A unique silver salver with a 125-year history, unearthed in a family house clearance by a Leighton Buzzard family, has gone on display at the Royal Troon golf club from where it originated.
After 12-months of restoration work to repair damaged handles, the salver is taking pride of place in the trophy cabinet at the Ayrshire course having been donated by retired purchasing manager Denis Leitch and brother David.
It was “rediscovered” in a plastic bag along with numerous other medals and trophies following the death of their mother Katherine over two years ago.
Denis, who lives in Camberton Road, Linslade with wife Jeanne, said: “Our great grandfather David Hutchison Leitch, won the trophy in May 1888 in a tournament open to players who had competed in the Amateur championship at neighbouring Prestwick during the previous few days, and to promote Troon to the golfing world.
“It was competed for only once and has remained in the Leitch family ever since. We had no idea where the salver was until the house clearance, but once we realised its importance, the family agreed it should be donated to the club which presented it. We are very happy Troon have invested in its repair, and has now gone on display for all to see.”
The 18ins x 14ins salver weighing over 4lb, and an accompanying medal, was only one of a collection of trophies won by David Leitch, a leading amateur golfer of his day and who went on to become captain of the St Andrews golf club in 1912.
Mr Leitch was a scratch golfer who competed in nine Open championships – finishing 13th in 1890 and third in the amateur championships at Hoylake the same year. He died in 1935, aged 77.
Troon club captain Bob Martin says returning the salver to its original home “was a wonderful gesture by the Leitch family,” adding to the rich history of the Troon club. The restoration work on the salver has been paid for by the club.
The Leitch family were brought up in St Andrews and golf is part of their DNA. Denis is a 10-handicap member of the Leighton Buzzard golf club where is has won numerous trophies and is now a regular member of the Plantation Road club’s successful Seniors’ team.
His father David was a five-handicap golfer who won the St Andrews Spring medal in 1939 and the Jubilee Cup seven years later, while grandfather Alex was also a scratch golfer.
Troon, founded by local golfing enthusiasts in 1878, was granted its Royal accolade in 1978.
It staged its first Open championship 90 years ago and will do so again in 2016 when Denis will be a VIP guest. He has also been invited to play the course on his regular family visits to Scotland.