Grove Ferry Boat Club
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55th Anniversary  1964 - 2019

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.......This is the Page for all the Old News.................................................

Libbys Tea time delights can be created by following the recipe below
Chocolate Coconut

1/2lb Chocolate (I use Bournville)
6ozs Coconut
2 Eggs
4ozs Sugar
2ozs Cherries- Cut in halves Method

Line a baking tin with kitchen foil (For the ingredients above a 7”x7”x3” deep tin would be right
Melt the chocolate in a glass bowl over a pan of simmering water. When the chocolate has completely melted, pour it in to the baking tin. Allow to cool & put in fridge once cool to harden up.
Beat the eggs, add the sugar and stir in Cherries & Coconut
Cover the chocolate with the coconut mixture & spread evenly.
Bake in the oven at Gas Reg 2 or electric 140 deg C for 35 minutes or until golden brown.
Score through to divide portions.
Allow to fully cool before removing from tray

NEWS 19 Fireworks Night

(Bonfire & Fireworks 2nd November The numbers were not brilliant, about 30 attended, but I am told that the fireworks were very good indeed. They were organised & set off expertly by Steve Hogwood, Steve Dennis & Rob Caldwell. Head Chef, Geoff Pryor cooked the burgers, Sou Chef, Judi Pryor did the soup, Julie Caldwell sold the raffle tickets & Shirley collected the entrance money. A jolly good evening & a good team effort. Congratulations & a big thank you to you all.

NEWS 18 Work Party 27th October

Work Party Saturday 5th October 17 members turned up & managed to tick quite a few chores off the list. Chairs were repaired, a very nice canoe rack for 6 was built, there was lots of strimming, grass cutting, hacking of brambles, cutting back of overgrown trees & bushes & those pesky stinging nettles dealt with. Not all boring work though because there was much joviality & chatting during the very tasty lunch which was followed by apple, jam or treacle sponge, washed down by endless teas & coffee. Grateful thanks & appreciation to all the members who came along & put some time in for the Club.

NEWS 17 Laying Up Supper

Laying Up Supper, 12th October - Bit difficult writing up an event you had a hand in, but it is safe to say that everybody enjoyed themselves. 27 Suppers were served, there were 4 in our team so that means an attendance of 23 GFBC Members & we thank you all for your support. Ossies Fish Bar did not let us down with the main course which was both tasty & hot, the Starter of Canapés went down well, especially the sticky sausages & for afters, the homemade Sherry Trifle & Apple Pie slipped down Red Lane most deliciously. There were lots of nice prizes in the raffle which raised £50, with grateful thanks to June who kindly sold the tickets. A big thank you also to Marcia who, during coffee, collected payment & to Malcolm for getting stuck into the washing up & to everybody who at the end of the evening helped put the room back to rights which meant the Team had less to do the next day. We managed to complicate the Raffle by putting the winners through our version of Play Your Cards Right to collect their prizes which was probably infuriating for them but quite funny for the rest of us. The Quiz was won by Kath, with the booby prize of a stick of rock going to Jennie. The tables were decorated with miniature roses which were taken home by the four lucky ladies whose names came out of the hat. I really hope that everybody went home happy, well filled & without indigestion. If you don’t usually go to Club Suppers or events, or if you are a new member reading this, why not watch out for the next occasion & give it a whirl.

NEWS 16 Late Summer Cruise & Seal Trip

(Report to follow in next Newsletter)

NEWS 15 1st September Work Party

Work Party Saturday 5th October 17 members turned up & managed to tick quite a few chores off the list. Chairs were repaired, a very nice canoe rack for 6 was built, there was lots of strimming, grass cutting, hacking of brambles, cutting back of overgrown trees & bushes & those pesky stinging nettles dealt with. Not all boring work though because there was much joviality & chatting during the very tasty lunch which was followed by apple, jam or treacle sponge, washed down by endless teas & coffee. Grateful thanks & appreciation to all the members who came along & put some time in for the Club.

NEWS 14 Sandwich Illuminated Boat Parade August 2013

Illuminated Boat Parade, Sandwich 25th August - A small contingent from GFBC prepared for this event but after hearing that the Bridge was not going to be opened, that the Tide was going to be very low & finally that SSMBC had decided to pull out completely, enthusiasm waned. One crew opted out but the remaining two crews, Pisco Sour & Muffles carried on, decorated their boats & moored against the quayside giving a static display & getting a front seat view of the proceedings. It seems that GFBC was very well represented as spectators. Everybody who went along gave a good account of the evening & had a very enjoyable time

NEWS 13 Redhouse Picnic Cruise 10th/11th August 2013

The Picnic Cruise ~ Six boats spent the weekend at Redhouse & two more came down for the Picnic on Saturday afternoon which amounts to 17 Club members which considering GFBC’s fairly healthy membership was a pretty low turn out. Perhaps not the event to catch the interest. However our numbers were boosted when Renroy arrived on the way back from a visit to the seals so Irene & Roy with their passengers enjoyed an impromptu stop off for tea & we enjoyed the bonus of making some new friends. I have to admit that we were a bit disappointed that more dinghies & inflatables did not make the trip down, but we had a good natter & played silly games & enjoyed a pretty good time. Our newest member actually tried to make the trip from Grove Ferry to Redhouse in a PVC blow up powered by a small electric engine which found the tide too much. In reply to a distress call Terry R carried out a rescue mission in Pisco Sour & towed the crew in. Some folks will go to any length to save fuel !!

NEWS 12 North Bank Party 21st July 2013

North Bank Party July 21st Lovely weather & happy people added up to a very enjoyable day. From what I have heard, the trips on the river in the Steam Boats were a big hit with young & old. But the Model Boats, Welly Hoying, Model Cars & Raffle etc. etc. not forgetting the nosh provided by G G’s Burger Bar, all combined to ensure a very enjoyable GFBC event.. However, let’s not forget that the enjoyment of the occasion was as a result of the efforts of those GFBC Members who helped & gave their time on the day. Many thanks to you all. LAYING UP SUPPER Saturday, 12th October BONFIRE & FIREWORKS Saturday, 2nd November CHRISTMAS DINNER ~ DOG & DUCK Saturday 7th December Last Events of 2013 Repairing Redhouse Moorings ~ Mid July, Alan G, Henry H & John A loaded up Turramurra with decking & all the gear needed for urgent maintenance work to the Redhouse Moorings. It was extremely hot weather for such physical activity & the trio was pleased when Jacqui & Terry R in Pisco Sour turned up on their way back from a stay in Sandwich as Terry quite happily rolled up his sleeves & joined the team. The job was not quite finished, needing just two more planks, but the workers went home knowing the moorings were much safer job well done

NEWS 11 Work Party 15th June 2013

Work Party 15th June ~ Numbers were a bit down probably due to some of the regulars being indisposed at the moment or on holiday but we hope they will all be back next time. All the usual mowing & strimming was carried out along with lopping the overhanging branches of the trees by the South bank visitor mooring & Steve cleaned the windows of the Clubhouse. As ever the workers were rewarded with plenty of coffees & teas & enjoyed a very tasty lunch.

NEWS 10 Dinghy Run to Fordwich Sunday 9th June

Dinghy Run 9th June, I think it is safe to say that this is probably the most popular event in the GFBC calendar. About 13 boats finally left Grove Ferry after a few disappointments such as Alan Gitting hurting his foot & having to go by road, Dave & Jennie’s Uncle Peter got to the bridge & broke down so hitched a lift. Rob & Julie suffered the same fate on the way home & was rescued. Terry & Jacqui ran out of fuel on the way home & were towed in by Brian’s Wicked One. Tony & Shirley also ran out of fuel just as they got back to Grove Ferry but got out the oars & rowed the last 200 yards so all setbacks were overcome. Fortunately the weed was not too bad but the weather was pretty awful, being overcast with a surprisingly cold wind, but we were undaunted & I counted about 40 folk sitting down to enjoy a very tasty lunch at the Fordwich Arms. The verdict? A lovely, successful well supported event for GFBC.

NEWS 9 Wednesday 22nd May 2013 Visit to Dover Coastguard Station

(Report to follow on next Newsletter)

NEWS 8 Saturday 18th May 2013 Fitting Out Supper

Fitting Out Supper 18th May ~ 24 Members attended this annual event in the Club House & enjoyed a very lively evening celebrating the beginning of the Boating Season. The three course meal was served on time without a hitch & appeared to be relished by everybody especially Malcolm who apparently had vivid dreams about Egg Mayonnaise & Henry. Mind boggling !!!. The quiz was won by the Commodore, Alan G & the Stand up Bingo by Kath & Malcolm which makes them champions of champions because they won the main prize for this at the last Supper. The ladies’ place cards were collected & drawn from a hat for the Pansy table decorations. After coffee we toasted the coming Season & GFBC with a glass of Fizz & Alan gave us a progress report on Jim Rose who at that time was recuperating in the Queen Vic Hospital in Deal & also informed us that Sheila had not been able to join us due to illness. So we then drank a toast to absent friends finishing with a toast to the Queen which was totally out of order as this should have been the first toast but don’t think we will get reported. We would like to thank everybody for helping to clear up afterwards & restoring the Clubhouse to its normal state.

NEWS 7 Commissioning Day

Saturday 11th May 2013 Commission Day- This was an entirely new event for the Club, thought up & organised by Andy. The weather was a bit iffy but did not get in the way of the big clean up. The professional jet washer was fantastic, it brought the moorings up like new with minimum effort. Ten crews came along to take advantage of the equipment on offer to clear away the Winter grime or carry out maintenance on their boats but Dave & Jennifer went home early after he dropped his sander into the river!!! After a lovely day the rest of us enjoyed a great evening & a tasty supper in the Jamaica Inn. We played silly games & Steve Hart wants it to be known that he won the paper airplane competition so I must also mention that Steve Hogwood exercised brain power & solved the puzzle of the polystyrene cups. It is a pity that more members did not take part & it was suggested that the membership might have thought that it was just another work party rather than members working on their own boats. The consensus of opinion was that this event should be made part of the Club’s annual events. Committee please take note! Many thanks to Andy for thinking it up, for organizing it & for his wonderful sense of humor & also our appreciation to Colin Brazier for his help & for providing the jet washer

NEWS 6 April 2013 Work Party

17 club members turned out for the April Work Party and enjoyed the glorious sunshine while they beavered away at maintaining the club's facilities, A lovely curry and sausage casserole followed by chocolate or pineapple upside down cake was served up at lunchtime by our wonderfully gifted Mandy who made enough food for at least 40 people so we all had seconds and those who couldn't make the day missed out. Oh well. perhaps next time ...... Thanks go to John Arnold for setting our tasks and thanks to all who helped on the day..

NEWS 5 April 2013 Sizzling Saturday

Although the numbers were low (only 12) for the games evening everybody had a great time with all sorts of games going on and what with the remote control car being expertly manouvered around all sorts of obstacles there was a lot of laughter. Alan sneekily put the spiciest sausage first in the banger tasting competition which messed up the tastebuds so identifying the rest of them was a tad difficult. Thank you Alan for organising the evening and lets hope more members join in for the rest of this years events.

NEWS 4 MARCH 2013 Inland waterways Talk

Report to follow.


March Working Party 10 tons of roadstone delivered to the top car park ready & waiting but the ground was too waterlogged to spread it so that chore had to wait for another time. However the weather stayed dry & the 22 members who turned up got stuck in. They managed to lay a new path from the slipway area to the water standpipe which had been frost damaged so that was completely renewed. The area around the new finger berths was tidied up and the fence given a coat of preservative. The compound was spruced up & all the surplus unusable timber & broken pallets were turned into a grand bonfire which kept the workers warm on the outside & Mandy, Liz & Kath warmed them on the inside with a tasty lunch of Spicy Sausage & Bean casserole followed by pear upside down pud & sticky toffee pudding, not to mention the steaming hot cups of beverage. All very much appreciated so sincere thanks to the caterers & a big thank you from John Arnold (Works Co-ordinator) to the GFBC Members for their efforts

NEWS 2 AGM 2013

34 Members attended this year's AGM and were updated with Flag officers, Treasurers, Membership, Compound & Works Co-ordinators reports on the activities of Club over the past year. Voting took place for election of officers and Committee members and all nominations were unanamously re-elected. Steve Hogwood stepped down from the committee and Keith Lathwell stepped up to join the committee. Mandy & Steve worked their socks off in the canteen and gallons of tea & coffee and wonderful cakes were very welcome to keep the customers happy. Colin Carr updated the meeting on the defences at Sandwich and afterwards fired the cannon which will be used at Sandwich everyday when it will be fired at noon which was to allow skippers to set their chronographs. Peter Dale from Grove Ferry Boat Trips then took the floor to let us know about the electric boat "Ellen Mary" and that as GFBC members we would get discount for having a trip on this delightful craft. Peter also pointed us towards their website which has a tide table for Grove Ferry which can be a simple guide as all the calculations are done for us. Next years meeting will be held in the clubhouse on the last Sunday in February.

NEWS 1 Cobweb Cruise 2013

Six boats and 16 members attended the cobweb cruise with Lady B coming up from Sandwich. Peace ,Sara, Cygnet, Queen Bee and Neil on his rib travelled down from Grove ferry. The weather broke right on cue with the sun coming out whilst we were at Red House There was lots of activity as the police search teams operated from the north bank looking for a missing person. Food as always was excellent with our lovely ladys really spoiling us. A great start to the New Year

NEWS 22 Xmas Meal 2012.

An enjoyable evening at the Swan Inn at Westgate kicked off the Christmas celebrations with 27 Club members and friends relaxing in the warm surroundings. There was a choice of culnary delights which was as follows.


Homemade Vegetable soup or Prawn Cocktail with wholemeal bread.


Stuffed and rolled Turkey Breast with trimmings or Roast Beef and Yorkshire Puddings or Vegetarian Mushroom and Brie Wellington
All served with Roast and new potatoes and seasonal vegetables


Christmas Pudding with Brandy Sauce or Lemon Merangue pie or Swan Xmas Sundae or Cheese and Biscuits

Tea and Coffee and Mints complete the festive meal.

Joan & Henry organised the raffle with many exciting prizes and Alan presented the Annual Trophies. Lucky winners were as follows.

MV Burton Trophy Shield- Steve Hogwood

Ladies Cup- Mandy Hart

Best Dressed Boat- Hawkins Tankard- Joan & Henry Holmes

Shaft & Rudder Tankard- Rob & Julie Caldwell

Best Kept Log- Colin Brazier

Novice Shield- Brian Russ

Longest Voyage- Peter & Myra Dowell

Outboard Trophy- Terry & Jacqui Robb

Boat Handling Cup- Andy Sloan
Free Graphics

NEWS 21 RNLI Talk.

Around a dozen members braved the appalling weather to travel to the clubhouse for the talk given by John Ray. Well done to those of you who managed to get there and thank you John for giving us your valuable time. A donation was passed on to the RNLI.

NEWS 20 Firework Night.

Members enjoyed the display and bonfire on the North Bank. The fireworks were varied and as good as we have come to expect and the weather was very kind to us yet again.

John Bottle and John Arnold worked very hard to put on the fireworks and bonfire. Geoff and Judi kindly provided the hot soup and Jean Arnold cooked the Burgers. Sheila Howard beavered away selling the raffle tickets and all the members enjoyed a happy evening. I hope we repeat this event next year.

Report written by Alan Gittings

NEWS 19 Cathedral Talk.

Lennie Clarks talk about Canterbury Cathedral contained many interesting historic details of events during the long life of the Cathedral and the mysteries about various locations of famous resting places.

He has many colour transparency's of the inside from places that the public cannot reach. Did you know that there is a medieval crane in one of the towers ?. His presentation is humorous and knowledge extensive and entertaining. Several of our members asked for his contact details for when they visit the Cathedral. He also gives tours around Canterbury City. I would highly recommend him to any group wishing to learn more about either. There were many questions at the break and end of his talk. It made a very interesting evening.

Report written by Alan Gittings

NEWS 18 Laying Up Supper 2012.

What a fantastic evening which really entertained 39 Club Members and friends. Praise and thanks must go to Joan, Henry, Mandy & Steve who stepped in at short notice and worked their socks off to give us all a wonderful evening. Nibbles & refreshments awaited us as we arrived and new friends and old had chance for a chat as Henry & Steve set off on the journey down to Sturry. Fish & Chips or chicken & chips were on the menu with our mobile unit travelling down to collect the goodies and arrived back with them still piping hot. A lovely selection of desserts with cream followed by Tea , Coffee & Mints (a special mention about the amazing Banoffee and Apple pie which Mandy made for the evening). The clubhouse was decorated with flags to celebrate the Battle of Trafalgar and the day was toasted in the proper manner. A boating quiz tested our nautical skills and a stand up bingo game added to the fun. Joan & Henry then played out the roles of Nelson & Hardy in a comical sketch and the evening finished with a raffle. It was a great evening and thanks must go to the "FAB 4" for all their hard work and organisation.

NEWS 17 October Work Party.

What a fantastic response to our cry for help for willing hands to assist in the installation of our new finger moorings. Over 30 of you kindly gave up your Sunday and achieved so much whilst having a laugh and joke as well as grafting your socks off. Not only did you complete the moorings but made the area spick and span with mowing, grass cutting, strimming and pothole filling.Thank you all so much for all your help.



Hello fellow members of Grove Ferry Boat Club. Glynn and I thought we should bring you up to-date with life from the bridge of ‘Ellen Mary’.

buying a river cruiser to moor at the pub so I could enjoy my retirement (yes I am one of those awful government employees who retire too early!) The then new owners of the pub said I could have the river trip boat mooring, but only if I wanted to do river trips. It is a long story but eventually Glynn and I bought ‘Ellen Mary’ a British built electric river trip boat and we launched our operations in April 2010.

Since then we have steadily built up the business and we are approaching our ???? passenger. Our eldest passenger has been 96 and our youngest only 2 weeks old. The baby did not wake and when I completed my ‘Safety’ briefing to the 96 year old she chastised me saying ‘I was in the war young man, that was dangerous’. Somehow her comments put it all in perspective.

‘Ellen Mary’ was named after my late mother-in-law. A lovely name for a lovely boat. She is all electric and runs off 16 6Volt batteries. We charge her every evening and so far she has not let us down. We have been to Fordwich a number of times and down as far as Richborough with local councillors to ‘beat the bounds’. We have had a production company filming on board, a visit from BBC radio Kent, a TV crew from the Politics Show, numerous birthday parties, wedding anniversaries, wedding trips from the pub, engagement parties, hen parties and a family who wanted to remember their late father and lay some flowers on the river that he loved so much. We even had the coxswain of Margate lifeboat go down on one knee and propose to his girlfriend! She said yes!

I did have another request from a couple in their late forties who had clearly just met and were still in love (remember that stage)….! Now, as Grove Ferry Boat Club is a family club I can’t go into further detail but I had to decline their plans…. Who say’s romance is dead…!

By far the majority of our passengers are people who live in Kent and enjoy boating, the countryside, and wildlife, particularly bird watching. Many are unaware of how peaceful the river is once away from Grove Ferry. We always cut our engine as we turn around to head home and let Ellen Mary drift on the tide. A hush descends over the boat and our passengers savour the silence save for the birds singing or the wind rustling in the reeds. Bliss.

