Buried amidst this was barbed wire, large boulders, household rubbish and small stones which covered the entire site. On the left hand side of what is now the 1st fairway there was a disused concrete water tank which had been used as an emergency water supply, this had to be filled in and landscaped. On the right of what is now the second fairway there were old foundations of a coal burning boiler house. These foundations stood some four or five feet above the ground, and this had to be covered and landscaped. At the corner of the course, where the fourth green and the old fifth tee stand there was a very large hole and the ground sloped sharply away from the course – again this had to be filled in and landscaped.
By mid October 1975 the layout of the golf course had been decided (although it was later to change) fairways for three holes had been marked out, the grass had been cut and the greens had been marked out. This was within the area of the course where the reclamation of the land was considered to be the least difficult and, of course, it was intended to prove to the RAF authorities that the intentions of the members were serious.
In time, word of what was happening on the old hospital site spread to the local community and the interest it generated was quite remarkable. Enquires started flooding in from persons who wanted to join the then proposed club. More importantly, what was to become the reason for the rapid advances made in construction of the course, was the practical interest shown by local farmers, business and professional people.
A local farmer, Mr Charles Hookins (Charlie the Milk), of Froglands Farm, Llanmaes, loaned the club a tractor and trailer (and his son!) when they were not in use on his farm. The loan was at no cost to the club except for the provision of fuel. The equipment proved to be invaluable in moving many tons of rubble to clear the ground and filling in the numerous large holes that ensued. Mr Hookins also allowed the club to remove many tons of sandy
loam from his land, again without charge. This loam was used in the laying of the greens.
About this time a stroke of luck occurred. One of the members, whilst travelling home through Hereford, happened to see a rusted and ancient three unit gang mower lying in the field of a small holding. He contacted the owner who was pleased to give the gang mower away. A few days later a small team of members went to the small holding, dug the units out of the ground, where they were partially buried, and brought them back to St Athan. After a few days work, with a drop of oil here and there, they were made serviceable. This unit, together with the borrowed tractor, speeded up the grass-mowing task immensely.
Funds were now needed urgently to purchase fuel for the tractor, grass seed, weed-killer and fertilisers and on the 14th October l975 a letter was sent out to as many golfers that were known to the members of the Society, asking them if they would consider donating the sum of £2.00, this sum would be deducted from their annual membership fees of £6.00 which would be due on lst April 1976. Thirty-one donations were received and that sum of £62.00 saw the club through to the following spring.
Work continued throughout the winter months. One of perhaps the easiest but most time consuming jobs to be done was to clear the faiwvays of small, and not so small, stones. The local ATC Squadron and the local Brownie Pack turned out one weekend, on the promise of a few pounds to add to their funds, and cleared quite a lot of the stones from one fairway. lt was not repeated, the funds did not run to it and the bitterly cold weather was too much for the enthusiasm of the youngsters. It was nevertheless, very helpful.