Chelmarsh Sailing Club was established in 1965 when the South Staffordshire Waterworks Company acquired its new reservoir covering an area of approximately 100 acres. The reservoir had been built to ensure an adequate supply of water for Wolverhampton and areas around Dudley in the West Midlands could be maintained but its owners had the foresight to consider the reservoir might also make a suitable venue for the sailing of dinghies. At a public meeting held in September 1965 at the Crown Inn, Bridgnorth it was decided that the creation of a sailing club was a worthwhile endeavour and the club came in to existence.
Initially members were restricted to sailing one of only three ‘adopted’ classes of dinghy, the GP14, the Scorpion and the Solo. At one time the club’s fleet of one hundred and forty GP14s was reputed to be the largest fleet of such boats in any club anywhere in the world.
For the first five years the club operated from a number of caravans and portable buildings situated at the water side. These Spartan facilities remained in use until 1970 when the club built its first club house on raised ground with commanding views over the entire sailing area. This building was later subject to extensive renovation and reconfiguration, with the new clubhouse being officially opened by HRH Princess Anne in April 2004. The current clubhouse comprises a large galley and separate bar and function room, changing rooms, showers and a training room and facilities for the disabled.
The club has enjoyed a long history of innovation, modernisation and development which continues to the present time. In 2012 the club was granted Olympic Games legacy funding which has enabled us to refurbish our three pontoons. The new pontoons provide a very stable, safe and convenient platform from which members can launch their dinghies.
The club continues to invest in its facilities and social events for members both on the water and at the clubhouse. The committee consults with and ensure that members have a voice and participate in decisions for the long term growth of the club.
Enviably located within an area of renowned natural beauty…
The beautiful rolling hills of the South Shropshire countryside. Chelmarsh prides itself on being a friendly family club, and indeed, since our founding in 1965 we can boast of family memberships spanning 3 generations. With access to 110 acres of sailing water on the reservoir, a modern clubhouse and training centre, as well as a host of events, we have something for everyone.
From the new clubhouse, (opened by Princess Anne), we have the most fabulous view over the water to enjoy others sailing or just relax with a drink or something to eat.
The clubhouse and surroundings provide a fully equipped galley, with alternative liquid refreshments available from the fully stocked bar (including the local Hobson’s Brewery beers and bottled ciders), a BBQ area and modern showering and changing facilities.
There are walks in the woods and around the reservoir, as well as maintained grassed spaces for children to play safely outside. We also cater for children inside the club house with a selection of toys. Dogs on leads are allowed on site, but not in the club house or the water.
We have active fleets in Solo, Laser, Aero and GP14 classes, with many other types of sailing dinghies also represented in our menagerie fleet: our water great place to be, whether you are taking part in racing, joining our leisure sailors or attending an Open Meeting or other event. Why not check our ‘What’s On?’ Page and then join our club to part of this great family?
It isn’t all about being on the water - with a host of varied social events throughout the year, we cater for the more social sailors and their families as well as those serious about racing! Our leisure sailors organise various ‘away days’ around the country as well as regular Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday leisure sailing at the club. With approximately 170 members, Chelmarsh Sailing Club is one of the largest and most active sailing clubs in the region, with sailors ranging in experience and ability from novice to world class and of all ages.