As with all other ‘tourist’ related businesses we have been affected by the awful weather this season, but we are still attracting a good level of bookings and we enjoy each and every trip. There is always something special to see out on the river. Only last week Glynn photographed a seal sleeping at the side of the river, up stream of the bridge. We have lost count of the sightings of Kingfishers and yet we have people coming on board who say they have never seen a Kingfisher in their lives. We are often able to give them their fist sighting of this special bird.

The only ‘downside’ to our business is that we are ‘working’ (yes it is!) whilst you are all having BBQ’s, drinking gallons of ale, tots of rum, dancing till late into the night, eating homemade cakes, telling your sea faring stories, enjoying firework displays. Maybe if you know of a retired salty old sea dog who would like to become our ‘third relief skipper’ then we could start having a few days off and enjoy the fun with you. There is no application form, or a complicated interview process. Just a chat with Glynn and Pete about your boating skills and the ability to ‘get on’ with the great British public. On a good day you will be earning good ‘beer’ money. As with all top companies we are under represented when it come to the fairer sex! Come on girls…. It would be the best part-time job in Kent.

On a practical note we have a radio and are on channel 8 all the time. If you need us call us. Or maybe we will call you.

If any of you fancy a bus mans holiday our trips are half price to Grove Ferry Boat Club members.

Have a look at our website for our homemade Grove Ferry tide table. It is accurate!

Best wishes from Pete and Glynn,

Skippers of ‘Ellen Mary’



We have recently received this email from Peter Dale who has kindly informed us the river is already showing signs of the effects of the drought
Morning Tony.
You and the members will be interested to learn that we tried to take 'Ellen Mary' up to Fordwich recently. We were about 300 metres away when we ran aground in the channel. We were unable to reach the Fordwich moorings. 'Ellen Mary' draws .5 of a metre. Last year we had no problems getting to Fordwich. We enjoy our trips up to Fordwich but I doubt if we will get there this year. Perhaps you can pass this to the other members for their information.
Email from Peter Dale
Managing Director
Grove Ferry River Trips
c/o The Grove Ferry Inn
Grove Ferry Road
Nr Canterbury
Kent CT3 4BP

NEWS 14 1st September, Working Party - 19 members reported for duty & were assigned various jobs. The weather was just right not too hot & thankfully, dry. A new strimmer has been added to the tools arsenal & proved to be very effective, along with the new sit upon mower, they are very welcome. I won’t list all the tasks accomplished in case I leave something out but suffice to say that the Club House & the North Bank looked noticeably tidier & smarter after the very hard work of the usual stalwarts who turn up at work parties. The day was punctuated with the usual coffee & tea breaks & at half time a very tasty lunch was served by Mandy & Liz which was much appreciated by the hungry workers. Everybody worked hard but also enjoyed a very convivial occasion. Works Co-ordinator, John A & Commodore, Alan G extend their very grateful thanks to all those who gave their precious time for the good of GFBC.

NEWS 13 August Bank Holiday - Saturday 25th August, Tarrumarra, Pisco Sour & FAB left the GFBC moorings in bright sunshine, bound for Sandwich to take part in the Illuminated Boat Parade scheduled for Bank. Hol. Sunday. We arrived at Sandwich Bridge on time & the Bridge was swung, We passed through to be immediately confronted by what appeared to be a demented WW2 Rating dressed in RN No. 8’s wearing a tin helmet and menacing us with a Bren Gun from the deck of Garth (RAS 34) an Army Gunboat, mounted with an evil looking Bofor gun. Not to worry, for we quickly recognised this hostile person to be Andy of Dunkirk Spirit, playing war games, so we made the appropriate sign & was allowed to pass. !!! We made our way to SSMBC, Sandwich Sailing & Motor Boat Club who were very kindly hosting us for the weekend. After mooring up we enjoyed a very pleasant evening in their Club Boat with a live group & a tasty supper. Next day was mostly spent decorating our boats for the Parade & in the evening we made our way to Gazen Salts to be ready for the off. Numbers were down this year with only 12 boats taking part, 3 from GFBC so we were 25%. However, the event seemed to be very well received by the large crowd who showed their appreciation with enthusiastic cheering & clapping. Our parade took about half and hour to pass which was probably enough as it fitted in well with the events on shore. We returned to the SSMBC moorings & were entertained once again in the Club Boat with another tasty supper & also the added company of several GFBC members who had come along to watch the Parade & enjoy the after show party. We really slept well that night & woke refreshed to enjoy our sail back to Grove Ferry with pleasant memories of yet another super weekend. Our grateful thanks to SSMBC for being such great hosts.

NEWS 12 4th/5th August - The Visit to the Seals. Turramura, Peace, Perlican, FAB & Queen Bee left the moorings at 10.30 a.m. precisely with Kath & Malcolm in Sara ready to cast off as we passed The Boat House Marina making a total of 6 GFBC boats. On approaching Roy’s we were faced with quite an obstacle in the shape of a Dutch owned, large Broom (The Lady Alison) who wanted to accompanying us down river but unfortunately decided to turn & join us before we had passed thus dividing our little convoy in two. The front three had to stop & wait & the last three had to hold their station during the manoeuvring which was a bit tricky. We finally got going, the weather was fine & we hoped to make up the lost time. The next bit of excitement was down to Perlican’s engine deciding to misbehave & Tony made the decision to stop at Redhouse & try & sort it out. So we carried on with Alan leading, Colin & Liz riding shotgun & Tony maintaining radio contact. Fortunately the errant engine was sorted & Perlican managed to catch up in time to pass through the bridge with the rest of us exactly on time. We were rewarded with the sighting of 20 or more seals & we were able to circle around taking lots of photos. Tony was concerned that he might not have enough fuel & it was great to hear calls from folk on the river with offers of help or just warning of possible hazards. A real air of camaraderie prevailed. After leaving the seals we moored up for a quick cuppa with another bit of drama on leaving as one of the boats had got a bit stuck but that was soon sorted & we all set off back to Redhouse for our evening meal, followed by a noggin & a natter. Sunday we made our individual ways back to Grove Ferry moorings and then on to Tea at the Club House. We had a lovely time, thoroughly enjoyed every minute & we would like to thank our Commodore, Alan, for organising & leading the event & Colin for acting as back up. Thank you both & to the other GFBC members for their very enjoyable company. Where are we going next?

NEWS 11 Work Party 29th July 2012. 14 Club members gave up their valuable time to help maintain the clubs facilities. The weather was not too helpful with a heavy downpour halfway through the day but all the tasks set were succesfully completed. Painting, grass cutting, window cleaning, hoovering, dusting and many other jobs were on the agenda and of course we were spoilt with a very delicious lunch which kept us all going. Thank very much you to you all who made the day very enjoyable and ensures that all club members benefit from all your hard work.

NEWS 10 Fabulous Northbank Party. With the weather being OH SO KIND to us our first ever North Bank Party was a great success. Over 60 Club members and friends joined in the fun with Wellie throwing, rowing and model boat racing, darts, horse racing and lots of other activities keeping us all entertained. A communial BBQ was set up for DIY cooking and salads and nibbles were all available and Teas & Coffee were on constant flow thanks to the kind help of all our wonderful ladies & gents. (photos are on Photo page 1 and more details of the day will be in the next newsletter)

NEWS 9 Work Party 23rd June. With only 10 club members being able to attend they all worked so hard to ensure that all our facilities were kept up to scratch so that we (all club members) are able to enjoy our boating. We know that it is always difficult to turn up on all club events with the busy lives that we all lead but as we always say "any help in any way is much appreciated" Thank you so much to the few that turned up and lets hope for a bigger response at the July work party.

NEWS 8 The Dinghy Run The lousy weather forecast put a few folk off so numbers were down this year, but 10 boats left the moorings & 24 members enjoyed a lovely Sunday lunch at the Fordwich Arms. No problems on the river apart from one propeller getting very snarled in plastic but there was no wind, no rain just glorious warm sunshine. A really pleasant trip & we all had a really lovely time with the Dads amongst us enjoying Father’s Day(see photos on Photo page 1)


A massive thank you to Joan & Henry Holmes, John Arnold & Alan Gittings for giving their time up to travel down to Redhouse and refurbish our excellent moorings down there. They all travelled down on Alans boat "Turramurra" on Thursday 31st May 2012 with the materials loaded up and then spent the day improving & making safe our pontoons. Thank you all so much from all at the Boat Club


The Matthew ship is a reconstruction of a type of ship called a caravel, and it was the ship that re-created John Cabot’s voyage of discovery of 1497 to find a sea route to the orient, but instead discovering north America. In May 1997, to celebrate the 500th anniversary of the Matthew’s 1497 journey, the Matthew was destined to be seen off from Bristol by HM the Queen and HRH Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh who is patron of the ship. Six weeks later, in Newfoundland, Canada, HM the Queen and Prince Philip welcomed the ship to north America after a seven week Atlantic crossing. Contrary to popular myth, Columbus never found the mainland of north America. That was Cabot, and the Matthew, credited by Prince Philip as having laid the foundations for the introduction of the English language to north America. The ship is recognised by people due to numerous television appearances on programmes such as Blue Peter, Adam Hart-Davies, Dan Snow’s series on the Royal Navy and many others. In 1997 the ship was the focus of a seven week series on BBC1 with Peter Snow, and more recently as the ship ‘Dawn Treader’ in the latest Narnia film. Her visit to Sandwich will come after being invited to be in a premier position at the Thames Jubilee Regatta on 3rd June - the ship will be positioned at Tower Bridge, where Her Majesty will disembark after the 1000 ship regatta. The Matthew’s first port of call en route to Cornwall will be Sandwich. The only English sailing ship representing the medieval period in England’s most complete mediaeval town will be a major attraction for visitors to the town. Opportunities arise for civic and private receptions on board ship during her stay in Sandwich. She will arrive around 2pm on the Wednesday 6th and leave at 4 pm on Sunday the 10th. Please contact the Matthew’s local representative for more detailed information and media enquiries: David Redfern : 01843 845 363

click here for information on Matthew

NEWS 5 Work Party 13/05/2012. 20 Club members had a busy and rewarding Sunday spent maintaining the North bank and our clubhouse. Without their fantastic efforts our facilities wouldn't be at the disposal of YOU THE CLUB MEMBERS as essential work doesn't happen magically. As always we ask for help and any assistance in any shape of form contributes to our club members benefits. Remember, when you signed up to apply for membership you probably said YES to the question "will you join in with social events". Please help to make your club a club and not just a facility.

NEWS 4 Work Party 24/03/2012. Thank you to everybody who attended the recent work party, anybody who uses the North Bank will see the work on the track, the tree by the visitors mooring has had a much needed haircut and the slipway has been repaired. Thank you to our ladies and the ladies from the MVS who kindly prepared refreshments for the new and not so new club members who kindly gave up their time to help out on the day.

NEWS 3 A delightful evening amongst friends made the Fitting Out Supper such a success which was really pleasing knowing how much effort and time had been put in by a very organised bunch of charming hosts. The table settings were expertly laid out and wouldn’t have been out of place in many top class restaurants.

We had a choice of either Leek & Potato Soup or Melon as our mouth watering starters. This was followed by a tasty Chilli, a sumptuous Gamon & Pineapple or a delicious Vegetable Quiche which were all served with Jacket Potatoes & Seasonal Vegetables. A welcome glass of Wine or Fruit Juice complimented these culinary delights.The sweet was a lovely selection of Apple Strudel with cream or Ice Cream, Gateaux or Cheese & Biscuits. Tea, Coffee & Mints finished off a wonderful meal.
During the course of the evening we were testing our memories on all the sweet & chocolate bar names that we could match with clever little clues that had been fiendishly thought up. The winners Terry & Jacqui were presented with a fine box of fudge. The raffle completed the evenings entertainment and all of us went home pleasantly full.

This event only took place because a group of caring club members took the bull by the horns and went for it and we are all very grateful to them.

Thank you so much to Sheila, Myra & Judi , to our waiters Peter & Alan, to Geoff to Amanda. Thank you Ellie for selling tickets & being our compare for the Raffle and to all who helped in setting up & taking down chairs , tables & all sorts of bits & pieces.
If any photos are available from any of the 33 lucky members who made the evening they would be greatly appreciated so that they can be added to our Photo Page.

NEWS 2 Our AGM was again well supported with over 40 club members packed into the clubhouse. Colin Brazier sadly had to step down as our Commodore due to work commitments and Alan Gittings has kindly stepped back into the position which he has held in the past. Ken Willison and Jon Rudd have also stepped down from their Works Co=ordinator rolls and we are all extremely grateful for all the hard work and experience that they have given to the club over the years. A presentation was made to Colin & Liz in appreciation of their invaluble contribution to Grove Ferry Boat Club. The presentation of the M V Burton Shield to Sheila Tanson for recognition of the work that Colin her late husband & our very much missed friend had quietly given to our Club was a very touching moment. We also have new honorary members, a well deserved acknowledgement to long standing members. They are Jim & Mary Rose, Andy Sloane, Bill Banner, June Hodges and Peter Downes.We are now looking for a Social Secretary & Works Co-ordinator and hope that some kind souls will offer to take on the challenge. (the new Committee can be seen on the website)

NEWS 1 30 Club Members & friends made the annual journey down to Redhouse Marsh for The 2012 Cobweb Cruise. It was somewhat draughty with a force 5 blowing down the river which severely tested our mooring skills when arriving and departing.When the sun came out it was almost warm but as soon as it disappeared behind the grey cloud it turned a fraction fresh !!. It was great to catch up with everybody and with a great variety of snacks on offer including hot sausages and hot pasties (and very hot spicy chicken) it all helped to keep us glowing. As always the mulled wine went down a treat and with a selection of very well behaved mutts to entertain us all was good with the world. Thanks must go to Roy & Irene for letting us have use of their moorings as the 12 boats would have struggled to fit in on our end of Redhouse. Thanks for all the contributions towards the food and drink and for all of you who turned up to brave the elements. Those who couldn't make it will undoubtably come along on and join in with everybody during the course of the years events. Thanks once again for a great day.

NEWS 19 Club Christmas Dinner 2011. 32 members sat down to dinner at the Grove Ferry Inn for the annual Christmas meal and if the laughter and high jinks were anything to go by everybody had a really good time. This event is usually held at The Dog & Duck but it was decided this year to try our local pub The Grove Ferry Inn and they kindly responded by supplying some raffle prizes. The room was nice, the tables looked festive and the food was very tasty. This was the choice that we had to make.
Boxed baked Camembert with fig chutney & warmed bread (v)
Roasted turnip soup with wild pickled walnuts and truffle oil (v)(gf) (b*)
Wild rabbit pate with a chorizo and butter bean salsa
Mussel & Smoked bacon tart with a spiced chilli jam
Santa’s’ favorite; Turkey escallops stuffed with a sage and chestnut mix with recurrent and smoked bacon jus (gf)(b*)
Local pork loin wrapped in slow braised pig cheeks and ham with a toffee apple and white pudding puree (b)
Wild Scottish salmon with a creamed watercress sauce (gf) (b)
Sweeeeeeet potato and leek roulade stuffed with a sage & chestnut mix with a tomato and fig chutney (v)
Wild rabbit, butter bean & chorizo crumble with a tomato and fig chutney
All mains were served with festive vegetables and roasted potatoes
Guinness infused Christmas pudding with a rum and raisin ice-cream (b)
Triple chocolate brownie with a honeycomb ice-cream (b)
Christmas cheesecake with a fresh pouring cream and black current compote

There were a few teething problems due to staff shortages but it certainly didn't spoil the evening. Colin & Liz put in a lot of effort on our behalf and all who attended extend grateful thanks for a really good evening of camaraderie and lots of laughs. Club Awards - During the coffee & mince pies it was the Commodore, Colin’s task to present the annual awards as follows:

The M.V. Burton Shield went to the late Colin Tanson, in recognition of all the hard work that he and Sheila put in keeping the slipway & the North Bank so wonderfully neat & tidy throughout the year. It wasn’t the rabbits, it was them. His cheekybanter & friendly help will be sorely missed.
The Ladies’ Cup to Joan Holmes
The Best Dressed Boat to Andy
The Shaft & Rudder to Clive & Patsy Mowett
The Best Kept Log to Alan Gittings
The Novice Shield to Amanda & Steve Hart
The Longest Journey to Jackie & Terry Robb

NEWS 18 The sudden death of our good friend Colin Tanson was a great shock to us all. Both Colin & Sheila loved spending as much time as they could restoring "Annette" and refurbishing their new mooring. They have spent countless hours maintaining the slipway and working hard around the North Bank for the benefit of all of us. We will sorely miss him & our hearts go out to Sheila at this very sad time. If you wish to make a donation to Sheila's chosen charity which is The British Heart Foundation, please send a cheque to A Welch & Sons (Funeral directors) at 94 Station Rd, Herne Bay. Kent. Please mention Colins name to keep collection separate and cheques made payable to British Heart Foundation.

NEWS 17 What a great turnout for our November Work Party. 22 Club members had a great day and really got stuck into clearing the Slipway and the Compound and completing lots of essential jobs around the area. Items that have been left around the compound and have not been identified have been dismantled and removed which makes space for more craft for people that want to use the facility.The slipway now looks a treat and thanks must go to you all for all your help which we can assure you is very much appreciated. Thank you, Thank, Thank you.

NEWS 16 October Working Party About 17 members turned up, including five new members , which was nice. There was a lot to do owing to the fact that the Compound is being reorganised to try and make room for all the boats wanting storage. Unfortunately lack of manpower resulted in some of the regular tasks being left undone, so sorry about the stinging nettles. However a lot was achieved so a big thank you to the members who went along and as always grateful thanks to the caterers for the sandwiches, cakes, teas & coffees

NEWS 15 AUTUMN FRUITS— On Friday 23/9, five crews left the moorings and set off for Red House. After mooring up they set to work unloading the considerable amount of equipment required to run this event. Saturday morning everybody set to work erecting the party tent, setting up the tables & chairs & decking the bank with bunting & flags. By 2.30 p.m. 10 boats were on the moorings plus two inflatables, Folk from the Boat House moorings added to our numbers with more guests who were ferried down from Pluck’s Gutter. A really great time was enjoyed by all. Liz & her helpers prepared & served a lovely tea with tasty sandwiches & a delicious selection of home made cakes filled, garnished & flavoured with autumn fruits. During tea we puzzled over Alan G’s brain teasing quiz and afterwards the raffle was drawn, the lucky winners choosing from a variety of prizes. After tea it was time for fun & games with Roy Newing proving to be an amazing “jockey” when it came to winding in the race horses. The conker contest was greatly enjoyed with the final being fought by our Commodore Colin & new member Steve. Colin became the Conker King and was rewarded with dip down the goody bag and Steve had a consolation lollipop. By 6 p.m. most of the day visitors had left for home leaving the overnighters to enjoy a tasty barbeque with Terry R’s steak being the star turn, what a whopper! Followed by a couple of games of Pass the Duck & Play Your Cards Right and Andy’s impromptu indoor firework display. Sunday morning & the big clear up. Everything had to be taken down, packed up and stowed back on the boats for transport home. The verdict on the weekend was a big thumbs up but it could have been even better with a few more members, A Big Thank You to Liz & Colin for their hard work and Jennie for her Muffins !

