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General Information

Club History

Barrow Sailing Club the story so far (R4).

From a Whittakers Almanac of 1893 it shows a Royal Barrow Yacht Club existed which had been established in 1871 with an Admiralty Warrant bestowed in 1872, The Duke of Buccleuch being the Commodore in 1893, There is also reference to a clubhouse which I understand was a room in the Custom House in Barrow-in-Furness, the station was Piel Harbour.

On completion of the new clubhouse a large flag from this era was presented to the club by Anton Allen.

The formation of Barrow Sailing Club took place in 1906 and we understand the original members were a group of people who left Barrow Yacht Club (Barrow Island) and started using Ferry Beach and required their own club.

About this time the New Walney Toll Bridge was being erected with the subsequent removal of the Steam Ferry, Walney Bridge subsequently had the toll removed and was renamed Jubilee Bridge in 1935 by the Queen Mother.

A Mr Strong must have held the tenancy for the redundant Ferry Buildings from the Furness Railway Company as the Club rented the Waiting Room from him for use as a clubroom and subsequently in 1918 rented the Ticket Office as well, and in 1919 the Furness Railway Company gave the tenancy of the Waiting Room and Ticket Office and Ramp to B.S.C.

Ultimately the tenancy of the buildings was transferred to individual members for use as stores and in 1981 on the club purchasing all the land at Ferry Beach these building were removed from Ferry Beach to be rebuilt at the Steamboat museum at Windermere.

The timber Clubhouse which was previously named Jubilee Store was probably named after Queen Victoria's Jubilee and as Queen Victoria came to the throne on the 20th June 1837 and was crowned 28th June 1838 if you add 50 years for the Jubilee then it becomes logical to think that the building was erected around 1888.?.

I have been told that as the Queen was in mourning the Jubilee was held after 60 years therefore the building may have been built in 1897?


The occupier of Jubilee Store Mr H. Costly offered the timber clubhouse to club members in 1921 at a rental of £12 per annum probably the first floor only

However the building must have been sold to a Mr Strong because as at a meeting in September 1928 it was proposed by Mr N. Welch seconded by Mr F. Rollinson that the sum of £5 is sent to Mrs. Strong as a deposit to secure the purchase of the building.

At a meeting on March 12th 1929 it was recorded that no building society would consider lending money on a wooden building and the Secretary reported of an interview with the manager of Martins Bank whom had agreed to an overdraught of £100 for the clubhouse providing Guarantors were found.

The meeting agreed that their should be a minimum of 20 Guarantors and Mr H. Orrell Proposed and Mr J. Rowe Seconded that the Secretary goes to Fleetwood to see Mrs Strong and complete the purchase of the timber clubhouse for £100.

It would appear that Guarantors were found offering to guarantee the sum of £5-00 each and they were Messrs. G. Barnes, J. Charnley, R. Costley, H. Fairbridge, W. Graham, J. Hall, J. Harper, E. Harwood, T. Hunter, J. Ingram, T. Knowles, T. Little, H. Orrell, A. Pratt, F. Rollinson, W. Rollinson , J. Rowe, W Jarvis, J Tomlinson, and J.N. Welch.

It would appear that from the minutes of a Special General Meeting on the 23 Aug 1933 that the overdraft was not being honored at Martins Bank and the bank demanded that the overdraft sum of £96-15 s-7 pence be paid in full.

From this meeting Mr J. Charnley and Mr H. Orrell (Sen) promised the sum of £20 each followed Mr J. Ingram giving £2-5 shillings with R. Costley H. Fairbridge J. Hall J. Harper E. Harwood T. Hunter W. Jarvis T. Knowles H. Orrell (Jun) A. Pratt W. Purslow F. Rollinson W. Rollinson and J. Rowe promising 1 shilling and six pence per week.

In 1940 some Guarantors had been repaid their money however in 1941 Mr. F. Rollinson waived his claim to reimbursement on condition that his membership continued whilst working in Africa.

During Hostilities no moorings were allowed on the Walney Side of the channel and no serviceable boats were allowed to remain on Walney Island this meant that some boats moved across to Ferry Beach.


In 1941 on request from the Club a small petrol allowance was allocated to boat owners provided they fished and then only in daylight, they also had to be registered and required to exhibited two pre determined signal flags out of a set of four with

Monthly records returned on the quantity of fish caught and the area where caught to obtain more petrol coupons.

The club sought in 1942 permission for members to visit Piel during the Holiday Period which must have been granted as I often went there during the wartime years, Mrs. Minton was the landlady at this time that lived with her son on the island.

