1948 – 1964

With the increasing number of sailing Members joining the Club, the consequent lack of suitable facilities for changing clothes, storing sails and gear had been giving concern to the Committee for some time and in 1948 it was decided to renovate and bring into use the remains of the old club house. This was converted into two changing rooms and a sail room, which not only filled a long needed want, but greatly improved the appearance of the Club premises.

It had also become clear that provision should be made for members’ boats to be kept on the premises. Working parties under the direction of the Rear-Commodore B. S. Fidler, and G. A. Keene, felled trees on the upstream side of the Club House, a concrete launching slip was laid and the waterfront put in order. This provided room for over fifty boats to be kept on the lawn, and two launching slips could be used. In the Club’s Jubilee Year 1956 the whole of the waterfront was concreted, fean-offs fitted and provision made for boats and launches to tie-up over the whole length.

Meanwhile, enthusiasm for sailing grew apace and Members were in the vanguard of the upsurge of interest in dinghy racing. One of our members Mrs. B. S. Fidler (now Mrs N. Adlam) had the honour of becoming the first lady Chairman of the National Twelves Association in 1954-55.

In 1957 the National Enterprise class was introduced by the purchase of an Enterprise dinghy for use of Club members. This boat was not only cheaper than the 14ft. International, which was rapidly losing favour, but was more suitable for beginners.

The new class grew immediately and by 1961 there were 39 National Enterprise dinghies in the Club, besides 28 National 12ft and Firefly dinghies. In 1959 the Open Meeting for 14ft. Dinghies was dropped due to lack of support and an Open Meeting for National Enterprise dinghies was inaugurated. By 1961 there were 48 competitors for the Commodore’s Cup kindly presented by Captain V. H Barnard.

In 1959 the interior of the Club House was transformed by redecoration and electrification carried out by enthusiastic members. At the same time car parking space was enlarged and improved. During the winter of 1961-62 extensive enlargements and improvements of the clubhouse were undertaken, largely due to the vision and generosity of the Commodore. This included the installation of a bar which greatly ”enhanced the social amenities of the Club.

Also the larger membership had for sometime strained the car parking facilities and in 1962, the Club purchased a large area of ground between the backwater and Willow Lane, half of which was, quickly transformed into ample parking space. The garage on the site provided revenue from winter boat storage and through the help and generosity of Captain Barnard and members, a footbridge was built over the backwater. The purchase of the site was largely financed by loans from several members.