NEWS 14 5 Grove Ferry Boats made the journey down to Sandwich for this years Illuminated Boat Parade. Peace, Turramurra ,Ghost Whisperer, Dunkirk Spirit & Perlican joined 18 other boats to motor through the towns quay with hundreds of spectators lining the route. The rain stayed away which was a stroke of good luck as navigating in darkness gets the pulse pumping hard with hundreds of lights flashing in front of your eyes.Our boats assembled at Richborough before moving down to Gaze & Salts to join the rest of the parade.After passing through Sandwich we motored on to our friends at the Motor Boat & Yacht Club and then were helped to moor up at their excellent facilities. The bar was opened and a well deserved winding down drink was enjoyed by us all. The following day Turramurra, Dunkirk Spirit & Ghost Whisperer made the journey back to Grove Ferry whilst Peace & Perlican made the most of their extended break to enjoy the entertainment and the fireworks at Gaze & Salts.Thanks to everybody for a great weekend and for the kindness of our hosts down at Sandwich.

NEWS 13 Work Party Saturday 6th August 2011. A fine day saw 14 members assemble on the north bank, a new bench seat was assembled and placed on the grassed area so members can rest and appreciate the peacefulness of the river. the old notice board was replaced and Ken is refurbishing so it can be put outside the clubhouse. The damaged module section of the new pontoon at the slipway was replaced with a new one from the manufacturers. The grassed areas had been attended to earlier in the week by some of the members who were unable to attend on Saturday.Thanks to you all for your efforts

NEWS 12 A fantastic effort by our trusty band of willing volunteers made the Duck Race a great day out for those who supported our major fund raising event of the year. Preparations started on Saturday with the Clubhouse and the surrounding area being dressed up and the Customs boat having its final fitting out for the battle with the pirates. On Sunday cakes were baked, sandwiches were filled and the galley was set up with the refreshments for the expected large crowd. Through hard graft two full races and a reduced entry third race were enjoyed by the spectators as the ducks made their way down the river. Prizes were won and in the background trouble was brewing as the Customs and Pirates were having early skirmishes to test out each others weaponry. A full blown attack which lasted for some time entertained the crowd and everybody on the boats got soaked. By late Sunday afternoon all the bunting had been taken down and everything was back to normal.
It is a great shame that a club with a membership of over 150 people has to rely on the same few people to help produce this type of event to help to keep our fees down and to advertise the Grove Ferry Boat Club name. What will happen when the faithful few decide that they understandably and deservedly want to sit back and enjoy the events and hope that other members will offer help and will support our wonderful boat club. We know that people have busy lives and the working day now has unusual and unsociable hours but it would be nice to see some new and not so new faces appearing and helping to share the load. This is your club, please support it !!!

NEWS 11 Work Party Sunday 3rd July 2011. Another great effort by a big turnout of you wonderful Club Members.It was a hot day and drained the energy but with plenty of refreshments being kindly supplied by Sheila & Myra we all managed to keep going. Ken got us organised with painting duck beaks, sorting out ducks, painting doors,inserting plastic windows on our notice board, strimming, hedge cutting, grass cutting, cleaning up the clubhouse and beefing up our new slipway pontoon. Thank you so much to the 19 members who gave up their Sunday and we very much appreciate all the effort that has been put in.

NEWS 10 Dinghy Run June 2011. A rubbish weather forecast which turned out to be spot on didn't put off a total of 14 crews who braved the conditions on our annual jaunt to Fordwich. A major first was the "not breaking down of Perlican" which was unexpected. The weed was a problem this year as propellers were frequently lifted out of the water to clear the nasty stuff. As usual the meals at the Fordwich Arms were a tonic to warm the cockles of your heart and to sustain us for the very wet trip back. Great Fun. !!!!!! The brave souls who took part were Colin & Liz, Tony & Shirley, Jamie & Lucie, John & Jean, Leo Malcom & Kathy ,John & Sue, Henry & Joan, Steve & Mary, Alan Bobby & Maureen ,Terry & Jaqui ,Peter & Myra, Colin & Sheila, Andy & Jamie, Ken & Clive.

NEWS 9 Pictures can be seen on Photo 2011 page which are the results of the tree cutting at Redhouse which was carried out by a group made up of the Boathouse, GFBC and the University Rowing Club which spent a Thursday afternoon grafting to cut and move the trees up onto the bank keeping the river open for boat users Unfortunately this is work the environment agency is now unable to do due to reductions in their budgets.Thanks goes from all of us to all these willing volunteers

NEWS 8 It is with sad regret that we have to inform you of the sudden death of our very good friend Lynn Beer from The Sandwich Sailing & Motor Boat Club. Lynn was the clubs Honorary Secretary and was a very active member. She always kept us informed on their events and always gave us an open invitation to join in. We will miss her dearly and our thoughts are with her family & friends at this very sad time.

NEWS 7 Work Party Sunday 22nd May 2011. On another warm and sunny Work party we were greatful once again with a large turnout of 20 Club Members , The club house was cleaned up with weeding and gutters being cleared, the new finger berth was dredged and has now been commissioned. Grassed areas were cut and the old slipway pontoon has been removed and the modular replacement has been assembled and is now waiting completion and installation. The compound has had a makeover with Andy and team removing some of the winter rubbish and tidying so we can start the construction of new pontoons on future work parties. The girls kept the tea flowing and the sandwiches piled high. Thank you Thank you to you all

NEWS 6 Work party Sunday 10th April 2011. 22 members beavered away at the spring growth cutting back bushes and grassed areas. The finger berth is now landscaped and steps have been built for easy access. A fence has been erected & once the dredging has been completed the moorings will be ready.The wood stocks have been replenished after the hard winter so enough cutup for this summer activities. Thanks to all who attended and supported the club.

NEWS 5 A classic voyage up river to Fordwich taking us back in time to the days when goods were transported by barges up to Canterbury. On Friday & Saturday (2nd/3rd April 2011) Colin Carr's Barge made its' way to Fordwich loaded with Stone for the restoration of the the Cathedral. The load was transfered on Saturday at noon to a Horse & cart which took the stone on the rest of it's journey to the cathedral. A fleet of boats joined the barge on what was a nostalgic trip.


Colin Carr's barge loaded with Stone for the Cathedral                             Colin Carr's barge loaded with stone for the Cathedral

NEWS 4 Over 40 members attended our 2011 AGM and voted in the new committee (see Committee Page for details). Reports were presented and questions were taken from the floor in what was a very good meeting. Our retiring secretary Cherry Cuckoo was presented with the Ladies Cup & flowers (&chocs) for her contribution to the club and she will be sorely missed especially on committee meeting night with her jovial personality. Clive Mowatt has kindly taken over Cherry's duties and we wish him a long and happy reign. Thank you everybody who helped to set up and supply refreshments in the clubhouse and we look forward to a successful boating season.

NEWS 3 What a turn out on a miserable wet February day. 22 willing club members kindly gave up their time and helped with the launching of our new finger mooring (see Major Projects page and Photo 2011 page for photos). The launching could not have been achieved without all the helping hands so many thanks to you all. The next work party which is scheduled for 10th April should see the onset of warmer weather with grass growing and leaves sprouting out so there will plenty of jobs to be done together with the second finger mooring to keep us all busy. Thank you all you ladies & gentleman.

NEWS 2 After enduring the long & still chilly winter months it was great to dust away the cobwebs for our annual jaunt to Redhouse. This years Cobweb Cruise saw 20 hardy souls and five boats enjoy the crisp air, tasty snacks, mulled wine and jovial chat. The water level in the river is high at the moment and with the lack of leaves and vegetation it gives the chance to get a great view across the fields at this time of year & gives a different aspect to the summer months when we are nosing through the weed beds and peering into the lower levels of the riverbanks. It was a great day out and sets us up for what we hope is going to be a superb boating year.

NEWS 1 The Annual Dinner (nee Xmas Dinner 2010) was a hugely enjoyable evening with 24 Club members catching up on all the boating gossip and letting their hair down with the customery "let the rude sounding ballon hit an unsuspecting receipient" being launched from the culprits tables. Great Fun. The meal itself was superb with a tasty selection of treats and not a turkey to be seen.The Annual awards were presented by Colin Brazier & Steve Dennis and the raffle was muddled through by Tony Mackenzie & the busy Steve Dennis. It was a great evening & very many thanks must go to Colin & Liz for organising the event and thanks also to everybody who helped an attended the enjoyable evening.

The Trophy winners are:
MV Burton Shield...... John Bottle,
Ladies Cup...... Cherry Cuckoo,
Boat handling Cup...... Steve Dennis,
Best Dressed Boat...... John & Sue Bottle,
Shaft & Rudder Cup ......Alan & Sheila,
Novice Shield ......Brian Marsh & Carole Cook,
Outboard Trophy ......Henry & Joan,
Best kept log ......Alan Gittings,
Longest Voyage ......Peter & Myra.
The Silver Impeller Trophy.... Colin Brazier

NEWS 21 A still cool clear night was just the ticket for our annual Firework Night. We seem to strike lucky with the weather as the rain on the Friday night had threatened to run into Saturday but it fortunately stayed away. The large bonfire was set alight at around 7.15pm and really warmed the place up and at 7.30 the first rocket was launched into orbit and started an exciting display, Fountains, Catherine Wheels, more rockets and all sorts of pyrotechnics lit up the sky and entertained the crowd of excited children and adults. Piping hot soup and hot dogs were gleefully devoured to keep the cold at bay and it was great to finish off the evening with a chat amongst friends around the bonfire and later in the Jamaica Inn. Thanks must go to Vi Craven and Steve & Sue Hogwood for producing the wonderful refreshments, Colin ,John B & Andy for the fire & fireworks, Alan G for the raffle. Thanks to all who helped during the course of the day and the following morning to set up & clear up for the enjoyment of all of us.

NEWS 20. Yum Yum Yum, What a great way to spend a late Autumn evening. Fantastic food, fantastic fun & fantastic company. The Laying Up Supper was a great success due to the hard earned efforts of Chefs and waiters who treated us all to a well spoilt night. Judi, Myra, Sheila, Alan & Peter looked after their clientel with the skill of top class restaraunters. We started with a choice of Leek & Potato soup or Melon followed by Ham & Pineapple & vegetables or Chicken Curry followed by Gateaux or Apple Stroodle or Cheese & biscuits followed by Tea or coffee and after eight mints. Phewwww mouthwatering. A mind bending Dingbats quiz had the grey cells buzzing and a raffle with a selection of prizes completed the evenings entertainment. Thanks to everyone who helped set up (and cleared) the clubhouse, it is all very much appreciated.

NEWS 19. Work party Saturday 16th October 2010. This was a twin attack day on the Clubs mooring facilities both at Redhouse Marsh & the start of the clubs next Major project which is to install two floating Finger moorings on the North bank designed to take four craft which will offer a few more club members the opportunity to leave their boats with a wet bottom. Boats left Grove ferry for the journey down river with all the neccessary equipment to repair the damaged section at Redhouse and worked their socks off all day arriving back late evening after a job well done. On the North Bank a digger was brought in to remove a mountain of earth and with the area cleared by great effort by the much appreciated helping hands the hole in the ground soon grew to gigantic proportions (see photos on Major Projects Page and Photo 2010 Page) ready to be filled with the readymix which will give the strength to hold the pontoons out into the river.It is hoped that the work will be completed over the next few Work Parties but weather and availability of a work force will be a major factor in how long this project will take. Lots of jobs were completed during the day and all are as equally important to maintain the facilities that we are so fortunate to have. The Club is also very aware of the extra effort that is put in on Non Work party days by some very nice people who keep our slipway, grass verges and hedgerows under control and we very much appreciate all that you do. Thank you all so much. We cannot do it without you.

NEWS 18. Autumn Fruits Saturday 18th September 2010. Once again the weather was kind to us and although there was a stiff breeze once in the sunshine the temperature was very pleasant. Around 25 members made their way up to Redhouse to enjoy the delightful spread that once again our lovely ladies continue to produce. A variety of gorgeous tasting cakes and savoury morsels were rapidly devoured by the hungry hoards and with tea and coffee regulary being served it was a very relaxing and pleasant afternoon. Raffle prizes galore were snapped up by the lucky winners and this was followed by a snail race which had the hearts pumping with excitement as they accelerated towards the finishing line. In the evening a BBQ was fired up and the smell of sausages could be identified well down wind. After more games and a nightcap the weary members drifted back to their boats for a hard earned sleep. Thank you to everybody who gave their time and effort to prepare the food and the venue for all our enjoyment. Yet another great Boat Club Event.

NEWS 17. Sunday 5th September Work Party.New members & old hands grafted away raking cement, chopping trees, burning trees,clearing moorings in readiness for new finger moorings, finger mooring construction, box trailer refurbishment, slipway maintenance and enjoying the usual banter. With wonderful refreshments and good weather it was great to be on the North Bank. Thank you to all who attended for your help and for giving up your time for the benefit of our friendly Boat club

NEWS 16. What a Duck Race day that was. The morning was very gloomy and with a strong wind and low cloud racing across the sky it looked as though the day could have been a washout. But at high noon the clouds lifted and by Duck race 1 the sun made an appearance and 200 yellow plastic lookalikes made their way to the finishing line. Although the crowds were not as large as previous years it didn't stop them digging into their pockets and getting all 200 ducks wet for a 2nd time. Through tremendous efforts by you club members another 50 tickets were sold for the final race and this all helped towards our donation to Demelza House.

Once the ducks had been cleared from the river (the plastic ones not the feathery kind !) the stage was set for the arrival of the fantastically built Customs boat which caught all the pirates by surprise with its large water cannon blasting everything and everyone in its path. The Black Pig was the first to take the fight back to the men in blue and then all hell let loose as water bombs, water pistols and buckets of river water were thrown in every direction. The battle lasted for a good 3/4 hours and it carried on well after the referees horn had blown. It was great great fun and gave us all the chance to let our hair down and let off steam. Thanks to everybody for all your efforts as without you we would most definately not have the thriving and successful club that we have today.

NEWS 15. Workparty 24th July 2010. We seem to strike lucky with the weather on workparty days and this was another one of those balmy days.The Northbank was a hive of industry with chainsaws , mowers, strimmers and kettles filling the summer air. Lots of work, lots of banter and lots of grub made the day a successful one and the Northbank is looking delightful through all the efforts of those trusty bunch of hard working club members. Thanks to all who made the day so enjoyable.

NEWS 14. 4th July Picnic weekend was again blessed with hot sunshine and chilled out people. The Saturday was a quiet affair with just a few boats travelling down to Redhouse and enjoying an evening around the BBQ. Sunday was also a relaxed day with boats turning up and all sorts of tasty grub being magically produced from the galleys. Weekends like this are always to be treasured, away from the hurly burly life and time to slow down a bit. Great !!!!!!!!

NEWS 13. A Surprise party for Alan Gittings was indeed a surprise for Alan. A secret trip down the river the day before by a group of crafty schemers was successful in putting up gizzmos and transporting down the clubs BBq to Redhouse Marsh. Alans first hint of "something going on" was a banner stretched over the bridge at Plucks Gutter telling all the boating world of his special birthday. A big turn out, a wonderful hog roast so expertly cooked by our new meat chef Jon Rudd AND GLORIOUS weather made it a great day for Alan & for all of us.

NEWS 12. Work Party 13th June 2010. Thanks to a great turnout of 24 willing hands 13 tasks were scheduled and duly completed on another successful work day. Special thanks to Our lovely ladies who never fail to produce another banquet of wonderful delights. All of our facilities are now looking superb and all of our club members can benefit from all the hard work that has been put in over the year by a group of hard core members who have given so much of their time for the benefit of our club. Without them we would not be enjoying our wonderful facilities. Thank you so much.

NEWS 11. Dinghy Run June 2010. 14 small boats made the annual run up river to Fordwich on a warm & sunny June day. The weather forecast wasn't too good but apart from one heavy rain shower (when we were at the pub !!) it was really perfect conditions for the trip. "Perlican" kept her record up of having to have a tow sometime during the journey and "Ronjo" had to take on ballast so that the captain could see where he was going. Dunkerque Spirit (alias Vital Spark alias ....) provided the music on route and a great day was had by all. Thank you everybody for another great Grove Ferry Boat Club day out. (Photos are on Photo 2010 Page).

NEWS 10. Dunkirk Little Ships Trip May 2010. Report on way

NEWS 9. Work Party 8th May 2010. Another terrific effort by 16 members on Saturday ensured that the Clubs Patio now has a Landing Stage. The fence has been fitted around the upper Patio and within a few weeks the whole area will be ready for use for Club Members. Thank you so much to everybody who has helped to make this major project a truely wonderful addition to our facilities.

NEWS 8. Work Party Weekend 24th/25th April 2010. With the temperature soaring to 20 Deg C, a fantastic effort by 16 members on Saturday and 18 on Sunday ensured that the Clubs Patio is now nearing completion. The transformation is amazing and credit must go to Jon Rudd & John Bottle for their expertize over the design and knowledge of the project, our wonderful ladies who have constantly produced energy restoring refreshments and of course the hard grafting Club members who have given up their precious time for the benefit of the club and all who will use this fantastic facility.

NEWS 7. Fitting Out Supper 2010. What a splendid start to this years season. 36 members gathered at the club on Saturday for a lovely evening with five very special ladies Sheila, Myra,June, Judi and Sue with some help from their crews prepared and served a fantastic meal with a choice of chicken chasseur, beef casserole or fish pie followed by a selection of wonderful desserts.During the meal we were tested with an interesting quiz & the evening finished with a raffle expertly called by Ellie. Thank you to everyone who helped to create such a successful event.

NEWS 6. Shakedown & Easter Cruise, Due to poor weather conditions it was decided to cancel the trip up the Wandsum until warmer weather.Sunday was forecasted to be the better day and the the four boats who had planned to attend the cruise and the members who had expressed an interest in crewing mustered at Redhouse at 13.30. With the weather still unsettled and 20 knot winds at Ramsgate ,14 club members set off for what looked like a short run to the mouth of the river but with decreasing winds and the sun making a welcome appearance and Colin Carr the Sandwich harbour masters confirmation that the sea conditions in the bay were favorable we had a enjoyable day visiting the seals and checking out the new entrance channel buoys also giving the boat engines a good blast to blow away the winter cobwebs. We all safely returned to redhouse at 1800hrs and spent the evening together on one of the boats.

NEWS 5. Sunday 28th March 2010 Extra Workparty. Report to follow ......... (Photos on the Major Projects Page)

NEWS 4. Saturday 20th March 2010 Workparty. 19 Club Members toiled & grafted & moved tons more earth & rubble. The Patio is taking shape and the excavated soil is being made to good use to fill in holes on the North Bank. Plenty of refreshments were available to boost the troops and thanks must go to all the ladies & gents who gave up their valuble time for the benefit of the Club. (Photos are on the Major Projects Page)

NEWS 3. On a soggy wet Sunday afternoon, over 40 Club members turned out for our AGM. That was a terrific effort and shows that it is important to you that your voice can be heard to make our Club such a happy and enjoyable place to spend your hard earned leisure hours.

The meeting started at 3pm and the Flag officers & Committee gave their reports of the events of the past year. It is always sad when the Commodore has to stand down after he has served the 3 year term and I know we all wish to give our hearty thanks to Alan Gittings for all that he has done over the years that he has been our Commodore. Thanks must also go to our retiring Rear Commodore Lloyd Weston for all the help and guidance that he has passed on over the past years and both Alan & Lloyd have kindly offered to become Trustees. Colin Brazier & Wally Wanstall have also remained as Trustees.