From 1944 to 1949 no meetings were held and the Club Membership was in 1944 -126 Members, 1945 107 Members, 1946 89, Members. 1947 57 Members, 1948 45 Members

The reason for the initial high membership was by reason of security, during the war years only club members were allowed down Ferry Beach on showing a pass to the docks board policeman who was stationed at the lane end and was in attendance twenty four hours a day.

During the period of no meetings Mr Leslie Nicholas kept the club ticking over and in his words until the lads return, and true to his word on the 20th Feb 1949 on Mr Bert Hall arranging a meeting in the clubhouse a Committee was elected and Mr Leslie Nicholas handed over the clubs documents and did not involve himself in any further club business.

Several members were called to serve their country with a few never to return a Mr. Dawson. 30 Years of age went down on the ship “Mavis”, Jack Pilton 25 Years of age Lost at Dunkirk, Matthew Jefferson 30 years of age Lost at Dunkirk, Bert Ayres 24 Years of age died of a Tropical Disease in Ceylon, Joe Ayres 22 Years of age in an engineering accident, and Artie Hunter 22 Years of age lost on an Atlantic Convoy.

It is also recorded that club members paid a weekly subscription to provide comforts to members on active duty.

During hostilities the pierhead was a Gun emplacement with associated buildings and occasionally when fired the timber clubhouse shook and everything around it.

In the post war years members became more active with some yacht racing returning, several members built Cadet Dinghies which were raced mainly in the evenings.


Ship lifeboats were available from Wards the Shipbreakers at £1-00 per foot and several were ultimately converted however many of the original purchasers never completed the project or used the boat.

In those days members that could do the best work had the best boats as new timber boats were virtually out of the question and the quality of boats took a leap forward on Mr. S. Cain introducing a new G.R.P Hurley 22 Yacht called Dinah 2 to Ferry Beach.

This was greatly admired and much envied and people’s attitudes began to change towards the G.R.P. boats that have become the norm with wooden boats in decline.

Around about the late 60s early 70s a junior section was formed with Alan Lockett, Robert Fosyth and Jack Clark together with there spouses organizing events and provided hospitality, Various money making events were held and ultimately a Daily Mirror dinghy kit was purchased and assembled, M. Ward provided a sailing dinghy and other children’s parents providing there own.

Many races were held and it proved to be a success however the limitations on facilities including berthing facilities for dinghies was a problem.

Several of those children that came to the Junior Section are still into boating (IE) John Cleasby became the Piel Island Ferry Boat Operator, Darren Thompson professional yacht skipper in the Caribbean, Lee Simpson Fisherman, Sharon Galloway nee Forsyth and has taken an active roll in the social life of the club.

Interest in revitalizing a Junior Section was reconsidered in the early 2000s however numerous obstacles shelved the idea

The Docks Board which had various titles owned the land and foreshore at Ferry Beach and intended to impose severe rent increases.

At a special meeting on the 25th August 1969 the land purchase was discussed and it was agreed that F.J. Harris S. Cain S. Rowe and C. Park would attend a meeting with Mr. A. Booth M.P for his advice.


From this meeting a further meeting was arranged and on the 25th September 1969 where G. Hall F.J. Harris and C.Park discussed the issue with docks board officials.

During this period Mr. F. J. Harris, and Mr. M. Raven also traveled to the London Office of the Docks Board paying there own expenses in an endeavor to negotiate the purchase of the land for the club.

From a Committee meeting 23rd October 1969 it was agreed that Mr. G. Hall approach the docks board with a view to purchasing the land, and Mr. Hampson (Solicitor) were to act on the clubs behalf.

Mr. Hampson was instructed to negotiate with the docks board up to a figure of £2000; this was followed by a letter to the docks board suggesting a valuation from the district valuer should be sought.

At a meeting on the 5th March 1970 Mr. M. Ward reported on his discussions with the Valuation Officer (Mr. Edmonson) and on the 2nd April 1970 Mr. Edmonson was instructed to approach the docks board and submit an offer on the clubs behalf.

With 26 members present at a meeting on the 9th April 1970 Mr. Ward gave a report on the progress made in the land purchase with those present unanimously agreeing to support the committees actions financially and otherwise in there efforts to purchase the land.

However on the council wishing to develop what was the Low road from Craven Park to Jubilee Bridge they proceeded to purchase a considerable area of land including Ferry Beach, Graving Dock Etc.

From a meeting of the 7th September 1972 Mr. Ward reported that the council had now agreed the purchase details from the docks board and may consider leasing or offering Ferry Beach to the Club and in 1975 Mr. Ward reported that the conveyance between the council and the docks board had still not been signed.

In 1976 Mr. Ward wrote to the Council again and the reply was that they had no wish to sell the land but may consider a leasing arrangement and it was agreed that the clubs representatives meet the Councils early February.


