SSMBC - Club History

POTTED HISTORY SANDWICH SAILING & MOTORBOAT CLUB

The Club was formed in 1949; its first club house was a long wooden building at Pillory Gate in Strand Street. In 1962, the Club was told that it was doubtful that the lease could be renewed and a search for new premises began. The then Sandwich Town Council were considering using the old RAF hospital at Stonar as a potential youth club, but it was decided it was too far out of town. Mr Bill Barlow, a town Councillor and architect, offered the building to the Club for two thousand, five hundred pounds.

The Club did not have that kind of money, and after further negotiations, the Club was granted a lease on the understanding that the building was put into a good state of repair. A great deal of work was needed to achieve this and was carried out by Club members. In the summer of 1966, the Club was officially opened by the Southern TV personality Mr Jack Hargreaves. Also in attendance was the Right Worshipful Mayor of Sandwich, Mr Ralph John Sage.

The building served the Club well but in 1997, due to the need to spend even more money on the buildings, it was decided to sell.

In 1997, the Club purchased the MV Frederica Johanna, a 110ft Dutch steel barge, from Klaus Ridderickof. The barge had been in his family since being built at Zwolle in 1931.

During the Second World War she was scuttled to stop the Germans using her to transport goods into Germany. I am sure if she could talk we would all be fascinated by the story. Like our previous Club house, a great deal has been done to complete her.

In the last few years the club has spent a great deal of money improving the facilities. We no longer rely on a neighbouring business to provide us with electricity. We have our own three phase 100amp supply.  The club moorings have been extended to accommodate more boats. The gulley has been improved and makes an excellent boat park, which also allows members to do refits and maintenance work.  The club has a toilet block with shower and our latest acquisition is a tea room surrounded by decking. The whole site is fenced off with an electric entrance gate and CCTV.

The club has come a long way since its conception in 1949 some 67 years ago. The greatest asset the club has is we own our land together with all our facilities.  None of this would have been possible without careful planning by the committee and the hard work and dedication of its members.

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