There were new amendments to the rules which were read out by Alan and were accepted by the attending members and then names were put forward to take the vacant Flag Officer and Committee positions. During the break, voting slips were filled in and Wally Wanstall kindly served as our teller to give the results which was a resounding yes to all that had applied for the vacant positions.

We would like to thank new Commodore Colin Brazier, new Vice Commodore Steve Dennis, new Rear Commodore Tony Mackenzie, new Works Co-ordinator Jon Rudd, new Membership Representative Steve Hogwood and also the three new Committee members Peter Dowell, David Burford & Clive Mowatt for taking up their responsibilities. Thanks also to the re-elected Treasurer Peter Downs, Secretary Cherry Cuckoo, Membership Secretary John Bottle, and Works Committee Ken Willison for continuing to support the Club for another year.

The meeting closed with presentations of Mementos to Alan Gittings & Lloyd Weston for their services to the Club.

NEWS 2. The first Work Party of the year was a weekend of graft, skill & lots of laughter as the Patio & the North Bank were attacked by the Grove Ferry Boat Club workforce. A hardy mixture of ladies & gents both young & not so young worked like trojans to remove earth, concrete, metal objects, tea, coffee & delicious food. It was a fantastic effort that was well organised with the recycling of the earth & rubble that was cleared from the old patio being used on the North Bank to fill in holes and suchlike. Weather permitting it is hoped to complete the transformation of the Clubhouse Patio by April 2010 so that all Club Members will benefit from the massive efforts of the Work Partys. Thank you so much to all who gave up their weekend.


Cobweb Cruise 2010 has started our boating year with bright sunny but slighty nippy weather. A great turnout of around 30 members arrived at Redhouse Marsh with a superb array of goodies with mulled wine warming the cockles of our hearts. Tasty snacks were arriving from all over the place and were gratefully tucked into. It was great to catch up with old & new friends again and to blow the cobwebs out of the previously snow covered boats."Jofre's" bad luck struck again when mechanical failure forced poor Alan & Sheila to be towed back to Grove Ferry by our great friends from the Boathouse, Irene & Roy on the impressive "Reneroy". Thanks to you all for making the day so special and it was great to see so many boats out on the river after all the bad weather that has been thrown at us over the past few weeks.

Trying not to miss any of the boats who attended they were Turramurra, Joffre, Lady Belmont, Jaspen, Nauti Buoy, Capetown Girl, Perlican, Cygnet, Sara, Mystique & Four Winner.

NEWS 22.

The 2009 Xmas Dinner at the Dog & Duck was another wonderful evening in the company of 35 Club Members & friends. A delicious meal was enjoyed by all with a choice of Soup of the Day, prawn cocktail or fruit cocktail as the starters. The main course was either traditional turkey with all the trimmings, fillet of salmon with cream and Shropshire sauce, steak & ale pie or vegetarian lasagna. The sweet was Christmas pudding or sherry trifle or lemon meringue. Coffee, tea and minced pies completed the feast. Lovely!!!!!. The entertainment was created by quite a few packets of rocket balloons which was great fun and gave us all a chance to let our hair down as they zoomed across from table to table with their very audible distinctive sound. As usual the raffle was expertly compared by Ellie with lots of useful prizes. Thank you to the Boat Club Committee for organizing this very enjoyable event & we look forward to next year where we hope that we get a summer as good as the one we have just had. Photos of the evening can be found on our Photo 2009 Page.

The Annual awards were presented by Alan & Colin to the following club members

Longest Voyage Cup...... Terry & Jacqueline Robb.

Boat Handling Cup..... Tony & Shirley Mackenzie

Ladies Cup ...... Sheila Howard

Best Kept Log..... Colin & Liz Brazier

Hawkins Tankard (Best dressed Boat).....Steve & Mary Dennis

Novice Shield..... Colin & Sheila Tanson

Rudder & Propshaft Trophy..... Jon & Barbara Rudd

Outboard Trophy..... Geoff & Judi Prior

M V Burton Trophy ..... Ken Willison

Certificates of Merit

Ellie Rudd, Vikki Rudd, Myra Dowell, Sheila Howard, June, Judi Prior, Shirley Mackenzie,

Geoff Prior, Andy Sloan, Jon Rudd, Barbara Rudd, John Bottle, Sue Bottle, Steve Hogwood, Alan Palin

NEWS 21. This year’s Firework Night was a great success with over 50 club members and friends enjoying the wonderful display, warming refreshments & meeting old friends & new friends. We were lucky with the weather as the clouds disappeared and left a clear sky giving us a great view of the pyrotechnics. The bonfire was the focal point with a great touch by the organisers of putting a couple of chimneas around the compound so that hands and other cold extremities could be warmed by the glowing embers. The timing was perfect because as people left for home after watching the display & devouring the tasty treats, the heavens opened and a deluge of rain swamped the area.

Hearty thanks must go to Jon Rudd & John Bottle for their help in setting up on Saturday and for letting of the Fireworks, Alan for his efforts on setting up the event, getting the fireworks and for being our chef with help from Joan, Henry & Shirley serving the tasty snacks. Liz, Judi & Jeff for producing wonderful soups & their great efforts over the weekend. Barbara & Ellie for organising the sale of tickets & the raffle & last but not least Colin for his organising skills, hard work & enthusiasm which made the event so successful.

NEWS 20. Fish Pie, Gammon, Mixed Vegetables, Apple Crumble, Custard, cheesecake, eclairs, cheese & biscuits, Teas & Coffees, Chocolate Mints. You would be forgiven for thinking that these tasty delights were taken from a menu of a high class restaurant. Well in fact these wonderful dishes were produced by our hardworking and talented ladies, Myra, Sheila and June (with a tiny bit of help from Peter & Alan !!) With a lovely table layout the Clubhouse was soon buzzing with stories from the outgoing boating season and the thought of the winter months that are rapidly approaching. The quiz tested the grey matter with high scores been posted all round the tables and the raffle (thank you again young Ellie) produced prizes for almost everybody. At the end of the evening everybody helped to clear the decks and thanks to all the volunteers another great Boat club event was enjoyed by all who attended.

NEWS 19. After the rainy summer we had last year we have been so lucky to have had so many sunny weekends this year. On a glorious early Autumn afternoon over 30 members & friends enjoyed the warmth of both the weather & the lovely people of our Boat Club. On Friday afternoon a fleet of boats loaded up tables, chairs, marquis, BBQ's,Flags, food, drinks and of course fruits of the season and made their way down to Redhouse Marsh for Saturdays big day. A lovely selection of sandwiches & extremely tasty cakes were produced by our hard working ladies and with our ever popular raffle and a novel conker knockout and horse racing afternoon the day was a great success. In the evening the smell of the BBQ wafted along the river as the lucky boats that stayed for the night enjoyed a fun filled end to the day before wearily drifting off to sleep. Sunday morning dawned with a cloudy drizzly start and boats prepared for the journey back to Grove Ferry. Thanks to everyone who put in so much effort to make this event so special.

NEWS 18. Our September Workparty saw what was probably the largest turnout that we have ever seen. Around 26 Club members gave up their Sunday and joined in with a massive amount of work that was both fun and very productive. Our Commodore, Alan Gittings, would like to thank you all for all your hard work and for making the day a fantastic way to meet new Club Members and to enjoy each others company. Thank you all so much.

NEWS 17. Although the Sandwich Illuminated Boat Parade is not officially a Grove Ferry Boat Club event, it is a weekend that is very much enjoyed by all who are lucky enough to have the opportunity to take their boats down river to meet up with the lovely people from Sandwich Motor Boat & Yacht Club. Each year the number of boats increases and there were around 35 for this Bank Holidays extravaganza.

We travelled down on Saturday evening and had a great time on the Sandwich Clubs Barge where they made us so welcome with their kind hospitality and fun filled banter. The weather on Sunday started off windy and with dark clouds looming it seemed that the day was going to be spoilt by rain showers. As the evening approached, just like last year, the skies cleared, the wind dropped and a superb procession made its way from Gaze & Salts through to the Toll Bridge and back down to the moorings. The crowds were massive and they cheered & applauded each & every boat as their lights twinkled & flashed & reflected on the river as they made their way through the historic town. After all boats were secured it was back down to the Barge again for liquid refreshment & snacks which were much appreciated & to exchange experiences of the night’s great event. The following morning we started our journey back to Grove Ferry with some of us stopping at Gaze & Salts & Redhouse to make the most of the glorious weather which was the perfect way to finish a great weekend.

Thank you so much to the members & friends of Sandwich Motor Boat & Yacht Club who made our trip so enjoyable by letting us use their moorings & facilities & for their wonderful hospitality. Thanks also to all from our Boat Club who, as always, are forever lending a hand to help each other.

NEWS 16. Work Party Saturday 8th August 2009. 16 Club Members enjoyed the warm sunshine & lots of banter as a multitude of jobs were completed. In the afternoon we were treated to a charming moment when a Bride boarded Leo's Seamaster 30 for her journey down river to Plucks Gutter for her wedding ceremony. There are always surprises on our river you never know what will turn up next. Thank you to all who helped at the Workparty. (Photos on Photo 2009 page).

NEWS 15. Duck Day & Pirates v Customs 2nd August 2009. A great day when grown men & Women let off steam and got absolutely soaked. The sun shone but water was the star for the day. Two excellently organised Duck Races set the scene and our Treasurer Peter Downs & his superb crew must be proud of their efforts to make the races run so smoothly. All through the afternoon little battles were taking place along the river and at the end of the second duck race all hell let loose. Water Balloons, Water Pistols, plastic swords and all sorts of strange vessels were used to make everybody as wet as possible. What a great event & just take a look at the Video on the Homepage & Photos on Photo 2009 Page to capture all the fun.

NEWS 14. Work Party 11th July 2009. A great amount of effort by everybody who kindly gave up their day saw the finishing touches to the new pontoon which was destined to travel down to Redhouse Marsh. A human wave picked up the very large construction and turned what looked like a very difficult manouver into a wonderfully simple operation. It was a long day but showed that with great teamwork anything is possible. Fantastic effort. Thank you everyone & enjoy the photos.(Photos on Slipway & New Pontoon Page).

NEWS 13. What a difference between last Summer and this years Summer which is only one month in but has already given us some glorious weather. With the sun beating down it made it a great time to travel down to Redhouse Marsh for the Annual Picnic Weekend which was designed for boats to come & go as they pleased and that’s exactly what happened.

In all, 15 boats made the journey down over the 2 days with over 30 club members either staying over Saturday night and enjoying a wonderful sunset or just making the day of it & chilling out. Alan organized a quiz on the Saturday night & on Sunday we had a raffle which was compared by our lovely Ellie. Picnic Tables appeared along the riverbank & all sorts of tasty morsels were magically produced from the holds of the boats.

It was a brilliantly successful weekend with no timescale & no real agenda which is what we all need in todays rush everywhere hurly burly world. Photos of the weekend are on the Photo Page & the boats that were lucky to get the time to make the trip are listed below. Thank you Grove Ferry Boat Club for a great time.

Mystique, Vital Spark, Perlican, Turramurra, Fiesta, Sara, Jaspen, Karma, Fiona, Shandris, Evita, Serhina, Jola Blue, Cygnet, Lady Belmont.

NEWS 12. Work Party Sunday 14th June 2009. With another one of those balmy summer days, plenty of refreshments and a lot of leg pulling,our motley crew of 14 club members took the mooring a stage further and is now well on it's way to being completed over the next couple of work days. A great effort by the trusty few completed a lot of outstanding & ongoing jobs that are needed to keep on top of the ever growing grass & weeds on the Northbank. As you can see by the photos (kindly taken by Sheila Tanson & John Bottle) it is rewarding & fun being part of our Club. Thanks to you all who gave up their day. Next Work day is Saturday 11th July. Come & join in the fun.

NEWS 11. With the rain clouds clearing with an hour to go, it was all systems go for the 2009 Annual Dinghy Run to Fordwich. The weather forecast told us that there was a six hour window before the storm would arrive but instead we were treated to a warm but cloudy outward journey and a gloriously hot & sunny return trip back to Grove Ferry. Nine dinghies left at 11am but within 15 minutes disaster struck when Andy’s outboard did a pirouette and ended up at the bottom of the river. 20 minutes later it was amazingly recovered and unbelievably was started after a few pulls of the cord. Trust Andy to find a cunning plan to wash an engine from the inside out !!!. He returned to Grove to carry on the recovery process and it looks as though the engine will survive. The other eight dinghies proceeded on to Fordwich and enjoyed a terrific selection of Ploughmans and Jacket Potato lunches. We started back at around 2pm and enjoyed a lovely journey back with wall to wall sunshine. What a difference the weather can make to increase the joy of boating.. Arriving back at the Clubhouse for a well earned cup of tea or coffee and a feeling of well being after a great day out with our boat club members.

NEWS 10. Work Party Saturday 9th May 2009. A few trusty soles enjoyed a lovely sunny day & the usual leg pulling on Saturday. The start of the construction of the replacement mooring for Redhouse went well and will be completed over the next few workparty days. Locks for the gates & the slipway were maintained and essential general jobs were achieved to keep our lovely facilities up to scratch. It was a shame that some of the newer members couldn't make the day as it is a great way of getting to know your fellow boaters & having fun. Next time perhaps. Thank you once again for Liz & Mary for our tasty refreshments and to all eleven willing workers.(see Photos on Photo 2009 Page)

NEWS 9. Boat Club events don’t just happen, they are a combination of planning, energy, talent & teamwork. We were treated to all of those qualities at our Fitting Out Supper on Saturday. From start to finish it was one delight after another with a new table layout which gave everyone a chance to see everybody else (no throwing missiles and getting away with it !!!). Our lovely ladies, Myra, Sheila, June, Judi & Sue produced a fantastic evening with a supper to match. Jacket potatoes, Chilli concalli, chicken, pea’s carrots and cheese followed by a selection of wonderful desserts and cheese & biscuits attacked our taste buds. Coffee, Tea & mints made sure we were absolutely full to the brim. Ellie was our expert compare for the raffle which had its usual great selection of useful prizes. During the course of the evening we were set a quiz which was a great way to exercise the grey matter. Thank you so much to everybody who helped to make the evening such a success & we are really looking forward to the next get together. (Photos on the Photo 2009 page)

NEWS 8. No trip to Ramsgate but what an adventure for a few hardy soles that tried something a little different.Read on......As the planned Ramsgate trip was cancelled a small band of adventures embarked on a journey of discovery on Sunday at 1000hrs a convoy of dinghies set out from Redhouse Marsh in search of a hostelry on the Little River Stour. 5 crews in total turned left at Plucks Gutter and headed into unknown waters after going under two bridges and passing some amazed walkers we arrived at our first obstacle where the river is blocked by a large pump house at West Stourmouth The crews disembarked to recce the surrounding area and soon discovered that there is a slipway located on the upstream side whilst the girls rustled up some refreshments next to a camp fire that a thoughtful or not so thoughtful traveler had left alight for us. The lads lifted the boats up the bank and relaunched a couple of 100yds further along and after a hot drink the party pushed on a further two bridges. Further on we arrived at Bluebridge on the Grove Ferry Preston road negotiating the submerged scooter onward we pressed, a tree blocked our way and from the view from the dinghy the branch seemed like a tree somewhere in Deerson Valley. Andy our leader and navigator held up a soggy, water logged chart and admitted he was lost we stopped to get our bearings having found a location map at the side of the river and once more confidently we pressed on through badly weeded parts of the river and overcoming engine problems & SNAKES in the river, we finally found the water too shallow just above Deadmill bridge a mile short of Wickhambreaux. So at 1500hrs the weary band of travelers headed back for a well deserved cool beer and hot meal from the trusty Dog and Duck pub who as always treated us to a first class service or just felt sorry for the tired nettle stung band of travelers still wearing their lifejackets.

NEWS 7. After a week of unsettled weather & subsequent delay to replace the missing navigation marks because of the poor conditions it was decided to shorten the Shakedown Cruise from the usual trip into the Bay to the very pleasant few hours spent at Redhouse Marsh. The sun shone as boats left Grove Ferry at around 10.45am with Turramurra leading the way together with Jaspen, Perlican, Jofre 3, Blue Monk & Peace. Cygnet joined the fleet a mile further down the river and we all made our way to Redhouse with Cygnet & Jofre 3 carrying on to Minster Marshes before returning to join the boats on the moorings. During the course of the day Esox, Dreamtime, Lady Belmont , Mamma-Cass & Evita arrived to make it a really great occasion and a chance to catch up with friends old & new. We all departed for the return journey at around 16.00 hours and we just hope that we can be lucky with the weather for the rest of the Spring, Summer, Autumn & Winter.

NEWS 6. AGM. The AGM began with a minute’s silence for Maurice. Following that, and after the apologies, last year’s minutes, and matters arising, the proposal to cease the Half-Yearly Meeting was carried. The Committee gave their reports, which detailed events of the past year, flag officers qualifications, finances, future plans etc. Unfortunately, there was no response to a request for a Social Secretary but four lovely ladies agreed to join forces, and culinary expertise, to organise the Fitting Out Supper on 18th April. For this the Club is most grateful. It is hoped that other members may come forward at some point to organise other one-off social evenings/events. Plenty of refreshing cups of tea or coffee, plus delicious cakes, were available during the interval (thanks to Liz & Sheila) whilst election of the Committee took place. All members of the Committee were re-elected, plus Steve Dennis who has been appointed Members’ Representative. There were a few questions from members, regarding moorings, mooring list, communication, social activities, tea rota, income raised from Riverside Fete etc. which encouraged a lively discussion before the meeting closed at 4.30pm.

NEWS 5. Boat Talks. Alan has now completed his series of interesting, varied and highly informative talks which covered all aspects of our favourite pastime. Thanks go to Alan from all of us for giving us his valuable time & knowledge.

NEWS 4. Work Party 1st February 2009. 18 Club members braved blizzard conditions to maintain the club facilities. Damp Courses, Roof Felt, Waste pipes, Trees, Gates, fences & the Clubhouse were all tackled during the course of the day and thanks to all the hard work by all the ladies and gents (young and not so young) it was great fun. Lots of hot drinks and food appeared on a regular basis which was needed to keep out the cold of a snowy winters day. Thanks for the great turnout, it was much appreciated. (photos can be seen on Photo 2009 Page)


Maurice Burton

We are very sad to report the passing away of our great friend and much loved Maurice. He was an inspiration to us all and will be sadly missed by everybody at Grove Ferry Boat Club. His wonderful personality and fantastic knowledge of our River and all the surrounding area gave us all an insight of how things were over the last century. Maurice's talks were always a highlight of the boating calendar and his enthusiasm was so infectious that it made you want to get up and go and see all the places that he described in so much detail.As a Founder Member and Club Commodore, Maurice gave so much to us all and without all his hard work and utter commitment, the club would not be the success that it is today.

We will miss you Maurice and our hearts go out to Robert and all of his family.

