2020 - A year when covid 19 virus limited the activities of our club


New Year Day

We gathered on the morning of New Year Day at the home of Mark S. at Stanstead Abbots in Hertfordshire and from there we walked to Ware and back with a lunch stop at the Sarasens Head PH alongside the River Lee in the centre of Ware. Our outward path was on paths through the farmland to the east of the River Lee and our return was to the west of the Lee through woods near Amwell and then along the New River back into Stanstead Abbots.

19 01 01 great amwell

Village sign at Great Amwell

19 01 01 in the forest

HSC members in the woods near Great Amwell

It seems that the river Lee is deeper than you might think - the picture below is from an information board in the centre of Ware showing ladies enjoying a punting outing on the river, after deep dredging to improve flood relief the punt pole presumably would not reach the river bed.  The little houses overlooking the river date from Victorian times.

19 01 01 lee punting

From an information board in Ware

The New River which we followed back into Stanstead Abbots is an artificial channel built in the first years of the 17th centuary to supply fresh water to London from springs at Chadwell and Amwell. We paused to admire the Amwell Marsh Pumping Station which is one of several pumping stations that were built during the 19th centuary to supplement the original water sources by pumping from deep bore holes into the New River which still provides part of London's water. This following information about Amwell Pumping Station is copied from the Historic Environment Record (HER) maintained by the local council:

'Built in 1883 by Frederick Hitch of Ware'....... 'Part demolished 1964/5' .... 'Remains in use by Thames Water' ..... 'It was a steam plant with two single-cylinder inverted vertical steam engines, by Richard Moreland & Son, which drove four pumps through bell cranks. They were replaced by electrically driven pumps and the chimney demolished. The 392-foot deep well yields 3.5 mgd (million gallons per day?) delivered into the New River'

19 01 01 amwell marsh pumping station

Amwell Marsh Pumping Station

Once back at Mark's house we held the Annual General Meeting of our little sailing and walking club. At this AGM our Treasurer reported that the club made a surplus of income over expenditure which was welcome news since the club has been running at a loss for the past few years.  We also agreed a couple of minor changes to our club constitution, giving greater flexibility over selecting a date for our AGM and also no longer requiring our Treasurer and Secretary to stand down after serving for three years from election. The main reason for the later change is that the security arrangements now required by banks make it unduly complicated to change Treasurer every three years.  To avoid stagnation within the committee we will continue to rotate the position of Chairman and (writing as the current Secretary) I think it would be no bad thing to continue to have a change of Secretary from time to time even though this is not longer mandatory.


Sunday 16 Aug - Mark S wins the Egret Cup!

At last something to add to the 'News' on the HSC Website!  Like other sailing clubs, the HSC has been inactive during the Lockdown, although HSC members have been  keeping in contact through Zoom meetings - thankyou Richard for chivying us all to log on at the same time!

The Roach Sailing Association (RSA) has restarted dinghy and cruiser racing at Paglesham, with quite a busy program to try to make good use of the remainder of the season. HSC members Mark S. and Clem have been taking part in the dinghy races and I am pleased to report that Mark S. won the Egret Cup race - both first over the line (by 45 minutes!) and first on handicap.  Mark was sailing the smaller of his two dinghies, a Comet single hander, and he says that conditions on the day were ideal for the Comet.  Indeed, the picture below which Mark took looking astern from his Comet shows just how great was his lead over the rest of the fleet. This picture was taken near the first mark, Barton Hall bouy, so not very far into the race.  Clem, sailing his Mirror dinghy Nanidragon was fourth to round that mark and finished fourth over the line but took second place after handicapping was applied, so two successes for HSC members.

 20 08 16 egret cup

October 2020 - An end of season trip on the Norfolk Broads

Gerald reports that he and a freind enjoyed a short visit to the Norfolk Broards where they hired a lug rigged sailing boat from Hunters Yard at Ludham.  Hunters Yard is a registered charity having the aim of preserving a traditional boat yard and a fleet of traditional hire boats.  They raise funds both by boat hire and donations. The boat they hired was wood built, partlly decked and rigged with a single lug sail on a pivoting mast.  Although these boats do not have cabin accomodation I think they are supplied with a tent made from heavy canvas to provide basic overnight accomodation.

Dropping mast at Potter Heigham Bridge

 At Potter Heigham

Re the above picture Gerald reports  'Dropping the mast at Potter Heigham bridge, or more accurately the road bridge before it. A quick trip to Latham's for Cream cakes for 11's,  then a fast sail to Ranworth Broad,  we had to dive into the reeds, to keep out of the conveyer belt of 'grockle boats' to reef, should have done that before we left the staithe after raising the mast the other side. We were overtaking the motorboats!

Back at Hunters Yard on last evening
Back at Hunters Yard on the last evening of the trip