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The History of Hoo Ness Yacht Club from 1948 to the Present

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A Brief History of the Club

The club burgee depicting a Thames Sailing Barge is a constant reminder of the club's origins and its early history

Early Local History

Hoo St. Werburgh has a long history. The patron saint was the daughter of King Wulferce of Mercia (now West Midlands). She renounced her royal status to become a nun, eventually taking charge of all the nunneries in Mercia.

Connections with the Lapthorns

Club member, the late Stan Yeates, worked for Lapthorns, the coastal shipping company based at Hoo, for many years. In 2001 the company commissioned a Fleet History book to commemorate its Golden Jubilee and Stan was given a copy signed by Tony Lapthorn, the founder of the company.

An Interesting Meeting

A few years ago Mike Devonshire, one of Hoo Ness Yacht club's few retired judges, familiarly known to many as "Hang 'em and flog 'em", entered a competition at the London Boat Show about Safety at Sea arranged by HM Coastguard. Mike had at one time chaired IMO, so it was not surprising that he knew a thing or two about the subject and in due course he was announced as the winner.

Stan Yeates' Story

The late Stan Yeates was one of the last surviving sailing barge skippers and was a Trustee of the club. He died in 2007 and until the last few years of his life he took club members for trips on the saling barge Centaur every year. He became involved with the activities at Hoo Ness in 1952 and recalls that Peter Love came along 3 years later. Other important people in those early times were John Mason, John Day and Dennis Dowley.

George Raine's Story

In the late 1950's (George joined the club in either the autumn of 1958 or early in 1959) the club's activities on the water consisted mainly of dinghy racing. There would be nearly 50 Mirrors and Enterprises sailing most weekends.

The Dinghy Era

Graham Hemington first became involved at Hoo in 1964, having discovered the sailing going on there almost by chance. At that time it was still called the Marina Yacht Club and the clubhouse looked much like it does in the picture over the fireplace except that there was by now a veranda built-on to the front. Sailing barges undergoing repair or conversion were tied up against an old timber unloading dock on the foreshore to the west of the Club and old concrete lighters forming an artificial harbour were in place in front of the clubhouse.

The Garside Family's Story

We came to Hoo in 1980(?) when our son Chay was only ten months old. Previously we had been at Cuxton. Our present boat is "Maitresse". She is a Cobra 850 which we have steadily upgraded over the years. We are now hoping to move on to larger boat.

Club Trophies

Trophies are an interesting source of information as to the history of the club. They seem to indicate the feeling and priorities of people at the time.

Commodores (as indicated on board in clubhouse)