All Our Yesterdays 1971 – 1983

fp_2007_hist_01The first move to make use of the local broads for recreational purposes as made by the Ormesby Society, which existed to improve the amenities of the village.

Arthur Marfleet proposed that an attempt should be made to obtain permission to establish a sailing club on Ormesby Broad. This suggestion was accepted and preliminary, exploratory work was undertaken by Ray Green, reporting back to the Ormesby Society on 20 September 1971. The report was discussed by the Parish Council of Ormesby with Scratby in the following month.

There was an oral tradition that a public staithe existed on Ormesby Broad but it had long been disused. The Broad was a reservoir used and owned by the East Anglian Water Company, who did not accept that there was any right of public access. The legal position of who, if anybody, in addition to the Water Company had a right to use the Broad was, and still remains, obscure.

On 19 November 1971 the interested parties, Ray Green from the Ormesby Society, Edgar Tennant from the Parish Council and Jack Boon, the Managing Director of the Water Company met in the Water Company’s Offices. They reached agreement it would be good to allow sailing on one of the local broads.By 17 December 1971 the Water Company decided to allow, and actively support, sailing under controlled conditions on Rollesby Broad only. Lily Broad was excluded for environmental reasons and Ormesby because so much of it is shallow. Once this agreement was secured Ray Geen, who was not interested in sailing, wanted to opt out, but agreed to continue until the club was in being.

Implementing the agreement became the responsibility of Arthur Marfleet. He set to work, forming a steering committee: As he was new to the village, he looked round for a well-known, respected older inhabitant, interested in sailing to chair the steering committee. He found Alec Batte from Birdseye,  who in turn imported Roy Simmons, whose practical engineering knowledge proved invaluable.

The remainder of the committee consisted of members of the Ormesby Society and parish councillors.

The steering committee met in February 1972 and discussed finance, planning and the need for a public meeting to sound out support for the idea of a club. They met again in April, by which time the Water Company had agreed to pay for opening up a road to the site.The public meeting took place on 17 April 1972 and was attended by 72 people, mostly from Ormesby and Scratby, but some from Rollesby and three from Caister. The decision was taken to go ahead. Syd Sharrock volunteered to become the secretary.

The Parish Council members now withdrew from the steering committee and other interested sailors took their place. On 15 May 1972 the first club meeting took place and a reformed steering committee was instructed to carry on. Incidentally, the fees decided upon, with some fears that we might be pricing ourselves out of the market, were…

Entrance: £1, Family: £4, Husband/Wife: £3, Single: £2 , Junior: £1

There were 69 adult and 34 junior members at the original 50p joining fee. It was a fairly brave decision to start a sailing club on a capital of £52-50!