A brief history of QSC

From 'The History of The Quay Sailing Club' by D.E Luff

In the late 1960's a few future founder members were fortunate to have the use of moorings on or alongside the quay which, with the passing of the years, had become the worse for wear and were very much in need of substantial repair. The quay had historically been a hive of maritime and industrial activity with the transport of goods for prestigious civil projects, including the supply of local stone for the construction of London Bridge. Generations of local residents had also enjoyed the use of the quay for recreational purposes.

In 1971 a group of enthusiastic local villagers, Alan Broad, John Rampling, Tony Spiller, Alan Crago, John Prudden and Len Cradick considered the possibility of rejuvenating the quay and forming a 'Boat club'. Discussions took place with quay residents and they accepted assurances that any development would be achieved with minimal disturbance to the environs. It was agreed that an organised approach was preferable to the indiscriminate use of the quay by boat owners ‘going it alone’.

The group convened on 18th May 1972 and Lord Eliot and Mr Cradick expressed their interest and support in the project. They agreed that 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’. In September 1972 the formal offer by Port Eliot Estate was made.

September 1973 saw further negotiations of the terms of the lease, which was duly signed by the first Trustees. Lord Eliot encouraged the club to start developing the quay and to lay some moorings. A second-hand caravan was purchased for £60 to act as a temporary clubhouse, sited to the north side of the lime kilns.

The first Annual General Meeting 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 next AGM took place in 1975 and was the start of protracted negotiations to convert the warehouse into the beginnings of the clubhouse we know today. From 1975 to 1976 saw an increase in membership and additional moorings were laid.

By the start of the 1980's a great deal of work had been done, most of which was carried out by the hard work and commitment of members, providing much needed creature comforts. It was deemed necessary to improve the kitchen facilities, maintain the quay wall and build an access ramp for less able users. The ramp was recently refurbished by dedicated long service members, without whom this type of work costs far more to implement.

In 2010 the club bar was refurbished, mostly by members, with a professional contractor installing the bar and optics panel. The last few years have seen the club involved in a few major projects, including the construction of fully accessible facilities, and re-modelling of the existing. From a small beginning and with many hours of voluntary work we have a club with a proud reputation, long may it continue.

A past Commodore once quoted the oft used phrase that it is 'not what the club can do for members, but what they can do for the club…’

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