Club shed at St Lawrence, Near Bradwell
Befor we moved our sailing base to Paglesham, the HSC sailed from moorings in Bradwell Creek near the mouth of the Blackwater estuary and we had a club shed at Beacon Hill, St Lawrence, on the south side of the Blackwater Estuary about 3 or 4 miles up river from Bradwell. This shed was the end part of what had been farm buildings adjacent to a campsite which we used for our weekend accommodation. The club shed was fitted out with a work bench, simple cooking facilities and a fold away table for meals or for gathering around to plan our sailing trips. Maintanance and repairs to HSC club boats has always been done by the club members, hence there was often an array of boat parts and tools spread around outside the shed, as above.
At this time, the sailing membership of the HSC was growing steadily and many of our new members were members of the Youth Hostel Association who enjoyed rambling and outdoor life and now wanted to extend this by trying dinghy sailing. Thus we had a steady influx of new members many of whom had never been in a sailing boat, so we did quite a lot of shore based instruction. Sailing and seamanship classes were held at St Lawrence during the summer and at monthly evening meetings in Holborn, central London during the winter. With our moorings being close to the open sea on the East side of the UK and with the prevailing winds being Westerly we could hardly let people take our club boats to sea without first telling them about tacking! The picture above is a bit faded but it shows a typical seminar group gathered outside the club hut at St Lawrence. The HSC is still very capable of giving sailing instruction (at no cost above the normal club subscription) to members who would appreciate it. We have a committee member appointed to serve as 'Training Officer' to coordinate instruction and training. The person who has held this post for the last few years is a longstanding HSC member and a very experienced sailor with advanced RYA sailing qualifications. Paglesham is a good place to learn to sail and to become familiar with sailing on tidal water which is a step beyond inland sailing. End of advert!
Going back further into our history, before the club shed at St Lawrence, we had a caravan at Bradwell and before that we were based at Maldon Youth Hostel (Now long closed)