As no progress appears to have been made a further deputation was sent to see Mr. Parker the Councils solicitor who offered the club leasing of the land.

In 1977 Mr. Ward told of the many times he had approached the local authorities and the many setbacks he had received trying to obtain a reasonable lease for members.

So on 9th October 1979 it was proposed by Mr. G. Hall seconded by Mr. S. Rowe that the club endeavor to buy the land from the Council.

On the 7th November 1977 Mr. Ward resigned as Commodore to work overseas with Mr. Harris becoming the Commodore.

An invitation from the Amenities Committee to meet the clubs representatives Mr. Harris and Mr. Raven on the 16th December 1977 took place which was reported at the A. G. M. 8th January 1978 that a sympathetic hearing had been received and a written reply waited.

It is reported that a meeting of Mr. Harris and Mr. Raven with Mr. Fisher (Solicitor) on the 4th Sept 1978 for his advice took place and on a meeting on the 4th Oct 1979 a letter from the council was read out stating that the land was not for sale.

However from a Meeting with Mr. Harris, Mr. Garside chairman of the amenities committee had suggested that it would be beneficial if a special meeting of all users of Ferry Beach be held and that the club should seek everybody’s support in this matter.

So a meeting was called and all those present gave the Committee 100% supported in there efforts in trying to purchase the land for the Club this was then reported back to Mr. Garside who appears to have taken notice.

By this time Mr. M. Ward was due to returned from overseas and on the 3rd December 1979 Mr. Ward agreed to be co-opted onto the Committee from April 1980 and continue with the efforts for the land purchase or leasing.

The Committee in 1980 was Commodore F. J. Harris, Vice Commodore M. Raven, Committee C. Barnard, J. Clark, L. Clark, J, Conway, P. Hall, A. Lockett, S. Rowe and C. Park Hon/Sec. with Mr. Ward being co-opted.


In 1980 the state of the land especially the access road was in a terrible state and in anticipation by the council of them becoming the landlords store occupiers were sent letters from the council informing them that they would be on a three months notice to quit.

New agreements with a three fold rent increase would be made and any failure to tidy up and maintained their stores and surrounding area in a good clean condition would result in the council doing the land maintenance with the store occupiers sent demands for the maintenance work.

Obviously when considering the amount of funding required for the land purchase the Committee required positive support and the funding had to be in place, it was put to the members that if they contributed nine/ten years store rental in advance the purchase price could be achieved.

In those days it was not obligatory to be a member of the club to use Ferry beach however in the light of the club purchasing the land almost all beach users became club members and in 1981 the membership was as follows

R.J Atkinson, DM Atkinson, L. Archer, C. Barnard, G. Barnes, J. Broadhurst, E. Broadbent, H. Broadbent, R. Brocklebank, G. Brown, R. Camaish, S. Cain, M, Casson, A. Clark, H. Clark, J. Clark, L. Clark, J. Conway, J.Costley, M.Davey, J. Davies, W. Dickinson, P. Duncan, A. Evans M. Evans M. Evans E. Flint M. Gardiner Geo.Hall Gor. Hall P. Hall G. Harper J. Harper K. Harper, F.J. Harris, P. Heavyside, J. Hollywell, B. Hucknall, R. Jackson, D. Leslie, A. Lockett, J. Lowther, J. Maddinson, D. Mulholland, M. Naylor, T. Newton, C. Nicholas, P. Oliver, C. Park, N. Pascoe ,F. Posnett, M. Raven, R. Reade, R. Riley, S. Riley, J. Ritson, J. Rollinson, F. Rollinson, A. Rowe, S. Rowe, J. Rowe, P. Shaw, D. Sloan, G. Sloan, K. Sloan, T. Smith, F. Stuchbury, A. Wade, M. Ward, E. While, F. Whitehead and O. Wood.

Although many of the above did not have stores those that did contributed on a store area basis >< X to the land purchase fund with only four not wishing to participate however adequate funds were generated to proceed with the business this of course meant that for nine years there was little store income collected.

Mr. Ward as the chief negotiator with others canvassed councillors and ultimately the council agreed to sell the land to the club on the casting vote of the Chairwoman Mrs Leah Shuttleworth.


Within the land exchange documents it was written that the Ferry ticket office, Waiting room etc was to be repaired and preserved at the club expense however, Fortunately the Windermere Steamboat Museum took an interest in them and ultimately dismantled them piece by piece and took it all away to Windermere, However whether it was ever erected again is questionable.

On there removal five precast concrete stores were purchased and erected on the same site.

With the land purchase concluded and better security of tenure it was expected that the members would clean and tidy up their stores however a few did but the majority did very little.

It was therefore obvious that all future stores on becoming available should be purchased by the club to improve and increase the store numbers available for rental with a general demolition and program of rebuilding taking place.

