Who is Samuel Ryder?


Sam-Ryder-ExhibitionThere is a special gold trophy which weighs 4 pounds, stands 17 inches tall and known to the whole world as The Ryder Cup. Some locals are unaware that its founder, Samuel Ryder, was one of the greatest citizens that St Albans has ever had; as a business man, politician and churchman.

Sam moved to St Albans in 1895 and started a seed business which became successful on a national level. He also set up Heath and Heather (later to become Holland and Barrett) with his brother.For 13 years Sam was a local councillor and was elected Mayor of St Albans in 1905.

Faith played a significant part in his life and the Ryder family were quite involved with the Independant Chapel. Later, when his health was in decline, Sam’s friend Revd. Wheeler (from Trinity Congregational Church) encouraged Sam to take up Golf. Well, we can guess the rest! Sam was club captain 3 times and in 1927 he founded the first official Ryders Cup match between the US and Britian/Ireland.

To commemorate this, St Albans is holding the Samuel Ryder 18 hole Trail for those who want to visit the places associated with his life. There is also a Sam Ryder Exhibition taking place on 26/27 June 2010 at the Comfort Hotel.

Further details about this are on; www.stalbans.gov.uk ; for background history www.stalbanshistory.org and for tour times www.stalbanstourguides.co.uk

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Maria Larmer lives in St Albans and is married with four children. She works as a Freelance Writer, English Language Teacher and Teaching Assistant. She has lived in Auckland, New Zealand for 9 years and prior to that in France, Germany, Austria, Edinburgh, London and Ireland. Her diary-writing has featured on 'The Wild Geese' Channel 4 and Radio Verulam. She has written for Hertfordshire Life magazine, Go Camping magazine, Camping magazine, The Catholic Times, St Albans & Harpenden Review, New Zealand Times, The New Beacon, My Weekly and various websites. She can be contacted on maria.larmer@ntlworld.com