Maurices Funeral will be held at Margate Crematorium on Wednesday 4th February at 3.15pm


A Tribute from our Commodore Alan Gittings

Maurice Victor Burton

I learnt this afternoon with deep regret that Maurice has passed away. Maurice was a true friend. We had many adventure and escapades together, normally with our families on the Stour, Medway and the Thames. Maurice was the founder of Grove Ferry Boat Club and served two periods as Club Commodore, the second time very many years. He had a long and eventful life, served with the RAF Air Sea Rescue Launches before being trained as a pilot. Towards the end of the war, he did not fly on operations but was an instructor on Tiger Moths. He talked about taking a Tiger Moth up to Manchester to visit his girlfriend, later wife, Bea. When I first met Maurice he was, and had been, the lynchpin of the Club, everything revolved around Maurice. Very interested in local history, his car treasure hunts were well known. Always took far longer than he estimated to complete! (I, with my usual humour, christened them ‘Get Lost With Maurice’). Later, at an age when people had long since given up on formal learning, he gained a degree from Canterbury University for local history, and built his boat Mauri-Bea from a hull and fitted top to the boat which has cruised the Medway as well as the Stour and some local waters. I will miss a valued and trusted friend, who has now joined Bea and (identical) twin brother Eric. Happy sailing Maurice! Our thoughts are with his family at this time.

Alan Gittings, 18th January 2009

NEWS 2. Cobweb Cruise. The following boats attended Turramurra, Peace, Ghost whisperer, Capetown girl, Sara, Ronjo, Harmony, Vital Spark. The following crewed and did'nt take their boats Steve Mary, Colin Shirley Jon Barbara & Elli Rudd. The Fleet set sail at 11.00hrs the river was in full flood with the Stonar cut running preventing the Sandwich based boats from joining us. Braving gale force winds and heavy rain we went to Red house picking up Sara and Harmony from Roy's boat yard. The view was great because of the exceptionally high water levels, one of the land marks prior to Red house ( the large lone bushy tree on the south bank ) has succumbed to the winter storms and has blown down luckily on to the bank. At Red House the boats moored up and the crews gathered on the Seamasters for mulled wine and food supplied by the crews. Turramurra lead the fleet home. (photos can be seen on Photo 2009 Page)

NEWS 1. A last minute decision to celebrate the New Year on the North Bank was greeted with freezing cold temperatures outside but a warm fire and lots of warming refreshments inside as 15 Club Members enjoyed the festivities. Hot stew and lots of nibbles were hastily produced and with a large selection of balloons and a sprinkling of fireworks made the evening a lot of fun. Various competitions were set up with the highlight being the “Dress the Mummy” which gave great amusement to those not being wrapped up. A great start to the New Year and let’s hope we are a lot luckier than last year with the weather for the coming seasons.

NEWS 20. The Xmas Dinner 2008 at the Dog & Duck was another wonderful evening in the company of 35 Club Members & friends. A delicious meal was enjoyed by all with Sea Bass, Lamb Shank, Turkey, Prawn Cocktails, Rumpy Bumpby, Apple Pie & Cream, Mince Pies, Coffee..........MMMMMMMM the list goes on. The raffle was expertly organised by Ellie & Vikky and Alan & Colin presented the Annual Awards (winners to be added here soon). Thank you to the Boat Club Committee for organising this very enjoyable event & we look forward to next year where we hope that the sun will shine down on us and the rain will give us a break !!!

NEWS 19. Weather forecasting has never been an exact science so on the morning of our Annual Firework night the choice was to either believe what was predicted to happen and that was that the rain would stop for a few hours and give us a weather window or disbelieve it and that it would chuck it down all evening and washout the display. Well for 3 hours the skies cleared and we were treated to a wonderful display of pyrotechnics as Catherine wheels, firecrackers, rockets and fountains lit up the North Bank. Andy used his usual persuasive charm to coax the bonfire into life with Colin and both Jon & John helping it on it’s way. The fireworks were ignited by John & Jon and Alan was chef for the night producing tasty burgers and hotdogs and Judy & Sue gave us the choice of either Vegetable or Tomato soup. Ellie was master of ceremonies for the raffle and what a great selection of prizes on offer. Barbara and Cherry worked their socks off selling tickets for the raffle and for the evenings great entertainment.

Thank you to everybody who helped to erect and take down the Marquis and prepare the North bank for our enjoyment and Grove Ferry Boat Club hopes that the 34 Club members and friends who gambled that the weather would hold were rewarded with a great night out and those who couldn’t make it, well, put it into your diary next year and take a chance that it will be alright on the night !!.

NEWS 18. What a fantastic work party with 17 club members enjoying the late late summer sun as they worked themselves silly on a balmy day on the North & South banks. Tree lopping, jet washing. Hole filling, caravan cleaning, tree stump removing. Slipway repairs, just about everything was on the agenda and successfully achieved during the course of the day. Lots of mickey taking and humorous adlibs made the day a great fun occasion and set us up for the autumn/ winter months ahead. Lashings of tea and coffee and a lunch full of wondrous and tasty delights was conjured up by Liz ( how she manages to produce such lovely cakes we will never know) kept us all going throughout the heat of the day and it was just so rewarding for everyone to help each other and the club on the last work party of the year. Thank you to everybody and we look forward to the next one.

NEWS 17. 32 Club Members & friends arrived on 14 boats for The Autumn Fruits & enjoyed a fantastic spread of Sandwiches & a marvelous array of cakes & pastries which were so tasty that people were asking for the recipes as Liz produced another wonderful collection of mouth watering delights. Mary & Steve made some delicious fruit Kebabs and pulled out a magical chocolate fountain which two young ladies found irristable. Trina served up the hungry hoards with Colin as her able assistant and Sheila was the accountant for the day. Ken was our resident barman & Tony & Shirley (who thought that they would get away with their tea duty !!!) helped in the galley & Waiter service. Ellie announced the raffle and at the end of the day it was all hands to the pumps as everybody joined in to clear it all up. We are so lucky to have such hard working & talented people amongst us and it just made a great day out for everybody. On the Saturday the marquees were put up with Alan, Colin & Liz, John & Sue, Andy ,Steve & Mary preparing it for us all. Hope nobody has been missed out but thank you all so much for such a brilliant day

NEWS 16. The Workparty on Sunday 7th September was another successful day spent clearing rubbish from the compound whilst adding hedge cuttings and grass & weeds to the ever growing bonfire ready for our November celebrations. 14 Club Members & friends turned up and Liz kindly made sure we were all well fed & watered. Thank you all so much for helping and hope that everbody enjoyed themselves which is the norm for these work days

NEWS 15. With a Bank Holiday weather forecast of sun cloud & rain, the journey down from Grove Ferry to Sandwich on the Saturday was bathed in sunshine. Stopping at Redhouse Marsh to wait for the high tide at Sandwich and swinging of the bridge at 6.00pm all boats were kindly invited to moor up with our great friends at The Sandwich Sailing & Motor Boat Club and a lovely evening was shared with them all on their superb Club Barge. On Sunday afternoon we made our way up to Richborough where Roy Newing kindly let us use his moorings to assemble ready for the Parade. The weather was cold, windy and a little damp right until 2 hours before the 8.30pm start but it all changed when the wind dropped, the clouds disappeared and a lovely evening developed. We made our way down to Gazen Salts and as darkness fell the river lit up with a wonderful display of craft which were adorned with all sorts of flashing illuminations. With Harbour Master Colin Carr giving the signal to start the slow journey through Sandwich, Grove Ferry boats joined the flotilla of 24 craft and motored past a massive crowd lining the riverbank. With the tide running with us it took great concentration to keep a safe distance from the boat in front but after a safe passage and very skilful turn around & mooring manoeuvre by all boats, we all enjoyed a well earned drink back in our friends Club Barge. On Monday morning we left at 8.45am to make our way back up river to Redhouse for lunch and finally to Grove Ferry. Thank you to everybody who took part, Roy Newing for kindly letting us use his moorings and to Sandwich Sailing & Motor Boat Club for their kind hospitality. We look forward to next year.(Photos can be seen on the Photo 2008 Page).

NEWS 14. RIVERSIDE FETE 2008 Despite a wet start to the day, the weather was very good to us, and from the many comments, the visiting stall holders were more than happy. The box stall as usual sold out, selling even more boxes this year, with Bottles,Tombola, BBQ and even the kiddies stall close behind. **A special mention this year must go to the few Boat Owners and crew who did a grand job, ferrying the many happy passengers on their trips.** We were joined by members of the Riverside Youth Club, whose enthusiasm in helping to set things up, under Peter’s watchful eye, then helping on the stalls, goes to prove there are a lot of good youngsters about. We must not forget the non members working beside the ever faithful band of club members of whom I am able to fully rely on over the years. It was also good to see some new members doing a stint for the first time and doing it well. To date, I do not know the results of the day, but am led to believe it is the best year ever, well done. This has always been a once a year Club event where members pull together. Hard work, yes, but it all helps the Club funds. My grateful thanks to all who helped. You were wonderful. EDNA

NEWS 13. 18 Club Members attended the revamped Half Yearly Meeting & BBQ which had taken a different format to previous years. Instead of the usual formal meeting where the Committee Members read out their reports, this time they were posted on the board for everyone to browse at their leisure whilst enjoying a Burger & drink expertly cooked & served by Edna & Brian. This shortened the evening somewhat but gave time for members to ask questions about the reports privately if desired or have a social chitchat which is not always possible during the busy boating season.

NEWS 12. With a gloomy forecast of rain & more rain which has been the trend for this summer, the Strawberry Tea was held in the Clubhouse and not on the North Bank again this year. 30 Club members enjoyed scones & strawberries and thanks to Treena, Alan, June, Geoff & Judy kindly catering for the hungry hoardes, it made it a very enjoyable afternoon.

NEWS 11. New faces were a welcoming sight at the Workparty on the 5th July. It is always difficult to get help during the holiday season with people away so it was nice to see different faces helping with the jobs which are essential to maintain our wonderful facilities. Sue kindly gave up her Saturday to supply a sumptious feast to feed the troops and thanks goes to everybody who helped on the day

NEWS 10. 8 Club Members gave up their Saturday to help on the North Bank in drizzly conditions. With grass & hedge cutting and general maintenance being the priorities in this fast growing season of the year. A feast of burgers were produced by the hard working Liz just in case there was a large turnout of helpers but hopefully the next two Work Party dates which proceed the Strawberry Tea & Riverside Fete will see large numbers turning up to share the load.

NEWS 9. The Dinghy Run. After a week of unsettled weather all eyes were glued to the forecast for Sunday to see if we were going to be lucky and catch some sunshine which is the norm for this annual jaunt up river to Fordwich. Not this time though as drizzly conditions confronted the six dinghies as they made their way towards the Fordwich Arms. Although all the engines had been finely tuned for the big day you can always guarantee that at least one will not behave itself and this year it was mini Perlicans turn. After only 5 minutes the little seagull coughed and then stopped. Lesson one, always remember to fully turn the fuel tap on !. Up & running again for another 5 minutes and then wobble & shake. Loose nuts on the fuel tank, tighten them all you like but without spring washers it was a waste of time. All was not lost though as a twist of chewing gum saved what would have been a long journey facing backwards trying to stop the fuel tank from falling off.

The rest of the fleet had a smooth journey and arrived at Fordwich after an hour from leaving Grove Ferry. Food and liquid refreshment was enjoyed by all and a chance to have a natter was gleefully taken. At 14.30 boats refuelled and made their way back in improving conditions and with the tide behind us made good time and arrived back in around 50 minutes. A great trip and thanks to Alan and all for another well organised day out. (Pictures to follow soon on the Photo 2008 Page)

NEWS 8. Work Party 10th May. A trusty handful of willing club members tackled essential maintenance on the North Bank over the weekend with Ken our hard working works co-ordinator getting the best out of his mottly crew. In very hot conditions the team cleared some unsightly objects from the area and made good the electrical installations that had been previously dug in. Plenty of food & liquid refreshments were taken on board as Liz & Mary looked after us all. The North Bank is looking superb now because of the efforts of the work parties and the previous weekend a visit from our friends from Sandwich Sailing & Motorboat Club brought praise from them for the facilities that we are lucky to enjoy. Thanks goes to Ken & everyone who gave their time to help and we look forward to the next work date which will have the usual fun approach and gentle banter which makes it so enjoyable.

NEWS 7. Over 30 Club members & friends enjoyed a fun evening at the Clubhouse at the Fitting Out Supper. This year seems to be one full of challenges as Edna & her fantastic crew managed to overcome what could have been a disaster for lesser experienced organisers. At a crucial moment the Top Oven in the Clubhouse decided to pack up and tried to disrupt the schedule. No chance with our enterprising helpers as plan B went into operation. The vegetables were rushed up to Junes kitchen and in a flash everything clicked into place and the meal arrived practically bang on time. Brilliant !!!!!

With a vast aray of dishes which included Grapefruit & Orange segments, Roast Beef & Pork, Vegetables of the season, profitteroles Gateaux & Trifle, Cheese & Biscuits, Teas & Coffees. What a lovely spread. Prizes galore were greatfully snapped up in the raffle and at the end of the evening helping hands kindly cleared the decks to leave our Clubhouse spick & span.

Edna would like to take this opportunity to thank all who helped with the serving ,the washing uppers, the tea & coffee makers, the cleaner uppers, the rafflers and great thanks must go to June for her help in providing the invaluable use of her cooking facilities and skill in our hour of need.

NEWS 6. With a gap in between two nasty weather systems, it was all systems go for the Shakedown Cruise on Sunday 10th March 2008. Peace, Ghost Whisperer, Vital Spark, Ronjo & Perlican left Grove Ferry at 9am and were joined at The Boathouse by Lady Lovell, Cygnet & Harmony. A few hundred metres downstream there was a cough & splutter from both Andy & Vital Spark with the result that both had to return to Grove Ferry to retire gracefully from the proceedings. All boats arrived safely at Sandwich for the swinging of the Toll bridge at 10.45am and once through we were joined by Jaspen.

Even though the previous day had seen winds of up to force 7 the River was quite serene and the forecast for the day of 3-4 south westerly was pretty accurate with our transit to the mouth being fairly swift. The seal population had only left 2 of their colleagues visible on their favourite sandbank but there was compensation on the opposite side of the river with a large selection of wild birds gathering food.

The journey out into bay was very pleasant with the fleet weaving its way out past the marker and cardinal buoys until we reached open water. It was great to see the boats doing figure of eights, zigzags and all sorts of unusual twists and turns as they made the most of all the open space they had been given in this salty environment (Video can be seen on our Home Page).

After 15 minutes it was time to return to the river for our transit back to Grove Ferry. Although we had only been at sea for around 40 minutes the approach back into the river was a totally different prospect as the tide had come up dramatically. The river had turned into a lake and what was normally a well marked channel was now a featureless minefield. Although some boats had their gps outward track showing on the screens to guide them back safely it was difficult to believe the electronics and without trusting it everything became disorientated.

Unfortunately one of the larger boats strayed only a fraction towards the eastern bank of Shellness by No17 buoy which is on a sharp bend of the river and within seconds had grounded on what was normally a grass bank. With both her engines in reverse she tried desperately to force herself off the obstruction but to no avail. A few moments later a second smaller vessel was washed on to the same bank but with help managed to break free. Lines were attached to try and shift the larger boat but it just would not move and eventually the rest of the fleet had to carry on to Sandwich without her. It was an upsetting feeling leaving her behind for what turned out to be a four tide stay when she was successfully refloated in the early hours of Tuesday morning.

Back to the return journey and we passed through Sandwich around 14.40pm and arrived at Redhouse an hour later where some of the boats stopped for a short break before returning back to their moorings. The next day saw the arrival of the forecasted storm but we had been very lucky to have been able to use the break in the conditions to have had a great but eventful day out. Thank you to everybody for their help & support over one of our more adventurous days out and a sharp reminder that the river is a great place to enjoy our boating but it must always demand our total respect.(see photos on our Club Page)

NEWS 5. Over 40 members attended the clubs AGM on Sunday 24th February 2008. The committee members gave their reports and Edna thanked them for all the effort that they had put in over the past year. Votes were taken during the meeting and all Commitee Members who kindly stood for election were all accepted by the Members. New committee members are needed and the club now needs to fill in the position of Membership Secretary and also Social Secretary & Catering Officer. If you are interested in helping the club with these positions or any other tasks, please contact a committee member. During the course of the afternoon Steve & Sue Hogwood kindly produced tasty cakes & teas & coffees which was very much appreciated.

NEWS 4. Saturday 16th February. About 25 Club members and guests enjoyed an interesting talk given by Marcus Russell on the Spitfire & Hurricane Memorial Museum, Manston. Following a welcome cuppa, take- off began at 7.30pm with some background history on the Spitfires, Hurricanes and DamBusters, together with lots of interesting local anecdotes on the people behind the machines. During the interval the ground crew winged their way to the galley for refuelling. Here, Captain & Co-Pilot, Brian and Edna, served up yet another of their delightful spreads, which included a selection of tasty sandwiches, quiches, an assortment of savouries, salad, and another highlight of the evening- Brian’s delicious homemade Victoria Sandwich Cake (as light as air!). As usual, Edna’s wonderful raffle produced a plethora of prizes, all waiting to be flown home. The remainder of the evening was set aside for a question and answer session before everyone returned to base. A thoroughly enjoyable evening, with thanks to Marcus. (Report kindly written by Cherry) .

NEWS 3. Boat Talks. Over the last few weeks a small group of club members have been learning new skills from our Commodore who has kindly given up his time to pass on his knowledge for the benefit of others .We started the first week learning knots and how to moor the easy way and then went on to recognise lights at night. The following weeks were spent on buoyage and the fascinating art of navigation. Although electronic gadgets can get you anywhere in the world at a touch of a button you must be able to know where you are in case these gizmos go on the blink. Plotting a course from A to B sounds simple but when you have to account for the tide which changes direction and speed during its flood or ebb life becomes more interesting. Thank you Alan for all your help and if anyone wants to better their skills then make sure you join in next time the opportunity comes around.

NEWS 2. Work Party Sunday 3rd February.An intrepid bunch of jolly Club Members braved the freezing cold conditions to connect up our long awaited electricity supply on the North Bank and the first flicker of light was to be seen as the security light boomed into life. During the next few days the power will spread down the length of the moorings and will bring the place alive !!. On the Saturday, preperation work was done with the aid of mechanical equipment and thanks must go to Jon Rudd for the time and effort he put in to set it all up for Sundays Work Party. Thank you to everybody who got up early and put the effort in, to Liz for her lovely cuisine with warming soup and lashings of teas & coffees. Without these wonderful workers the Clubs facilities would soon fall into disrepair. As for the late arrival, well he can make up for it by pouring more teas & washing up on next Sunday's Tea Duty !! .

NEWS 1. Cobweb Cruise. 10 Boats , 25 jolly people and a tasty selection of mouth watering delights (not to forget Alan’s delicious warming mulled wine) made the Cobweb Cruise & Redhouse Marsh a fun place to be. With fine weather ,a stiff breeze and not a snowflake in sight, digging in to the tasty morsels was a pleasure to behold. Food appeared from all directions as Club members & friends raided their larders to bring to the table sausages, sausage rolls, pizzas, chicken pieces, pork pies, crisps, scotch eggs, fruit buns, bananas, grapes, cakes which all went down very nicely thank you. Laughter & gossip wafted through the January air as we all chatted to our hearts content.

As the sun began to sink to give a chill to the proceedings, the fleet of boats dispersed from the pontoons to make their way back to the hurly burly of normal life. Wasn’t it nice to start the new boating season in this way and we all hope that this year will bring lots & lots of warm spring days, a hot crazy summer and an autumn that sprays us with colour but most of all MANY MANY DAYS OF GLORIOUS BOATING.