As the members gave up their single stores on the embankment these were developed into the current concrete blocks stores of four.

A number of Concrete block stores were also built on the pier head however these were demolished in the council during the land exchange.

Although a small laying up facility had been provided on the site where Mr. Harris, Mr. Raven and Mr. Gardiner store had been but this was totally inadequate for members requirements and when the opportunity arose in the early 1990s for the club to obtain the stores owned by Mr. R. J. Atkinson and Mr. R. Brocklebank they were purchased by the club demolished and the site cleared, This area was then concreted over to provided a larger laying up facility, ramp, and a diesel electrically driven winch was provided which was ultimately changed to mains electricity.

On completion of this laying up facility Mr. George Hall suggested that a roadway to this laying up facility would be of benefit however this would mean two stores would have to go and three reduced in size Mr. R. Camaish agreed to part with his store and did not request another and Mr. Hollywell agreed to move into one of the new stores recently built on the pitching, The three requiring reducing were resolved as follows, Mr. S. Rowe gave up his sawmill and negotiations took place with Mr. Gor Hall.and Mr. G. Harper who agreed to a store size reduction however before the modifications could be completed Mr. Geo Hall had passed away and did not see the outcome of his suggestion.

On the 07/08/97 a site visit with the Councils representatives and club committee members relating to the future development of what was the North West Yard took place to determine the clubs involvement in the lands future development.


However at a meeting on the 02/09/97 those present accepted that there was insufficient information to consider there proposals however at a Special Meeting on the 31/03/98 it was agreed that the club accepted the councils proposals relinquishing most of the pier head in exchange for a Compound at the north end of Ferry Beach holding six stores with the land on a 20year lease together with a large pier suitable for lifting boats out plus fourteen stores and a parcel of land adjacent to the south end of club land.

As the land levels were incompatible to the south compound a suitable ramp was constructed after diverting the road to enable boats to be laid up.

During 2002 the timber clubhouse suffered severe storm damage and on further examination it was revealed that the supporting pillars had deteriorated to such an extent as renovation was impractical and taking into account the financial implications fire risk and astronomical increases in the insurance premiums it had to go.

So the old clubhouse was destroyed early 2003 and the footings for a purpose built building commenced on 17/06/03 which was completed and officially opened by Mrs. Sybil Clark on the 28th March 2004.

During the time the old Clubhouse was being demolished the uprights were cut off about eight feet above the beach and with the floor cross members left in the floor joists from the upper floor were fitted to the inside of the uprights which also had large concrete blocks outside to make like a box which was then filled in with 200 tons of hardcore to make additional hard standing for boats.

In 2005 on completion of the outside toilet adjacent to the new clubhouse the South Compound had drains laid with the area concreted using 96 cu mtrs.

During 2009 more blocks were acquired and the old clubhouse site was further extended to accommodate more boats, at the same time more work was done to the adjacent ramp.

Early in 2010 an arsonist chose to completely destroy A. Rowes Store and a 28ft boat within together with a 26ft G R P yacht and a motor boat adjacent, and seriously damage to two stores on the embankment


Planning approval was granted for a concrete block store on this site (March 2011.)

The Following is a list of Licenses of the Ship Inn, Piel Island that may be of interest.

J. Hool 1839 Previous to Licensing Laws. (First licensed Barrow Pilot)

J. Pennington 07/09/1874 First recorded License. (Second licensed Barrow Pilot)

J. Housby 02/07/1877

E. Housby 1889 Transferred from late husband.

J. Walmsley 20/05/1889.

T. Ashburner 30/03/1894.

E. Ashburner 30/03/1907. Transferred from late husband

H. Andrews 04/03/1921. Became Council property from 01/01/1922.

H. Drummond 25/04/1922.

No tenant available

F. Bewley 04/02/1927.

W. White 04/06/1928. Assignee from Council. No tenant available.

H. Mc Dowell 24/11/1930.

E. Minton 03/02/1939.

C. Minton Transferred from late husband

W. Hackett 24/11/1947.

W. Dearn 1950.

J. Haworth 1952.

D. Rooney 1957

J. Nicholson 1964

M. Mc Keown 1970

H. Green 1971

T. Smith 1974

R. Warburton 1978

R. Scarr 1985.

S Chattaway 1987.

On R. Scarr leaving S. Chattaway became landlord living in a caravan on site and maintaining a temporary bar in the bunkhouse with the building itself receiving a complete overall and refit however this project is still not completed in 2010.

The Knighting Ceremony Commenced 1874.

Jack Clark.

Spring 2004.

R1 Autumn 2004

R2. Winter 2006

R3 Winter 2009

R4 Winter 2010/11.