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Home / The Club / History of South Windermere Sailing Club / The establishment of the clubhouse at Fell Foot in 1964
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Home / The Club / History of South Windermere Sailing Club / The establishment of the clubhouse at Fell Foot in 1964

The establishment of the clubhouse at Fell Foot in 1964

The Club was formed in 1961 by a group of keen sailors including Malcolm Cross and Bernard Rhodes and his parents, who lived in the gashouse at Fell Foot. There were initially 20 members, many of whom were caravanners, who sailed and raced from a starting point at Skirtful Crags or Braithwaite on the east shore of Windermere.

In 1962 they negotiated boat parking and launching at Stott Park, once the water-ski club there had closed, and created a floating jetty from some galvanised tanks which were on site. This became unsatisfactory due to water-skiers still using the facilities, it was not feasible to build a clubhouse at Stott Park so they searched for a suitable alternative venue. They considered purchasing "The Cygnet" but decided maintenance would be too expensive and difficult, enquiries about land owned by Sir John Fisher or Lord Wakefield at Braithwaite were not progressing, but then in 1964 an offer was made by the National Trust to support them in building a clubhouse on Fell Foot Park.

Below are extracts from the Club Minutes

Committee Meeting held on Saturday Jan 25th 1964 at Fell Foot

Mr Ackland of the National trust had stated that the Trust would have no objection to our building a clubhouse at Fell Foot and indeed would give us support in doing so. To do this would require raising a certain amount of capital, coming to an amicable arrangement with Mr. P Rhodes and obtaining planning permission for the proposed structure.

The other suggestion of renting a building to be erected on Lord Wakefield's grounds must also be considered as this would entail only paying rent, whereas the scheme at Fell Foot would entail paying rent and raising capital.

It was felt that Fell Foot was a more suitable position for a clubhouse and every effort should be spent in trying to establish one there.

Committee Meeting held on Saturday Feb 22nd 1964 at Fell Foot

Mr Cross, spokesperson of the sub-committee had the following statement

some good progress has been made in the last month. Mr Rhodes had been contacted and was agreeable in principle to our erecting a clubhouse at Fell Foot, and subject to some financial negotiations was prepared to let us have use of the field for storing dinghies, he keeping the side by the fence for his own use, while we have the other side, where it was considered we should have room for storing 40 or 50 boats. ..the National Trust Committee was meeting on March 2nd, and we could not apply for planning permission until after that date.

Concerning details of the clubhouse itself, the sub-committee reported that they had visited the Ullswater Y.C whose clubhouse was built five years ago, this was slightly bigger than the one envisaged here being 42x36 and cost £3500, the capital being raised by individual interest free loans. The UYC thought this method of raising money to be a poor one, and had paid off these loans by means of a bank loan.

For our own clubhouse about £1000 would need to be raised and various methods of doing this were discussed. It was finally agreed

a)To charge £5 per season for boat parking

b)To raise the yearly subscription of full members to £3-3-0 at the next general meeting and in the meanwhile to ask for a levy of £1-1-0 from each full member

c)To offer a 10-year subscription of £25 to not more than 20 full members as a means of raising capital immediately.

Various other methods of raising money were discussed including family memberships and ladies committees. It was decided that a ladies committee should be formed of the wives of the officers.

A circular letter would be sent to all members asking for subscriptions and informing them of the details of the clubhouse scheme, together with the sailing programme.

Committee Meeting held on Saturday March 21st 1964 at Fell Foot

.preliminary planning permission had been applied for.once we had planning permission in principle, we should get the surveyor to come round, and find exactly what we can or cannot do, in order to obtain final permission regarding the price of internal fittings and partitions, Mr Shipsides submitted a proposed internal layout and gave an estimate of £50 for this arrangement

Committee Meeting held on Saturday May 30th 1964 at Fell Foot

outline planning permission had been granted was agreed that we must be able to pay off at least £100 of any bank loan by the end of the first year.

Committee Meeting held on Saturday 21st June 1964 in Mr G Kay's caravan

Clubhouse for the clubhouse site £25 & also the boat parking fee which would be £5 for all boats but where the owner was a club member, the fee would be divided £3 for Mr Rhodes and £2 for the SWSC. Mr Rhodes would retain full control of the boat parking arrangements.subject to final quotations being satisfactory & detailed planning permission obtained the scheme would go forward.