NEWS 24. An impromptu New Years Eve trip down river to Redhouse Marsh by 10 club members was a great way to celebrate the end of 2007 and the start of what is hoped to be a long boating year in 2008. Jamaica Inn (the flatpack version) was hastily taken down to Redhouse on “Vital Spark” for its reassembly by willing hands on Monday morning. 3 hours later it stood in full splendour with her fire burning ready for the evening entertainment.

All the ladies (who were the only ones that had to go to work during the morning !!) were collected by “Peace” from Plucks Gutter and taken back to Redhouse just as darkness fell. Hot tasty food & nibbles were produced from all directions and together with liquid refreshments, party poppers, balloons & fireworks made it a great fun evening. Silly games and lots of laughter in abundance made it a fantastic way to see the old year out.

Next morning the Inn was taken down and reloaded on “Vital Spark” for her journey home. All boats left at noon to return back to Grove Ferry & Sandwich and with the weather being very kind to us over the 2 days it made a nice relaxed end to the Christmas festivities. (Photos can be seen on Photo Page 2008 and a video on our Home Page)

NEWS 23. Xmas Cards and Yuletide greetings were exchanged at the Xmas Draw on Sunday as Members & friends got into the swing of this lovely time of year. The running buffet which members & friends kindly prepared was a great mixture of tasty morsels. The prizes were expertly displayed by Edna's artistic touch and a wide range of goodies were tucked under the arms of the lucky winners. A big thank you to everybody who attended, to Edna & Brian for their tremendous efforts & to all the band of helpers who make the afternoon so enjoyable. A merry Christmas to you All.

NEWS 22. Christmas Dinner 2007 at the Dog & Duck was another superb evening with a scrumptious selection of Festive food, Festive hats and Festive Club members & friends.( See video on our Home Page)..37 Club Members & friends enjoyed a fantastic choice of starters followed by traditional Turkey, Lamb, Halibut to name just a few. Xmas pudding, spotted dick, treacle pudding and other tasty desserts were followed by coffee with cream. Unfortunately quite a few people couldn't make the evening due to the dreaded flu virus and they were sorely missed by us all.

The awards were presented by our Commodore Alan Gittings and were as follows.

Longest Voyage Cup...... Leo Allen.

Boat Handling Cup..... Andy Sloane

Ladies Cup ...... Trina Blumire

Hawkins Tankard (Best dressed Boat)..... Ken Willison

Novice Shield..... Judi Smith

M V Burton Trophy ..... Tony Mackenzie

Certificates of Merit

John Bottle

Terry & Leo Blumire

Jon, Barbara, Vickie, Ellie Rudd

Shirley Mackenzie,

Liz Brazier

June Hodges

Flowers were presented to Edna and a bottle of Whisky to Brian for all that they done for the club over the past year.

NEWS 21. A warm night with no wind was the perfect setting for our Firework Night spectacular. High in the sky they flew with masses of colours lighting up the North Bank with oooohs and aaarrrs greeting every flash bang & wallop....Then it was back to the clubhouse for hot soup burgers hotdogs and the raffle. Lots of behind the scene preparation made it once again a special night and thanks go to Edna & Brian for the the tasty delights, Jon ,Andy & crew for the Firework fantasia and to Shirley & the gang for souping it up in the kitchen with all that washing up. Over 50 Club members Friends & children thoroughly enjoyed a wonderful evening. Thank you Grove Ferry Boat Club....( See video on our Home Page)..

NEWS 20. The Laying up supper was another success story for Edna & Brian. 32 Members & friends enjoyed a great evening with superb food and lots of banter and the always well supported raffle to finish off a fun night. Thanks go to all the willing helpers who make these events so special and would would not happen without their hard graft. For those of you who could not make the evening, this is what you missed. The Menu had the following tasty options. Starters either Prawn Cocktail or Fruit Juice. Main Meal Breast of Chicken in Mustard Sauce with Potatoes and Vegetables or Minced Beef , Carrotts and Onions with Potato and crispy cheese topping and a selection of vegetables. Sweet. Cheesecake or Black Forest Gateaux or Ice Cream or Cheese and Biscuits.Teas coffees and mints completed the tasty offerings. Lovely.....


NEWS 19. 22 Club Members turned up to give their support to what turned out to be a superb Work Party day. A whole host of essential maintenance jobs were completed and the first stages of the long awaited electricity supply were put into place. With lashings of teas, coffees,cakes, savouries and a bucket load of bacon rolls, everybody enjoyed the excellent team spirit day and heart felt thanks goes to all of you for making it such a successful one. Thanks once again to Liz and her trusty crew for all the effort that they always put in to keep us all fed and watered .

NEWS 18. Autumn Fruits Sunday 16th September. Saturday was not the day of the Autumn Fruits but it was the day that saw a band of fantastic club members travel down to Redhouse Marsh to erect the tents, flags , tables & chairs and all the bits & pieces needed for us all to enjoy the delicious delights which were expertly put together by our hard working Liz. The effort that they all put in made the Sunday such a success with over 30 members & friends lapping up the wonderful food and sunshine. It was great to see some new faces with several new club members staying overnight on the Saturday to enjoy an extended weekend of fun. We have a great club & it showed when at the of the day everybody helped to pack away and load back on to the boats all the items that had to be returned back to Grove Ferry. All the help was most appreciated and made for another successful event. Thank you everybody.

NEWS 17. Work Party Saturday 8th September. 7 members spent the day maintaining the North Bank with grass cutting, hole filling. vinyl sticking & numerous other essential jobs completed. A tasty spread with lashings of teas & coffees which Treena kindly organised was most welcome on a very hot day. Thanks to Ken for getting us all organised and thank you to everybody who helped on the day .

NEWS 16. The Sandwich Festival weekend was superb with 8 Grove Ferry boats taking part in the Fairylight Procession through Sandwich on Bank Holiday Sunday. We left Grove Ferry at 11am Saturday to arrive for the swinging of Sandwich Toll Bridge at 1pm. The rest of the day was spent pottering around and in the evening at our kind hosts from the Sandwich Motor Boat & Yacht Clubs superb Barge. A fun communal game of chess ended up with Lloyds team pipping Johns team by a masterstoke. A few games of Jenka (the one with all the wooden blocks game) followed with some unusal building constructions being invented (and flattened). A few drinks were consumed and the evening finished off with a Monkey game which was worth hanging around for.

Sunday was a day for strolling around Sandwich & having quality time with Club members who we don't always get chance to chat to for more than a few passing moments. The evening arrived and the intended 8.30pm start time for the Procession was put back as boats were still sitting on mud and trying to float them ,in the dark, with the tide still running out, and very little space to work with was a test for everybody. Unfortunately some boats couldn't make it which was really disappointing for them as they had made so much effort with decorations and travelling down to Sandwich. Eventually boats started moving at 9.30pm and were greeted at Sandwich Quay by a roar of a crowd estimated around the 500 mark. Unbelievable !!!. Boats then turned around at convenient parts of the river & most managed to miss each other by skilfull manouevering. The trip back to the moorings was a lot quieter as most of the crowd had dispersed after waiting patiently since 8pm. The evening finished with wine & nibbles amongst friends.

The next day we travelled back to Grove Ferry going through the bridge at 12.15pm and arriving to home moorings at 2.15pm. What a wonderful weekend & thanks must go to our Vice Commodore Colin for his unbelievable efforts in getting us there & back and keeping us informed on all that was going on. Thanks also to Colin Carr for arranging the Procession & to Sandwich Motorboat & Yacht Club for allowing us to moor & their kind hospitality. To our Commodore Alan Gittings who tried so hard to make the weekend but his knee just wouldn't play ball, we missed you so much & hope that you will be back soon leaping about on Turramurra.

NEWS 15. 15 Club Members spent a wonderful Saturday evening at Maurices River Talk. The evening was Very informative with the Talk being supported with both Slides and Film and 'memories recounted' from the audience; with Tea and Coffee to boot. Thank you to Maurice & to Treena & gang for making the night so enjoyable.

NEWS 14. Work Party 12th August. 15 Club Members pulled together to maintain the Clubs North Bank facilities with strimming, painting, grass cutting and general tittivating. Liz again supplied a tasty lunch with teas, coffees & cool drinks to refuel the hard working troops. Thank you to everybody who attended and to those who couldn't, please come to the next one in September as they are really are very rewarding & great fun.(See Photo Page) .

NEWS 13. Riverside Fete. ....Congratulations.... To everybody involved with planning, working & cleaning up which is involved in the Clubs Riverside Fete. I know how tired members & friends are at the end of the day, it takes several days to recover, also to restore the notices & return items to their normal place. On behalf of the Committee & the members who all directly benefit from the goodwill & funds which the event raises, I Thank You.(See Photo Page)

Alan Gittings- Commodore.

NEWS 12. Strawberry Tea. Plan A & Plan B were ready to be implemented depending on the weather as the forecast was decidedly dodgy. Plan A was on the North Bank under a blazing sun with shade under the parasols. Plan B was in the Clubhouse watching the rain lashing down outside. A went to B went to A went to B etc etc etc. The poor committee were in a right jam with the Strawberry Tea. In the end the sun came out (hoorah) and the North Bank won the day. A lovely spread for the 30 members and friends who attended. Thank you GFBC Committee. Another great one from these hard working diamonds.

NEWS 11. BBQ & Half Year Meeting. There were 22 people in total attending, comprising 5 committee members and 17 club members. After short meeting of about 35 mins we enjoyed a BBQ of hot dogs & burgers cooked by Lloyd and cups of tea thanks to Val. Raffle prizes were won by several happy members. Various items discussed eg more help needed from new members at workparties, instead of relying on usual regulars, moorings, & reports from Committee . .

NEWS 10. A fantastic turnout of 20 dinghies travelled up river on our annual jaunt to Fordwich. All shapes and sizes were in evidence and the dinghies were unusual as well !!!. The weather was perfect, not too hot and not too cold and the river and surrounding scenery looked gorgeous after all the rain that we had had over the days before. The food was up to the usual standard and the liquid refreshments were very much appreciated. Against the tide it had taken the slower boats 1 hour and 40 mins up river and coming back a quicker journey of 1 hour and 15 mins. Returning to the slipway everybody lent a hand and safely recovered all the dinghies. Thank you to everybody for joining in and for the committee for their efforts in organising another great day out. (See photos on Photo Page).

NEWS 9. Work Party. Another successful workparty with the North bank tidied up. Thanks to Trina for looking after the catering and Andy for up dating the mess room now renamed the Ferry Boat. As you can see from the Photos We made the most of the good weather. . (See photos on Photo Page).

NEWS 8. A poor weather forecast kept the numbers down at the recent Workparty but in the end it wasn't as bad as it should have been & thanks to the kind efforts of the willing helpers a lot of "have to be done jobs" were completed. Thank you everybody. (See photos on Photo Page).

NEWS 7. The May bank holiday cruise to sandwich was a great success a total of six club boats had an enjoyable weekend thanks to the hospitality of the Sandwich Yacht and Motor Boat Club. Some of us went into Sandwich in the afternoon, Vital spark finding a vacant ladder on the town quay where a few hours were spent enjoying the festivities and market before in the evening joined by a number of our club members who arrived by road we all had a pleasant evening spent in company at their club barge. On the Sunday Peace and Justina joined the boats from SYMBC and went to the estuary to meet and escort MTB102 into the river for her visit to Sandwich. On Sunday we made our way back up the river to redhouse spending a relaxing night after all the excitement.(See Photo Page for great action shots).

NEWS 6. The Fitting Out Supper was another great chance to check out the Tasty offerings superbly cooked by Edna & Brian. We started off with a choice of Pate or Fruit Juice swiftly followed by either Tuna Pasta Bake or Beef Bergenon. Decisions decisions, either to have the profitterolls the Trifle or a wonderful selection of Mild & mature cheeses with a variety of biscuits. Tea or Coffee completed the splendid meal and the raffle was expertly done by young Ellie & young Edna. Thank you to everybody who lent a hand with all the washing up, serving meals and collecting the vital pennies that helps to keep the club running so smoothly. Great company and great fun yet again.

NEWS 5. The Easter Cruise this year was blessed with some glorious sunshine for the trip down the river and a stiff breeze across the harbour entrance which tested the skills of all the crews. The weekend started with boats leaving Grove Ferry on Good Friday for an overnight stay at Redhouse Marsh. Saturday afternoon saw Perlican and Ghost Whisperer join Peace, Turramurra and Justina for the journey down to Ramsgate. The crossing from Pegwell was fairly gentle until the Harbour entrance but once inside, calmness returned. In the evening we were treated to a spectacular firework display and after a few nightcaps a good nights sleep.

We woke on Sunday morning to the sound of the foghorn as visability in the channel went to zero. Luckily it cleared and by the time of departure the Sun had come out but the wind had turned southerly. The trip back to the rivermouth was to say the least slightly hairy as it picked up to a force 3 to 4. Well done to John & Sue Bottle in Ghost Whisperer as it was their 1st trip across from the harbour and a testing one at that !!. Once back in the river we gently cruised back to Redhouse for an overnight stay for Peace & Turramurra. Perlican ,Ghost Whisperer & Justina travelled back wishing they could have stayed as the weather now was absolutely stunning. Monday saw the end of a another lovely weekend with the Grove Ferry Boat Club. Thanks goes to Alan & Colin for guiding us over the weekend and to everybody for their wonderful company.

NEWS 4. What a master stroke changing the date of the Shakedown Cruise to Saturday 18th March. The weather was perfect for the journey down river and allowing for all the 11 boats & 30 Club members to stretch their legs out in the bay. A force 3 to 4 westerly gave us enough shelter to check our sea legs with a gentle chop on the sea and returning to the river enabled a few waves to wash the bows. Sunday would have been a touch more lively !!!!. Returning to the river we were greeted by the sight of at least 8 Seals who were all enjoying the disturbance caused by our props and probably helping to supply their lunch. Perlican made a couple of unscheduled visits to the Riverbank & thanks go to Justina for giving her a lift on one of the occasions whilst repairs were swiftly done. The fleet was joined by Dormouse on the return up river and Vital Spark stayed over in Sandwich for some liquid refreshment. Lunch was taken at Redhouse Marsh and we returned back to Grove Ferry just after 4pm. Thanks goes to Colin for organising the trip and supplying the maps and details of tides and useful contact numbers, and to Alan for leading the fleet on another great Boat Club event.

NEWS 3. Over 40 members attended our AGM on Sunday 25th February 2007 which was as Peter put it "a terrific turnout and a high percentage of the Clubs Membership". Wally Wanstall was presented with a Barometer & Clock Plaque and a pennant for the appreciation of all the hard work that he has put into our Club over the past 3 years. We all wish him well and he can now spend time for himself with a few projects that he has had to put on the back burner whilst standing as our Club Commodore. His roll has now been kindly taken over by Alan Gittings who has previously held the position and we are sure Alan will get all the support from the Club Members as he leads us through the next boating season. Our lovely Edna has now stood down from being our Social Secretary but she will be organising our Riverside Fayre and Suppers which is great news for us gourmets !. Votes were taken during the meeting and all Commitee Members who kindly stood for election including our new edition Robert Burton were all accepted by the Members and we wish them all well for the coming year.

NEWS 2. Thanks to Ken, Colin, John Bottle & their band of willing helpers, the Clubhouse has been given a facelift and is now looking really good. The lighter colour scheme makes it very light and airey and with the plush chairs it is certainly worth a visit on a Sunday afternoon to relax & enjoy a drink, some cake and great friendly company.Be careful though as once in one of the comfy chairs you will have trouble getting out as it's easy to nod off in one !!.

NEWS 1. Eleven boats and 30 members & friends enjoyed a lovely trip down river to Red House Marsh on our Annual Cobweb Cruise. The weather was glorious with the Sun shining all day and with a light breeze it made the temperature very pleasant.Everybody helped the refreshment side by bringing all sorts of tasty snacks which were enjoyed immensely by one and all.The mulled wine & the odd can of beer went down very well and it was nice for everybody to get the chance for a chat to catch up with the latest news.Thank you to everybody who attended for a great day and here is the list of boats who made the trip. Ghost Whisperer, Badger, Jus'tina, Perlican, Peace, Turramurra, Lady Llovall, Cygnet, Vital Spark, Dream-On & Ronjo.

NEWS 28. New Years Eve at Redhouse Marsh was an amazing step back in time as 10 Members celebrated the arrival of the New Year in the famous Jamaica Inn. Storm force winds could not blow away the wonderful atmospheric feel of the inside of this famous replica Inn. A log fire kept everybody warm & snug and with real Rum on tap, superb Casserole & vegetables excently cooked by Liz & Alan,tasty snacks and jovial banter together with fireworks indoors and outdoors it was a great night. Great thanks must go to Andy who has recreated this fantastic house and transported it on "Vital Spark". The weather was horrendous but together with Colin, Alan & Steve the Jamaica Inn was erected and held secure and withstood winds over 50mph. Amazing !!. New Years Day started off with another tasty Stew cooked by Liz and everybody travelled back glowing to Grove Ferry. .

NEWS 27. Christmas Cards and Yuletide greetings were exchanged at the Xmas Draw on Sunday as Members & friends engaged in seasonal gossip & merriment. Everybody enjoyed the running buffet which was donated by all the members who attended and the ever present & oh so precious Edna & Brian kept us all well fed and watered. The prizes were a mixture of delicious delights & liquid gold (The Port was particularly sought after). A great way to start the Festive Season. .

NEWS 26. The Christmas Dinner & Annual Awards 2006 Night was another great success and the 50 Club Members & friends were treated to a superb Festive spread at The Dog & Duck at Plucks Gutter. Jim Rose kindly started the evening festivities by saying Grace and then the Prawn Cocktails, Pate & Mushroom dishes arrived. Next followed The Roast Turkey or Shank of Lamb, Roast Potatoes, Carrots, Cauliflower & Sprouts followed by Xmas Pudd, Deserts of the day, Coffee & scrumptious mince pies. What a wonderful Meal it was. Edna & Elly hosted the Raffle with vast array of prizes being snapped up by the appreciative winners. The Annual Awards were presented by Wally our Commodore & Master of ceromonies and the winners were as follows. The Boat Handling Trophy... Alan Gittings. The Ladies Trophy... Liz Brazier. The Best Decorated Boat Trophy... Andy Sloane. The Best Kept Log Trophy... Colin Brazier. The Longest Journey Trophy... Steve. Other Trophy winners were... Mike Ford & Treena & Terry. The Club Person of the Year Shield & so well deserved was won by... Jon Rudd. A bouquet of flowers were presented to Edna for appreciation of what tremendous work that she has done for our club. There were also liquid delights presented to Brian & Colin Carr for kindly giving up their time for the benefit of the Boat Club. A great evening .

NEWS 25. A sunny but a touch chilly Saturday Morning greeted 23 Club members as we slipped from Sandwich Quay on our gentle cruise down river to Pegwell Bay on Colin Carrs "Lady Jane". We were treated to masses of wildlife & the wonderful sight of a large gathering of seals at the mouth of the river. Colin's narration of the history and comical events of our lovely river and coastline was so interesting and we thank him once again for giving up his morning for the benefit of our club members. Elly must have woken up on Sunday Morning with aching arms as she took the tiller for a large part of the trip. Colin took us out into the Bay & pointed out the navigation marks which guide vessels in & out of the river which will be very useful for those of us who haven't attempted the passage before. A really great morning. Thank you Colin.

