- Fund Raising & Refurbishment
Report on Championship
A number of informal meetings have taken place since our last meeting held on the 6th April 1959. These took place so that final arrangements could be made and also to decide on various outstanding details. I had to approach various people and ask them if they would be prepared to take on such duties as: Officer of the Day, Time-Keeper, Starter, Steward etc. I am pleased to say that everyone I approached proved to be most helpful and as a result the whole event went through practically without a hitch.
A circular was sent out to all club members and in this we asked for their support. There was a special appeal in this circular for the help of our lady members and friends of the club. I attended various meeting held by the ladies and at these arrangements were made for the entertainment of the competitors. No word of praise could be too high for the work put in by this ladiesâ€™ committee. Not only did the ladies entertain the competitors by providing them with meals on each of the three days of the event but they also provided snacks for spectators at very reasonable prices. As a result of this good work they were able to hand over the sum of Â£12-0-0 to Championship funds in addition to the provision of the meals for the competitors and officials.
The members of the Championship Committee were also hard at work. Concrete mooring blocks were made, chains and wire ropes were borrowed and proper moorings were assembled. These were transported to the clubhouse on Thursday 9th July. The race for the Flying Fifteen Class was cancelled and all hands helped with the laying of moorings. This proved to be rather an awkward job as each concrete block weighed over two cwts, and the only boats we had available were the club stage punt and for a short while the Harbour Masterâ€™s punt. Twelve moorings were laid on this evening â€“ these were placed on the East side of the reef. I am told that a long time ago boat did use the East side of the reef for an anchorage, but it was the first time I had seen boats moored here. While this work was going on, other members were painting and putting the finishing touches to the clubhouse which was very â€˜ship shapeâ€™ for the event. Members of the club had loaned us their dinghies for use as course markers and these had to be rigged and suitable mooring made up. A marker was also put out to show the end of the reef. One of our members had been working very hard making ready two amplifying systems. During the event spectators were entertained by gramophone records and were kept informed of the progress of the racing etc, by means of the amplifying system at the starterâ€™s hut on the pier. Another amplifying system had been installed in the clubhouse and this was used to play records and also by the dance band at the Inaugural Dance.
I had a number of meetings with the Mayor of Carrickfergus â€“ Ald. T J Patterson OBE JP and the Town Clerk â€“ Mr. Thos. McVea. The Mayor and Mayoress had volunteered to invite the Yachtsmen and Club Officials taking part in the event â€˜to teaâ€™ in the Jubilee Hall on Thursday 16th July and the Mayor also agreed to present the prizes on this same evening. After some discussion it was decided that â€˜the teaâ€™ in the Jubilee Hall would be at 7.00 pm and that the Trophy and prizes would be presented in the club house at approx. 9.30 pm. The â€˜teaâ€™ would definitely take place on Thursday, but if the racing programme had to be rearranged due to unsuitable conditions, then the Mayor would be available on Friday evening to present the prizes etc.
A very important item was arranging for rescue boats to be available during the races. I wish to put this on record as it as the only item which did not work to plan. I approached Messes Cooke, Davis and Milliken and asked them if they would assist by making their boats available for rescue work. Mr. Millikenâ€™s boat was not ready for launching and after having a discussion with him I decided to assume that it would not be ready in time. Messes Cooke and Davis said they would place their boats at our disposal. In addition to this it was agreed that we should â€˜hireâ€™ a boat from Mr. Erskine of Whitehouse. Mr. Erskine very kindly agreed to help us and it was arranged that we would only pay Mr. Erskineâ€™s expenses â€“ i.e. cost of fuel and wages of the man he would put in charge of the boat. Thus on paper we had three boats available until a short time before the championship. At this stage Mr. Cooke informed us that his boat would not be available because some visitors were unexpectedly arriving to stay with him during the championship week. This left us with two boats. At this point, Mr. Fielden approached me and volunteered to help. I expressed my gratitude and he said he would try to be available for as much of the time as possible. I had also spoken to Mr. J Logan, but he was unable to help us as he was going cruising on the championship week. On the first day of the Championship we had three rescue boats accompanying the fleet. These were the boats belonging to Messes Davis, Fielden and Erskine. This was a beautiful calm day an the rescue boats were loaded with spectators, who were thus able to follow the racing at close quarters. On the second dayâ€™s racing, we were left with only Mr. Fieldenâ€™s boat. The other two boats did not turn up. On the third day the wind was rather fresh and I was very disturbed to find that we had not a single rescue boat available. Mr. Fielden had told me on the previous day that he would not be able to help as he had a previous engagement. When I discovered that neither of the other two boats had turned up, I sent a â€˜franticâ€™ message to Mr. Fielden to ask him if he could possibly help. Once again Mr. Fielden came to our assistance and I can not say just how grateful I was for this. Later Dr. Greenâ€™s boat joined Mr. Fieldenâ€™s boat to assist in rescue work. It was very good of Dr. Green to turn out in his rather small boat as conditions had got rather rough by this time. Two Flying Fifteens did get into difficulties on this day. I have given the above information in detail so that if the Club decides to sponsor another event such as this, then those people responsible will realise the importance of the rescue boat question. I thought that I had everything adequately arranged especially in view of the fact that we had arranged to have Mr. Erskineâ€™s boat at our absolute disposal â€“ in fact I as left without a single rescue boat at the start of racing on the third day.
