A Brief History of the Quay Sailing Club

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Abridged from the pamphlet "The History of the Quay Sailing Club" by D.E Luff


In the late sixties a few future founder members were fortunate to have  moorings on or alongside the quay which, with the passing of the years,  had become the worse for wear and several sections were very much in  need of substantial repair. The quay had been a major base of maritime  and industrial activity which included the carrying away of locally  quarried stone for London Bridge. In addition, the local village  residents had for generations enjoyed the use of the quay for  recreational purposes.


During 1971 a group including Alan Broad, John Rampling, Tony Spiller, Alan  Crago, John Prudden and Len Cradick assessed the possibilities of the  quay from the point of view of forming a "boat club".


Discussions took place with the residents on the quay and they accepted assurances  that the possible development would be achieved with minimal disturbance to their lives. It was felt that an organised approach was preferable  to the indiscriminate use of the quay by boat owners "going it alone".


This small group met Lord Eliot and Mr Cradick on the 18th May 1972. Both  Lord Eliot and Mr Cradick expressed their interest and support in such a scheme and agreed, subject to a satisfactory plan of construction and  organisation, the lease of the Quay could be vested in the Committee of  the St Germans Boat Club. September 1972 saw the formal offer by the  Estate to let St Germans Quay to the "St Germans Boat Club".


September 1973 saw the negotiation of the terms of the lease and a lease was duly signed by the first Trustees. Lord Eliot gave encouragement to the Club to start developing the Quay and to lay moorings. A second-hand caravan was purchased for £60 to act as a temporary Clubhouse which was sited  to the north side of the existing kilns.


The first AGM of the Club was held in the "long room" of the Eliot Arms on  the 29th April 1974. About this time the decision was made to rename the club as "The Quay Sailing Club" (to take account of the increasing  number of sailing craft coming to the quay).


The second AGM of the Club took place in 1975 and was the start of the  protracted negotiations to convert the warehouse into the beginnings of  the clubhouse we know today. The years 1975 and 1976 also saw a gradual  increase in membership additional moorings were laid.


Although around the start of the eighties a great deal of work had been done on  the Clubhouse the Club still relied on the generosity of members in  providing "Creature Comforts".


A new lease was signed in 1991 for another 21 years, so the foreseeable future of the Club was secured.


The last few years have seen the club involved in a few major projects.  Firstly it was necessary to improve the kitchen facilities, and outside, the upkeep of the quay wall and the building of an easy access ramp for wheelchair and less able users. The ramp was completed by willing and  experienced volunteer helpers.


In November 2010 the Club Bar was refurbished mostly with the help of many volunteers, with the skills of a professional company enlisted for the  bar and back panel.


From a very small beginning and with many hours of voluntary work we have a  Club with a proud reputation - long may it continue. The club now has a  regular and informative Newsletter which started in May 2003. It serves a very useful purpose, in keeping the members informed about Club events.


The Commodore commented in a letter to all members a well worn phrase but  appropriate in any organisation relying on voluntary assistance, he  suggested that it is "not what the club can do for members but what they can do for the club".

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