NEWS 24. Fantastic Fireworks. A Great display of Flash,Bang Wallop was given by Wally & Colin on the North Bank on a lovely crisp November evening. There were lots of OOhs & AAAHHHS as the pyrotechnics expolded into life. Back at the Clubhouse, Edna ,Brian & Jon BBQ'd well needed Burgers Bacon & Bangers with a cup of hot soup to keep everybody well nourished. Ellie announced the Raffle numbers in her unique charming way & everybody had another lovely Boat Club Evening. Thank you to all the hard working Committee Members who make these events possible.

NEWS 23. Laying Up Supper 2006. 40 Club Members & friends were treated to a really exceptional Gourmet Evening with a wonderful selection of mouth watering delights. Turkey, Yorkshire puds, sprouts, potatoes loads of vegetables and the most perfect melt in the mouth piece of Beef that you are ever likely to taste. Gateaux, pavlova, cheese & Biscuits, the list goes on. Thank you so much Edna & Brian for cooking a magnificent aray of goodies. Thank you to all the willing helpers who washed up, dried up, cashed up, raffled up, collected up, cleaned up & closed up. Yet another great evening.

NEWS 22. On a busy weekend of Work Parties, Club Members repaired the Moorings at Redhouse Marsh with Sterling work from Colin . Alan ,Liz & Our new Works Co-ordinator Ken. A very well planned and successful repair of one of the pontoon links ensures that we continue to have use of our superb facility down river. On the Sunday The North Bank was kept up to scratch with the Caravan, the Compound, Slipway & Grass areas being maintained by the usual band of regulars who, without their constant loyal help, would see our facilities go into a state of disrepair. Thank you to all of them and lets hope we see some new faces lending a hand next time.

NEWS 21. Autumn Fruits 2006. If you get great Weather our outdoor events are a bit special. Add that to superb food and you get a very special day. Mix in a sprinkling of very hard working people and you have the ingredients of an exceptional day. Thats what we got on Sunday. The effort put in by Liz producing wonderful food, Colin organising the shipping down to Redhouse Marsh and with Alan and Andy's terrific constructional skills , 30 Club Members had a lovely afternoon. The night before at Redhouse, Andy built a brilliant Jamaica Inn (see Your Club Page for Photos) and a BBQ was fired up. Another superb weekend. Thank you everybody from the Grove Ferry Boat Club. PS. The fishing competition was won by Mary & Steve. The bait was a large magnet and the 2 parts that went overboard (Not Tony but the bits from the marqee !!!!) were recovered. Pheeew. That made it a perfect end to a perfect day.

NEWS 20. Riverside Fete 2006. Edna has kindly passed on the following resume of the very successful day." What a wonderful day, perfect weather, interesting crowds. One thing it proves is it pays to advertise. At one point people were queued up through the Club for boat rides, and three children already in fancy dress arrived early morning. The Box Stall sold out mid-morning- how does she do it ?. There was a good turn out by the Morris Minor Club. Tombola had sold out by the end of the day, as did the BBQ, cake stall and galley.

Our thanks go to all who put in the time and effort on this very special day to support the Club. It is hard work, but enormous fun, and this one proved to be very successful- so give yourselves a pat on the back. Well done! AND FROM ME PERSONALLY, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU. YOU WERE WONDERFUL". From Edna.

NEWS 19. 15 Club members had a fun evening at The Sandwich Yacht & Motorboat Clubs Summer Party. 6 Club Boats were kindly accomodated with overnight moorings by the friendly club members and we were entertained by Barrys superb Band with great guitar play, Great singing & Some really funny gags. A tasty BBQ washed down with quite a few beverages of the alcholic kind were great ingredients for a good nights sleep. Another great weekend thanks to our hosts.

NEWS 18. Fantastic. What a day we had for the Riverside Fair. Perfect weather (again) loads & loads & loads of visitors & superb support by Club members who spent hours of their own time to help on the many stalls and boats that went up and down the river all day. It was so well organised as usual it couldn't fail to not be a success and thanks goes to everybody who got involved.

The Commodore would like to thank all members and friends who contributed to a very successful day which was well attended by the public. It was also nice to see some past and new members attending as well. A special mention to Edna, assisted by Jon and Team for the exhausting effort put in to organise the shore side part of the day. To all skippers and crews for the time spent preparing their boats and the tremendous way they coped with the rush of trippers. Our small waterway was very congested at times making for some good practice in boat control. Well done everybody.

NEWS 17. 18 Members attended the Half Yearly Meeting where the Club accounts and some interesting points were raised by those who attended. The BBQ followed out on the Clubs Patio with the balmy hot evening being enjoyed by over 30 club members & friends. Brian, Edna ,June & Jon kept the Burgers, Bacon, Sausages & (yum yum) onions flowing with Elly (smashing new hairdo) delightfully calling out the raffle numbers.Thanks to all the helpers and yet another great evening.

NEWS 16. Glorious food ,Scorching Weather & wonderful surroundings were the ingredients for a marvellous afternoon at The Strawberry Tea. Over 40 Club members & friends enjoyed Ednas delights of Strawberries & cream, cakes of all varieties with buttered scones and lashings of tea. As usual Edna & Brian worked their socks off to make sure everybody was fully fed & watered and Liz, June, Cherry, Treena Ellie & Leo gave their valuable help to make it a successful event. The day before Colin , Andy & Alan organised a band of willing volunteers to set up the Tent, unbrellas, tables & chairs ready for the big day. Without this "in the backround effort" this event or any other event could not take place. We are very grateful ( & lucky) to have such willing & hardworking people in our club. Thank you everybody for yet another great event

NEWS 15. The July Work Party was very well attended with over 15 club members grafting through the morning & afternoon clearing the North Bank ready for the Strawberry Tea. A large tree was lopped (see photo page) & grass, weeds and general maintenace was achieved together with a good laugh which is the norm on Work Party days. Thank you to everybody and a big thanks to our lovely ladies who keep us going with delicious offerings ( the foods great too !!). Next stop the Strawberry Tea.

NEWS 14. Many Boat Club Members attended the Funeral of Tom Everitt on Friday 7th July 2006. On such a sad occasion it must have given Lily and all of her family great comfort to know that so many people cared about Tom. It was a lovely service with the song "Sailing" being played in remembrance and celebration of Toms wonderful life.

NEWS 13. It is with great sadness that the Club has to announce the sad loss of Tom Everitt who died suddenly on Thursday 29th June 2006. Our hearts & thoughts go out to Toms Mum, his best friend & constant companion Lily at this very desparate time for her.Tom has been a very active member of the Club and his humour and lovely smile will be missed by everbody.

Toms funeral will be held on Friday 7th July at 12 o'clock at All Saints Church, Church Street, Tankerton.

NEWS 12. 10 Boats of all shapes and sizes made their way up river in hot sunshine to Fordwich on our annual Dinghy Run.The Commodore led the fleet and eventually everybody arrived at the Fordwich Arms for ice cold beers and other refreshing drinks with a tasty meal and great service from the staff at the Public House. The site of a periscope appearing up from the murky depths amused our club members and also the pub customers and one guess who was responsible for that !!. A great day was had by all.

NEWS 11. Maurices Boat Treasure Hunt was a great afternoon on the River getting lost but thoroughly enjoying the company and great weather.The clues were well thought out (and hidden) and tested the knowledge of the 5 crews who had varying success in solving the riddles and locating the hidden treasures.A lot of effort went into the event and thanks goes to Maurice and Wally for spending a lot of time organising this fun event.

NEWS 10. 20 Club Members enjoyed the social Evening as guests of The Royal Temple Yacht Club. A quiz was organised by Alan with questions that tested the grey matter. A mixture of Nautical, TV & general knowledge were thrown at us and Robert Burtons team won the coveted bottle of wine trophy. The Raffle was very well organised by Jim & Mary and a delicious Buffet was enjoyed by all. A few drinks on the balcony with some light hearted banter (see photos) ended a very enjoyable evening.

NEWS 9. 15 Club Members worked their socks off during the recent Work Party Day. 12 Tons of material were shovelled and raked over the compound and finished with what was generaly described as a line dance to flatten it down. Andy & Jon layed a new floor in the caravan, Vikky & Ellie drove the tractors to cut the grass and the trailers were expertly parked by Wally who showed how to reverse correctly without the trailer doing its own thing.!!.Leo was a great help to everybody and worked very hard all day. Liz, Barbara & Treena constantly supplied tea, coffee , delicious soup and nibbles. Thank you everybody who attended, your help is very much appreciated..

NEWS 8. The Fitting Out Supper. Edna & Brian ,the chefs supreme, produced another superb meal for the 30 Club members with Cream of Tomato soup or Fruit juice, Beef & Mushroom pie or Chicken & Asparagus pie (both served with Creamed potatoes & mixed veg) followed by Trifle or Cheesecake or gateaux or cheese & biscuits followed by tea or coffee & mints. Fantastic !!. Thank you to Edna & Brian and all their helpers from everybody and we all look forward to the next event.

NEWS 7. Four Club boats made the journey down to Ramsgate Marina over the Easter weekend. Turramurra, Peace Justina & Perlican travelled on Good Friday with the weather being kind enough to give light winds but drizzle as the fleet passed through Sandwich Bridge and into Pegwell Bay. The entry into Ramsgate Harbour was enjoyable for the first timers with the usual confused sea being less confused than normal. Friday night the traditional fish & chip supper was carried down to the boats by Maureen & Bobby and a few refreshments gently washed down the culnery delights.

The fog came down in the early hours of Saturday morning with the Foghorn on the harbour arm booming out for the rest of the night (only just blotting out the other foghorn coming from Perlican). Saturday was a damp miserable day with most of the crews going ashore for sightseeing and raiding the Pound shop. The free electricity that comes with the mooring fees was being used to the full with fan heaters blowing away to keep the frostbite away.A few more drinks were downed on Saturday evening and all had a peaceful night. Sunday morning was glorious with clear skies, warm sunshine and a calm crossing back to the river mouth where we were treated to the sight of five seals basking on the sands.Peace & Turramurra stayed overnight at Redhouse whilst Justina , Perlican & Vital Spark (who had anchored off Redhouse displaying the regulation black ball) returned to Grove Ferry. Another Great fun Weekend was had by all.

NEWS 6. The first work party of the year was very productive with the new extended compound being tidied up and the caravans moved to make more space for the boats. The old fencing and that nasty old gate have been removed and Andy did his Saxon impression whilst lighting up his bonfire!!. Thank you to everybody who gave up their time to help and thanks to our lovely ladies, Cherry, Anne, Ellie & Barbara who helped tremendously and kept us fed & watered.

NEWS 5. The Shakedown Cruise on Sunday 19th March 2006 was a great day out with 10 Club Boats making their way down river in convoy to the Sandwich Motorboat Club where all of us were made so very welcome by all of their members. We were shown around their clubhouse which is a superb barge which they are renovating (Andy fell in love with the Wheelhouse and living accomodation and hasn't been seen since !!). After a refreshing drink in the bar we made our way back to Grove Ferry giving the Sandwich Swingbridge a good workout for the day. Although we didn't get out into the Bay because of the strong winds the day was a great success due to Colins hard work co-ordinating on the VHF/Mobile Phone & 2 Way Radio (All at the same time whilst Skippering his Boat. Who says men can't do more than one thing at a time !!!!).Thanks Colin & everybody for another great day.

NEWS 4. Over 30 Club Members attended our AGM on Sunday 26th February.The officers gave their reports for the past year and then all the standing and outgoing Committee members were thanked for all the time and effort that they have put into our club. All Officers and committee members who re-applied to stand again for the coming year were re-elected. Three positions were left vacant and they are, Works Co-ordinator, Members representative, & committee member. If any club member is interested in any of these positions please contact an Officer or committee member.

NEWS 3. 6 Club Members successfully navigated their way through the ICC Exam held at The Boat House. Thanks goes to Alan who kindly gave up his time over the past few weeks to teach us collision & distress signals & how to identify signs which we may encounter on our trips to the Inland waterways on the continent. He spent all day Saturday looking after us and we all wish to thank him for all his hard work.

NEWS 2. Over 20 members were treated to a really interesting talk and accompanying photos given by Maurice on the old mills and watermills of the River Stour and it's tributaries. How he remembers all these facts about our local villages and their folk is amazing. Why,it is rumoured, that while Maurice can remember events that happened 70 years ago, Andy doesn't know what he did yesterday !!. Anyway the evening was great fun with lots of humorous input by all the members and finished off with a tasty buffet and a raffle kindly organised by our hard working Edna and Brian. Thank you Grove Ferry Boat Club for another fun Evening and thanks goes to Maurice for sharing his stories with us all.

NEWS 1. The Cobweb Cruise 15th January 2006 was a fantastic start to the New Year with 14 Boats and nearly 30 Club Members & Friends travelling down the River in convoy to Red House Marsh with the large Seamasters leading the way and Lloyd following along at the rear (once Perlican had caught up !!). Once at Redhouse the larger boats moored up on the pontoons and then very skilfully (with a lot of guidance on the VHF Radios) brought everybody safely in to make this event one of the largest seen at Redhouse Marsh for some years. On the way down the River two very interesting sights were to be seen. The first was seeing the large Pike that Peter had caught in amongst the reeds and the second was the site of Mick being held upside down by his ankles (hence the name Cuckoo) by Shirley & Cherry as he successfully retrieved one of Esox's fenders.

Once on land all hands to the pumps as food, soup, rolls & Mulled wine came from all directions. What fantastic team spirit with everbody contributing. The weather was kind to us considering it was January but once the chill started to set in we all made our way back to Groveferry. Lets hope all the social events this year will be as well supported. Thank you to everybody for a great day out.

NEWS 28. The Xmas Draw & Buffet Afternoon is the last event of the year and the club house was packed with members exchanging christmas cards and wishing each other a very merry time. Edna and Brian were our excellent hosts and a great spread was well appreciated by the hungry hoards. Thank you to everybody who helped by donating tasty snacks. Many prizes were won and will be consumed over the Yultide celebrations.Another great event organised by The Grove Ferry Boat Club.

NEWS 27. The Christmas Dinner & Annual Awards Night 2005 was another roaring success and the 40 Club Members were treated to a glorious Festive spread at The Grove Ferry Inn. Prawn Cocktail or Soup started the proceedings followed by Roast Turkey or Steak, Roast Potatoes, Yorkshire Pudds,Sausage in Bacon, Carrots, Cauliflower, Brochilli, Swede followed by Xmas Pudd, Gateaux, Cheese & Biscuits followed by Coffee & Biscuit. Phewww !!!. Edna & her very able assistant Elly hosted the Raffle with terrific prizes being snapped up by the lucky winners.(Lloyd kindly putting back 5 prizes which he won on his £1.00 stake !!).

The Annual Awards were presented by Wally our Commodore & Master of ceromonies and the winners were as follows. The Boat Handling Trophy... Tony Mackenzie. The Ladies Trophy... Barbara Rudd. The Best Decorated Boat Trophy... Andy Sloane. The Best Kept Log Trophy... Alan Gittings. The Longest Journey Trophy... Tony Brooks. The Novice Trophy... Vicky & Ellie Rudd. The Boat Manouvers Trophy... Eddie Rose. and last but not least for all the time and effort put into our Club. The Club Person of the Year Shield... Andy Sloane.

NEWS 26. 18 Members braved the chilly night and enjoyed the talk given by The Sandwich Harbour Master (& Club Member) Mr Colin Carr. The information that he gave us about entering the River from the Bay was very helpful and his stories highly amusing. He told us about the History of Port Sandwich and the pitfalls that can be encountered as you navigate your way up from Ramsgate. The wildlife at the mouth of the River is extremely varied with the Seal Population taking centre stage with their "you are watching us but we are keeping an eye & counting you" technique very much in evidence !!. Edna & Brian produced another of their delicious spreads and Bobby won a teapot at the Raffle. Thanks from all of us to Colin, Edna & Brian for another great evening.

NEWS 25. Work Party 12th November 2005. Another busy but fun Work Party beavered away clearing out the old caravan, shifting boats, cutting grass, clearing weeds on the North Bank. Down at Redhouse Marsh more work was completed on the Moorings. Our lovely Ladies kept us extremely well fed and watered and the dozen or so members enjoyed another warm sunny day. We hope the weather holds for the last Work Party of the year on Sunday 11th December 2005. Thank you everybody for all your help.

NEWS 24. Bonfire Night 5th November 2005 was a great evening Spectacular with Rockets filling the warm evening sky. The forcasted rain never materialised and close to 40 club members & friends watched the half hour display excellently put together by Wally & Colin. Back at the Clubhouse Hot soup & Burgers were keenly downed by the hungry spectators and prizes galore were snapped up at the Raffle. Another Great night at the Grove Ferry Boat Club.

NEWS 23. The Laying Up Supper was another great evening with Edna & Brian producing another superb meal.The choice of Orange Juice or Fruit Salad followed by Beef or Turkey with Roast & New Potatoes, Sprouts, Carrots Yorkshire pud. Yum Yum. A selection of Sweets and Cheese & Biscuits followed by Coffee & mints completed a really tremendous meal. A quiz compiled by Maurice and a Raffle with Ellie announcing the winning tickets finished off a very enjoyable evening. Thanks to everybody who helped Edna & Brian and made this another successful occasion.

NEWS 22. A fleet of 9 Boats sailed down to Red House Marsh on the Saturday morning with 'Peace' dressed as a cargo ship with all the new timbers for the mooring sitting on her cabin roof. The Workparty beavered away all day ripping up the old timbers and then replacing with the smart new ones. In the evening a large BBQ was lit and all the men did their impressions of Jamie Oliver and of course had some liquid refreshment to help their parched throats!!. Music wafted through the night from our resident DJ's magic box and flashing lights were seen (although most were due to the liquid refreshments!!).

On Sunday morning the coarse was set up for the Boat Manoeuvers and 8 highly trained crews negotiated the Red & Green Buoys which had been painted by Ellie & Vicky. Part of the task was to recover a Man over Board and by the end of the competition he was looking pretty sorry for himself. Thank you to everybody who attended the weekend which was great fun and very very productive.

The results were as follows. Eddy (Jims grandson) 2 mins 6 secs, Tony Mac 3 mins 9 secs, Colin 3 mins 44 secs, Vicky 4 mins 4 secs, Jon 4 mins 20 secs, Steve (Jaspen) 4 mins 59 secs, Ellie & Mum 9 mins 18 secs.

NEWS 21. The Autumn Fruits was yet another gourmet delight produced by Edna & Brian. A few extra calories must have been put on by those of you who couldn't resist the tasty offerings put before you. Fantastic !!. We can't wait for the Laying Up Supper. Roll on October.

NEWS 20. If you want to improve your boating knowledge there is no better way than taking part in the various courses that are available from October 2005. The following 3 Courses should hone your skills and will give you qualifications which will be legal requirements if you want to operate a VHF radio or if you want to take your own boat through the French Canals.

The Day Skipper Course will be held at The Royal Temple Yacht Club, Westcliff Mansions, Ramsgate and starts on 11th October 2005 on Tuesday & Thursday Evenings. The Course fee is £175.00 and if you are interested and need more information you can contact Mary Fomison on 01843 591766 or write to The Administrator at the Royal Temple Yacht Club.