The Championship received much publicity. It was reported in the newspapers. A film was taken by TV cameras from Mr. Davisâ€™ launch on the first day of racing and parts of this were shown on TV news on Tuesday. Sound radio also mentioned the event in their â€˜Coming Eventsâ€™ programme and also gave the results at various times.
I had approached the Carrickfergus Silver Band (E McKee Memorial) and asked if it would turn out on the last day of the championship â€“ unfortunately the band was unable to turn out.
An inaugural dance was held on Tuesday evening. This proved to be most enjoyable â€“ the band being particularly good. We just about broke even financially and I think that this was due to the fact that the previous dances held by the club here had â€˜floppedâ€™.
The Mayor and Mayoress entertained the crews of the competing yachts and the club officials in the Jubilee Hall on Thursday at 7.00 pm as arranged. The Barn Motor Boat and Sailing Club were represented by Mr. & Mrs. Fielden. The Mayor made a speech welcoming the visitors and club officials. He mentioned how pleased he was that this event had been held in Carrickfergus and said that he saw no reason why we should not press on and hold even bigger events in the near future. He also commented on the progress that had been made in our clubhouse renovation during the past few years. Mr. Patterson then went on to wish those yacht owners present, who were going over to England to compete for the British Isles Championship every success â€“ he hoped that they would be successful in bringing the trophy to Northern Ireland. Mr. Patterson congratulated all those club members and friends who had worked so hard to make this event the great success it had turned out to be. The Mayor was thanked by Mr. W S Milner (vice commodore) on behalf of the club, for his generosity and for the assistance he had given throughout the event.
The presentation of the trophy and prizes was carried out in the Clubhouse. The club commodore â€“ Mr. J Oâ€™N McClintock presided and the Mayor presented the prizes. The clubhouse was packed to capacity. The trophy was won by Dr. McAuley, he and his crew were presented with miniature cups. Mr. Kennedy and Mr. Corry received miniature cups for gaining second and third places in the championship. Cups were also presented to the â€˜heatâ€™ winners â€“ Dr. McAuley (2 cups for winning first and second races) Mr. Kennedy (1 cup for winning third race) an Mr. Corry (1 cup for winning fourth race). On this occasion the Mayor was thanked by Mr. R A C Henderson (vice commodore). A special meeting of the club committee had been called just prior to the presentation and at this meeting it as decided to make Mr. Patterson and honorary member of the club. Mr. Henderson conveyed this to Mr. Patterson and presented him with a club tie. Mr. Patterson thanked the club for the honour which had been conferred on him and went on to say that he and the Mayoress had enjoyed the past few days very much. The Championship Secretary then briefly thanked all who had helped him and who had worked so hard to make the championship the success it had proved to be.
It now only remains for me to thank all those who helped to make the championship such as success. I should especially like to thank:-
Miss Pat Windsor who did a tremendous amount of work. There was a lot of correspondence â€“ including making out of Entry Forms, Sailing Instructions, letters asking club members and friends for assistance and later sending out letters of thanks to all those people who had helped us. Pat carried out all the work of typing and duplicating as well as approaching various ladies and asking for their assistance.
All those ladies who worked so hard serving meals in the club house an also those who provided sandwiches, pastry etc. Mrs. E Caters, Mrs. Wm. Cushly, Mrs. A Howard, Mrs. H Milner, Mrs. W S Milner, Mrs. McCavana, Mrs. E Reid, Mrs. Wm. Ross, Miss Ross, Miss M Simms, Mrs. E Windsor, Miss P Windsor, Mrs. Woods and Miss E Young worked very hard in the clubhouse during the event.
All those people who gave subscriptions and whose names appear in the list on the previous pages.
Mr. J R Caters for donating materials for making nine concrete mooring blocks â€“ for making these blocks and also loaning the club a further three blocks.
The members of the Championship Committee who worked so hard behind the scenes.
The people who acted as Officers during the races.
The Vice Commodores â€“ Messrs. J McKeown, R A C Henderson and W S Milner â€“ who proved to be a tower of strength.
Mr. Wm. Robinson, who helped me with my secretarial duties. Indeed it was he who really got this properly organised. He also acted as a clubhouse steward.
Mr. J Milliken who made a very good "Championship Porter".
Mr. E Windsor who worked hard behind the scenes and who also acted as clubhouse steward.
Mr. T E M Windsor who provided and installed the two amplifying systems.
Mr. V Fielden who turned out during the racing each day in his motor launch for rescue work. He also helped by taking out the marks before racing commenced. I asked Mr. Fielden if he would allow us to at least pay for the fuel which had been used, but he would not hear of this â€“ he asked that we accept this as a subscription.
Mr. Davis, Mr. Erskine and Dr. Green for providing their boats at various times during the championship.
Mr. Jack Cambridge for donating the hard board which was used to make â€˜diamondsâ€™ for the course marks.
I should like to conclude by thanking the Mayor and Mayoress â€“ Alderman Thomas J Patterson OBE, JP and Mrs. Patterson for receiving the Officials of the Club and the yachtsmen taking part in the Championships and entertaining them to tea in the Town Hall. Ald. Patterson and Mrs. Patterson also honoured us with their presence whilst racing was in progress. He also presented the trophy and prizes at the clubhouse. I should also like to thank the Town Clerk Mr. Thomas McVea for the assistance he gave me in organising the programme â€“ he was extremely helpful.
H E Caters