50 Years on the Water…
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 fabulous large galley with 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, clean 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.