The GMDSS Short Range Radio Course starts on 5th October 2005 and is held at The Dover Sea School, Vale Square, Ramsgate and would have a reduced fee of £70.00 if a group of at least 4 Club Members attend the Course.

The ICC is the qualification required if you want to take your boat over the Channel into the French Canal System. The book on the course is available from the RYA and the International Certificate of Competence test (Inland Waters) would be taken locally.

If you click on the following links you will be taken to the relevant websites for your information. .

The Royal Yachting Association

Royal Temple Yacht Club

International Certificate of Competence (ICC)

NEWS 19. The Riverside Fete August 2005. To all members and friends who helped at the Fete this year, thank you seems a small word to use for all the hard work and we really mean Hard Work that you put in to get this event off the ground.

The figures are now in and we have surpassed all previous events. What an achievement, give yourselves a pat on the back. It proves that when asked to do so, you the members really do pull together. Once again, an enormous thank you from the Fete Committee.

NEWS 18. There has been another spate of burglaries from owners crafts along the River with the culprits coming up or down the river by boat and removing items which are not theirs. Please be vigilant at all times and note anything or anybody that may be acting suspiciously. Please make sure you do not put yourself in danger by confronting these people but when safe to do so report anything unusual to the relevant authorities.

NEWS 17. The Half Yearly Meeting & BBQ was attended by around 20 members who were treated to a delicious BBQ under a cloudless sky (not as forecasted). The meeting side of the evening was very informative and members raised some very good points. Pictures of the BBQ can be seen on the Photo Page 2005

NEWS 16. The July Work Party was well organised by Jon Rudd who got the troops sprucing up the Clubhouse and trimming down the North Bank making both sides of our Club Grounds looking superb which will encourage more members to join and use the great facilities that we are lucky to enjoy. Thanks again to everybody who helped and to Barbara and the girls who kept everybody frequently oiled with tea and refreshments.

NEWS 15. The Strawberry Tea was another culnery delight by our wonderful Edna & Brian. It seems to get better & better every year (if that was possible). Thanks from everybody for a lovely afternoon.

NEWS 14. Ghost & Ghoulie Night was well supported and the audience were treated to Maurices fascinating memoires of our lovely River

NEWS 13. The June Work Party was a great success with members working very hard to produce a new decked patio area, holes and cracks being repaired and new potted plants expertly arranged by our two young ladies Ellie and Vikki and the front fences and gates given a lick of paint by our resident painter and his assistants. Barbara Rudd produced a superb lunch, loads of tea and a wonderful Mars Bar cake (secret recipe which can be obtained for a donation to the tea fund !!). With refurbished flagpoles the Clubhouse will look a picture for the forthcoming Riverside Fete on the 7th August. Once again thank you to everybody that helped during the course of the day.(See photo page).

NEWS 12. The Dinghy Run 2005 saw a fleet of nine craft from the tiny "Dabchick" to the awe inspiring "Maid of Kent" set off for Fordwich for this very popular annual jaunt.The weather was very kind again although not as hot as last year but very pleasant all the same.The journey took around 80 minutes and the refreshments at the Fordwich Arms were well received. The river and the surrounding fields and trees were in stunning form and the sight of the magnificent swan taking off rather swiftly every time "Atom Ants" engine misfired was a memory to treasure. The journey back was a lot quicker as the tide had picked up and a lot less fuel was burned. Thank you to everybody for making this another great day out. (see Photo Page for snaps)

NEWS 11. The 65th Anniversary Dunkirk Commemoration Event took place at the end of May 2005. Alan has kindly sent in this report.

The Little Ships were due to assemble in Ramsgate Harbour the weekend of 21st/22nd May 2005, few made it as the weather to put it mildly was rough. Sunday evening, Alan visited Ramsgate Harbour to see how many Little Ships were in the Harbour. Three had arrived at that stage. The weather pattern was very unsettled and just to help those of us who were planning to cross to Dunkirk the BBC TV introduced their new (trendy) weather forecast which did away with such useful features as Isobars across the country and the Atlantic which removed the possibly making of our own "metmaps" resulting in searches of internet. TV channels, Shipping forecasts all trying to look more than 2 days ahead.

We, after much burning of the Midnight Oil etc saw the weather window of Weds/Thurs 25th/26th enabling Grove Ferry Boats to sail for Ramsgate on the Weds 25th tide, arriving at Ramsgate after one of the smoother entrances into Ramsgate at around 15.30 then spent time watching the bulk of the Little Ships arrive. Later, we went round to the Little Ships moored in the East Gulley, there was an air of activity and noise of power tools about as skippers and crews worked to repair problems ready for the crossing on Thursday 26th May. One of my friends told me that he had a very slow trip round from the Thames in company when one of their engines failed, then as they approached Ramsgate an awful smell of burning rubber started coming from their engine room. with that they bid their farewell and disappeared down the engine room to investigate.

Late into the evening we obtained more weather information and after much soul searching we decided that we could get to Dunkirk on Thursday but we could not see a weather window for the return and as the Club Boats were the smallest group in length and the crews aboard had to be at work on Tuesday 31st May, we reluctantly decided not to cross to Dunkirk.

0600hrs. Flag of the Little Ships after consulting Captain of escorting warship gave the instruction for the Little Ships to sail. From the Harbour we watched them sail and form into columns, but in the time they took to sail, the wind increased from force 1 to around Force 3 to 4. Approximately 50 Little Ships left Ramsgate, a tremendous amount of work and money had been lavished on the Little Ships to bring them to the superb condition that they were in for this Anniversary.

Four of us had decided to return to the Stour when the tide had risen enough to enter the River, but when we left Harbour four hours later it was a rough exit, not enjoyable, if we had been leaving an hour later, I think we would have stayed in the Harbour.(see photos on Photo Page)

NEWS 10. The May Day Weekend trip to Ramsgate (expertly narrated by Alan Gittings). Weather being favourable for the intended sortie to Ramsgate, we departed Grove at 15.15 with Sandwich Bridge being swung at 17.15, 3 Boats from the Ferry, Esox, Peace and Turramurra with Jus'tina joining at the Boathouse.

I enjoy this time of the year with the trees breaking out, the different greens and life coming on the Riverbanks, the river was low enough for the boats not to have to lower aerials at Plucks Gutter Bridges. At Red House Marsh Turramurra briefly stops by Maid of Kent to pick up Andy who was joining me for the Ramsgate Trip, then we press on towards Sandwich, watching Swallows, Herons, Lambs And Calves, plus of course all the rubbish which appears in the River as the current changes direction.

Arrive at Sandwich in good time, Bridge Party there, close up to Bridge and pass through thanking them and telling them that there are three boats behind me. Sandwich Quay is crowded, wave to friends, get attacked by that aggressive Swan which has been there for several years, he goes for every boat. I collect weed round my log impellor ("drat" that means I cannot check my speed until I can reverse it off) modern instrument impellors are much less vunerable to weed, comment on how Sandwich Marina has improved since last year. Sandwich Sail and Motor Boat Club moorings quiet. Andy takes over for a while while I go round putting softening round cupboards and locks on doors for when Turramurra starts moving on the sea.

Pegwell Bay buoyage and marking posts are a great improvement. Sea is smooth, call Ramsgate Royal Harbour (channel 14) advise E.T.A, set compass course for entrance, the Sandwich Fairway Buoy is in a new position as the Channel has moved so note course and then ask permission to enter the harbour stating we are 4 boats and wish to moor together in the West Gulley to be told it was very full and that to moor together you will need to use the East Gulley. Ramsgate Harbour entrance was in one of its better moods and did not toss us about, on rounding the entrance the West Gulley was packed with yachts from the Continent, we head for East Gulley, pity there is always a slight swell frequently much more.

Moor up, enjoy drink, phone Maureen & Bobby are they coming down for Fish & Chips ?, it's a regular meeting when we are in Ramsgate. Peace and Jus'tinas crews depart will come back later. Sunday check out Harbour find Sundowner and another Dunkirk ship in compound being worked on, they will have their work cut out if they want to finish Sundowner for Dunkirk !!.

Check weather for later and arrange with others when we depart later today,the services in the Harbour have been very good and the Marina staff have been excellent, some of us will stay at Red House Marsh others will continue to Grove. Harbour entrance was slightly rougher than yesterday, once away from the cross currents we enter the river and puddle up to Bridge, then on to RHM, settle for the night and enjoy rest of weekend, it was a good trail for the Boats prior to Dunkirk. (See photos on The Photo Page)

NEWS 9. The Fitting Out Supper (See photo page) . How do they do it ?. Friday night spent scraping carrots and then up early Saturday preparing all the delights for the evening. Edna & Brian have taken their cuisine skills to another level. The Chicken & Shepherds pies were a delight and the vegetables were simply mouthwatering. Then if that wasn't enough, (there was a long que for second helpings !!) Cherry ice cream, profiteroles and cheese & biscuits were produced followed by Tea & Coffee. WOW, Can't wait for the Laying Up Supper!!. Thank you to Edna & Brian and all their helpers from everybody and tough luck for anyone who couldn't make it.

NEWS 8. In a sad week for the Club, Founder member Min Newnham has peacefully passed away on Tuesday 5th April 2005 aged 96. Our thoughts are with her family at this sad time.

Min Newnhams funeral is on Friday 15th April 2005 at 10.30am at St Johns Church and then at Thanet Crematorium at 11.20am.

NEWS 7. We were all upset to hear the sad news that Bea Burton had peacefully passed away and our thoughts are with Maurice and his family at this very difficult time for them all. The Past Commodore Alan Gittings has kindly passed on a few of the many memories he has of Bea.

"Bea, as she was known by family and friends, with Maurice were founder members in 1964. Bea was the Catering Officer for 20 years and a committee member, her work during the early years helped to form the base of the Club today.

I well remember Medway holidays with 'Rafferty' and fun we enjoyed with Bea and Maurice. Then the holiday on the Caledonian Canal when we shared a boat also when I first took 'Tranquil' up the Thames with Bea and Maurice, two holidays I will not forget. She will be missed by the longer serving members."

Bea Burtons funeral is on Friday 8th April 2005 at 4pm at Thanet Crematorium.

NEWS 6. The Easter Cruise was an exciting and educational weekend for all the boats that braved the changeable weather conditions. On Good Friday the boats motored up to Red House Marsh and moored for the night and then set off on Saturday on a glorious flat calm day to Sandwich Bay where 'Turramurra', 'Peace' and 'Lady Patricia' enjoyed a rare delight of cruising the Bay up to the Fairway buoy on a glassy sea (thanks to Colin the Sandwich Harbour master for the information on the new marker buoys) and then returning back to Red House for the night. On Sunday, 'Perlican' braved the fog the rain and the rather stubborn engine to join the fleet for Sunday night nibbles and the odd glass or two on 'Turramurra'. On Monday, 'Maid of Kent' arrived with the sounds of Glen Miller/Marlena Diettrich wafting from the wheelhouse but she swiftly turned back to refuel at the Dog & Duck!!. The fleet arrived back at Groveferry mid afternoon where they were greeted by very helpful landing crews which was much appreciated (particularly by 'Perlican !!). A great weekend. (see photo album)

NEWS 5. What a fantastic turnout for our second work party of the year.At least 15 club members attended plus the youngsters who put in hours of work. Well done to the two young ladies who helped by moving all sorts of things in the Tractor/trailer combination (see Photo Album). We have now even more space on the North Bank due to all of you who worked their socks off clearing masses of greenery, tidying up the compound and making the whole area look splendid. All this and the tea and food kept flowing from our wonderful ladies who kept us constantly fuelled up. Thank you everybody.

NEWS 4. Three of the Clubs boats braved the cold weather for the Shakedown Cruise. It was decided due to the Environment Agency opening the Stonar Cut that it was not wise to take the boats past the sluice so a run down to Red House Marsh and lunch was enjoyed by all crews. The weather remained kind with even the odd snow shower not putting a chill on things.

NEWS 3. As only Two Dinghies turned up for the Annual Pancake Race, Things went a little flat !!. I think a toss up decided the winner.

News 2. The first Work Party of the New Year was well attended with the old shed being demolished and the fences around the clubhouse area being refurbished. Thanks again to everybody who gave up their time to help.

News 1.The Cobweb cruise was a great success with the weather being bright yet fresh. Red House Marsh was a mass of Club Members who witnessed a rare sight of a club member learning to fly from a tree. The food and the mulled wine were very welcome and thanks goes to all who made this a very enjoyable day.(See Photo Album).

. A delicious spread awaited those lucky people who attended the Laying Up Supper on Saturday 18th October! The Galley crew did us proud again with a delicious menu. It was nice to see the Commodore back on his feet, looking a good 2" taller than we last saw him! Allan thanked all those who had sent their best wishes during his enforced lay-up.

 The slipway has been officially opened by Mr Maurice Burton. A small ceremony, attended by some 40 club members was held on Sunday afternoon, 28th September, to mark the occasion. Again, thanks are due to the members who put in time to help complete the project. A BBQ was provided by the club for the event, and many members who do not usually visit the North Bank were in attendance.Maurice cuts the ribbon!

 The Slipway exists! After three days of very hard work, and some exceptional efforts from certain club members, we now have a slipway on the North Bank. It still needs some finishing, which we hope to achieve next Sunday, followed by a Grand Opening and BBQ. Many thanks to all of those that have helped! Click here for Photo's of the progress.

 The Boat handling competition, held at the picnic site over the week-end of 13th/14th September, was a very enjoyable event. The weather was perfect, despite no one getting up early enough for the shipping forecast! Attendance was fair, despite two of the bigger boats that would normally have attended being absent due to illness of skipper or crew! Those of you with boats that didn't attend......... shame on you..... you missed a brilliant event! Results were as follows......

Inboard/Outdrive Class Boat Name Skipper & Crew
1st place (60 pts) Autumn Adventure Colin & Liz Brazier
2nd Place (58 pts) Bluebird David & Teena Biggs
3rd Place (55 pts) Mama-Witch Ian & Shirley Andrews
Outboard Class Boat Name Skipper & Crew
1st Place (60 pts 2 Mins) Ffossip Mark Dance & son
2nd Place (60 pts 4 mins) Gemini Ian Andrews (on his Jack)
3rd Place (59 pts 4 mins) Pathfinder Andy Sloan & Liz Brazier

There were no shaft driven vessels attending, with the exception of Santa Barbra and Nesspa, neither of whom competed. Thanks must go to Santa Barbra's skipper, Jim Rose, who braved the other skipper's possible wrath to act as official adjudicator! 'Nesspa' held station as an ideal spectator Boat!

Autumn Adventure wins Outdrive class

 The Autumn Fruits, on Sunday 7th September was well attended, including a number of the newer members. Edna was her usual culinary delight, assisted as usual by her 'Galley Crew'. Thanks must be extended to this group of dedicated helpers, without whom these events would be much less successful!

 Thanks were extended to the club by the CDAA, who used the clubhouse also on the 7th as the headquarters for their annual Open Match Day. The fishermen were able to obtain breakfast and drinks before the start, and came back to the clubhouse for the prize giving and raffle at the end of the afternoon.


The hottest day on record answered some prayers for good weather on the Club's Open Day. Not so many prayers next year please! Although some of the events went well, noticeably the boat trips, the weather had a disconcerting effect on people's appetite's and the catering was seriously affected. It also had a disappointing element in that the attendance of members was seriously lacking. Having said all that, the day produced what looks like being a record one for the club's coffers too! And many, many thanks are due to those who did turn out and supply their labour, boats and fuel, time and enthusiasm for what turned out to be a record breaking day in more ways than one!

A wet weekend at Redhouse marsh was attended by some hardy souls! Despite the weather, a number of boats made the trip to the picnic site for a great party on the Saturday evening, where the club's marquee was put to full use! Those whose hangovers were not too bad had a grand Sunday morning also!

The Summer Cruise this year was planned, re-planned and planned again! And that was before anyone slipped a mooring! Then, the boats that had planned to go lost 1 of their number due to illness! (we all hope you get well soon Barbara) Originally an agenda of two weeks was cut to one, and a fleet of five was down to three. Weeks of idyllic weather turned blustery and unsettled, although the rain did manage to stay away! So on the Saturday, the three remaining participants headed off down the river and across a lumpy Pegwell Bay into Ramsgate ready for the off on Sunday! Sunday saw a blustery force 4 and the plan became the Goodwin Knoll to see what it was like out there! Two of the three boats found the going too uncomfortable for an extended passage in the lumpy conditions and returned to Ramsgate. The third decided to sally forth into the open ocean! ( Well OK, the Dover straights then) They ended up in Calais! On the Monday the remaining two boats had a pleasant trip down to Dover. Tuesday's forecast was not great, so one crew took the fast-cat ferry to Calais while the other opted for a quiet day in Dover. Meantime, the crew in Calais had an enjoyable day on the Monday, followed on the Tuesday by a surprise visit from their fellow crew, who had had a settled crossing! So Tuesday afternoon they set off for Dover in company with an Irish crewed, Dutch built steel boat of some 12 ton and 37ft. It blew up to a force 6 on their journey and the picture tells the story! With all three boats back together, a cruise down to Folkstone was decided upon for the Wednesday, and good weather prevailed! Unfortunately, the boat back from Calais was now locked into a different part of the Marina, so the crew had to hitch a ride on this particular jaunt! Another two days of strong winds saw the fleet slipping out of Dover at 0600hrs on the Saturday morning to catch the tide up to the mouth of the river, going through the bridge at Sandwich for 10am and stopping at Redhouse Marsh for elevenses. They were met on the river by one of the smaller boats from the club, and a bit of chin-wagging was the order for a while! Two of the boats stayed at the picnic site overnight, as the third had to get off. (We all wish Allan the best during his hospitalization) Although the trip had many changes of plan, all the participants had an enjoyable week doing 'something different'.

Edna is back! After a lay off for a hip operation, Edna was back on form with the Strawberry Tea! Your scribe has already run out of words to describe her wonderful spreads, but once again she has done the club proud. The event was very well attended again this year, and it was nice to see some families attending along with some new members too!   That, together with some folks staying on their boats over the weekend and a few little jobs getting done on the Saturday, made an active club look the part. Many thanks to all who attended, helped and participated. Keep up the good work!

The dinghy run from Grove up to Fordwich found 7 boats making their way up the Stour to Fordwich and the Fordwich Arms in absolutely gorgeous weather! Umbrellas were required simply to give some shade to the crew! The weather was so good that the destination pub was packed and a slight wait had to be endured before being served, but everyone managed a hearty lunch before heading back downstream and back to base!

News 2.Last Years AGM After a well attended Annual General Meeting, held on Sunday 29th February 2004,  Mr. Wally Wanstall has taken over the reins of the club from retiring Commodore Mr. Alan Gittings.  A new committee was also voted in. (you can see who they are on the 'Your Committee' page) Wally and the committee expressed the debt owed to Alan for his unstinting work over the last 6 years that he has served as Commodore, as well as the positions he held prior to that. Alan was presented with a specially made Tide Clock as a memento.

News 1. It was announced at the meeting that the position of Commodore would be restricted to a tenure of 3 years maximum for the future. This is to comply with RYA normal practice. Also, a new position has been created, that of 'Past Commodore'. This is to ensure the smooth running of the club, and to avoid the loss of experience of past senior flag officers. The Past Commodore will sit in on committee, but will not have voting powers. He will be empowered by the committee from time to time to deal with club affairs as necessary. A position of Safety Officer was also added to the committee ranks.


A busy club on the River Great Stour