnel from England, Canada, Poland, Australia, New Zealand and probably other countries served at Horne.
The star of the events that took place back in 1944 during the Battle of Britain, was of course the Spitfire, Horne saw as many as 60 in operation here. If you have ever visited an air show or witnessed one on the TV you can just imagine the noise of so many Spitfire Merlin engines taking off for D-Day.
Len Bush, who is a Club member, worked for the Triang Toy Company after the war as a draughtsman, later as an illustrator for the aircraft model kit boxes. Len has donated two excellent paintings of Spitfires to the Club which he painted in 1996 and can be viewed on the wall as you enter and leave the bar and restaurant area.
Next time you land at Gatwick from the east you will notice our driving range and golf course and notice the lack of hedges where the runways once were. After your round of golf, why not take a look along Bones Lane where you will see the point where the runway crossed the road together with a small memorial obelisk.
There is an excellent small book written by local historian and former air cadet Brian Buss called ‘RAF Horne’s D-Day Spitfires’ if you want to find out more.