Clubhouse Plans order to comply with the Boards requirement re. visibility from A592 it was necessary to adopt a factory style roof line with ridge approx. 6' from canoe club boat house side &14' from lakeside.

the aim that the clubhouse floor should be above the 1954 lake flood level .toilets should be within each changing room and the men's and ladies rooms should be of about equal size.. the kitchen should be at the north end so as to give a window with a view

Committee Meeting held on Saturday 29th August 1964 at Fell Foot

..Planning permission had not yet been received. It was agreed that the sub-committee could go ahead and order as soon as planning permission came through subject to a maximum overall cost of £850.

..Mr..had agreed to donate an electric cooker and Mr ..agreed to see the MOH about the water supply from the well.if wiring was too expensive a Calor gas installation should be used instead

Committee Meeting held on Saturday 26th September 1964 at Fell Foot


Planning permission had been received on 30.8.64 and we could now go ahead. An order had been placed with Messrs Shipsides for the building and it was felt ..that we should wait until Spring before taking delivery.quote for footings, sanitation etc .of £350

The total cost of the building would be £1138

Building £623

Footings etc 350

Insulation 125

Painting 10

Lighting 30 estimate

[calor gas]

This was felt to be stretching our finances too far and it was agreed that the lining should be omitted saving £125

Fourth Annual General Meeting held on October 24th 1964 at 7.30pm in Fell Foot Café

The commodore reported..the season's racing had been good, and fairly well supported, out of a membership of just over 100 we had an average of about 6 Enterprises with a maximum of 8 and 8 handicap boats with a maximum of 12. He suggested that a log of racing conditions, wind strength direction, courses sailed etc should be kept. The standard of racing had been increased but we were still faced with the problem that it was a hard core of regulars who turned up nearly every week, and more encouragement should be given to beginners to try to persuade them to join in. One of the best events of the year had been the Open day when we had 35 starters and very variable wind conditions, from flat calm to strong winds

With regard to premises for the clubearly on in the season we had had the good fortune to obtain permission from the National Trust to build a clubhouse at Fell Foot. In view of this all other suggestions were dropped and this was pursued until we were now in the position of having all plans passed and could go ahead. The clubhouse should therefore be up sometime next spring and should provide the basic necessities for a small club such as ours, the cost should be paid off over 5-6 years.

However in view of the cost was going to be necessary to vacate Stott Park as the rent there was too high. This was unfortunate as it may make starting and finishing races more difficult, although it was felt that the finish at least should be somewhere in the vicinity of the clubhouse.

The commodore then thanked all those members who had contributed towards making the clubhouse a possibility by their 10-year subscriptions, and all those who had donated prized, 10 in all now, which although not up to the standard of the RWYC was quite respectablehe also thanked Mr & Mrs Rhodes for the use of Fell Foot Café for all sorts of meetings and hoped that next year he would not be disturbing them so much.

.membership now stood at 119 compared to 109 last year. The balance in hand was £624 compared to £100 last year, and the treasurer considered that if we used £550 of this for a clubhouse, we should be left with an adequate float to cover expenses The total cost of the clubhouse was about £1135 and he had made arrangements for an overdraft of £600 to be available from the Midland Bank, to be repaid over 6 years. With subscriptions coming in and monies from boat parking we should be able to pay off this loan provided that we vacate Stott Park.

The Ladies committee finances stood at £25 at present and it was their intention to use this for interior fittings.

some doubt was cast on the advisability of settling at Fell Foot when it was conceivable that land might be made more freely available on the lake shore in the future. It was however generally felt that this would not occur within the next six years and that the committee should go ahead with their plans.

Mrwas worried about the proposed motel on the opposite side of the lake, and thought the pressure on the lake at this end could spoil our racing. Mr B Rhodes agreed to investigate.

Committee Meeting held on 21st November 1964 at Fell Foot

1. Ratified the decision taken at the AGM to put lining in the clubhouse

2.Digging parties were to be organised to start work on the trench for the water pipe before the end of the year..a further quote had been obtained for the foundations. As soon as the builders had marked out the positions for the footings and septic tank we should start digging these out. A circular was to be sent out early in the new year to call for volunteers & asking them to bring their own tools

3.Committee Meeting held on 23rd January 1965 at Fell Foot

Mr Rhodes reported that Mr Rod Russel's digger had been down for a day, that he had made the drive halfway down the field, dug the hole for the septic tank, dug a trench for the land drain, and removed various tree stumps. The weather had been an obstacle to digging parties, but now that the digger had been the work could be completed on time.

Committee Meeting held at Fell Foot on 16.4 65

This was the first meeting to be held in our new club house- not luxurious but it is good to have a "place of our own"

Last updated 14:36 on 2 March 2024

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