Musician and golf champion to be honoured with blue plaques

June 23, 1984. Max Jaffa serenades his wife Jean to celebrate their silver wedding anniversary.
June 23, 1984. Max Jaffa serenades his wife Jean to celebrate their silver wedding anniversary.

Two new blue plaques are to be unveiled in Scarborough in honour of violinist Max Jaffa and golfer Harry Vardon.

The historic tributes are being erected by Scarborough Civic Society in honour of two of the town’s best-known sons.

The first ceremony will take place on Saturday May 9 at 10am, when the Harry Vardon plaque will be unveiled at Apple Tree Cottage, Main Street, Ganton.

The Max Jaffa ceremony will be held at 11am on Wednesday May 13 at his former home - Argyll Lodge, High Street, Scalby.

Adrian Perry, chairman of Scarborough Civic Society, said: “Both these men were national and International leaders in the fields. Max Jaffa was extremely popular at The Spa with people booking their holidays to coincide with his concerts. Harry Vardon was certainly a pioneer in the golfing word and we are delighted to be honouring both these distinguished men.”

Mr Jaffa, who died in 1991, played at Scarborough’s Spa Grand Hall for 27 summer seasons.­

He was born in London and on his sixth birthday, his father, a Russian-Jewish tailor, gave him a half-size violin.

He played in orchestra at Lyons tea houses in the capital and as an accompanist to silent films in cinemas and formed a trio which played in hotels.

On retiring from The Spa he was given the Freedom of the Borough of Scarborough, but he continued to play, broadcasting on BBC Radio 2 and toured Britain with the Palm Court Orchestra with a programme celebrating his 60 years in the entertainment business.

His widow, the soprano Jean Grayston, will be attending the ceremony to unveil the plaque on May 13.

The society is also honouring pioneering British and USA champion golfer Harry Vardon, who was a professional and greenkeeper at Ganton Golf Club near Scarborough.

He won the National Open Championship seven times and won the US Open Championship. He was both a beneficiary of and a stimulus to the first great era of the growth of golf in England and USA.

He was also known for his kind and considerate manner.