History of the Club

by John Selby

Tom Cozens

1956 Tom Cozens, Hamble Berthing Master (father of Brian Cozens) approached Fareham Urban District Council over problems a few local sailors had in keeping their boats on the mud flats (now car park in front of the Rising Sun) because the fishermen using the Lobster Ponds (now Lobster Quay) kept moving them around. FUDC suggested the interested sailors get together and form a club.
1957 Following an ad hoc meeting of interested parties in the old Victory Hall, a proper meeting was held on 21st April 1957 at the Solent School of Yachting (in a building which occupied the site of the current Quay House flats.) to formally create Warsash Sailing Club.

Sir Adrian Chamier

Sir Adrian Chamier of Tormentor Yacht Station was elected the first Commodore. On 24th June the burgee was chosen (the original hangs in Shore House. Subscriptions were 10 shillings (50p).
1958 Owner of the Lobster Ponds and the land where the Harbour Masters building is now situated offered the freehold for sale to Solent Services who already used much of it, but they only wanted a small portion, so the rest was up for sale
1959 Three keen club sailors who were also associated with Solent Services, investigated various sites for the club, including the Crab and Lobster Restaurant (now the site of the other flats on the waterfront), in order to provide a permanent home, finally favouring the Lobster Ponds.
1960 March the 2nd a small syndicate of members finally purchased the freehold of the Lobster Ponds for the large sum (in 1960) of £3500, and leased them to the club on a hire purchase arrangement, the syndicate eventually lent the club the money interest free to complete purchase of the freehold outright, and all loans were repaid by 1967.
1961 The huge task of filling in the Lobster Ponds was started, not to be completed until 1964, and only then because Fareham (now Borough Council) were laying mains drainage in the area, and thanks to a member much of the spoil went in the ponds.

Original clubhouse

1962 Saw the purchase outright from the Crown Estates of the immediate foreshore eliminating an annual ever increasing rental. November 24th was the opening (just, following a fire next door the night before, then Moody’s boatyard, which cracked some of the glass in the new clubhouse) of the original Lobster Quay Clubhouse, designed by an architect member, and again financed by members loans.
1963 A member syndicate hired a crane and lifted 3 yachts into the pound for winter storage, an activity that grew over the years, and only came to an end quite recently.
1964-1966 After so much activity the members finally enjoyed some sailing and a little less labour. Both dinghy and cruiser racing was in full swing.

1963 the club ran the Gull Nationals, and in 1964 the Wayfarer Southerns, and Leader Nationals, but could not compete with Hamble River SC, then one of the premier dinghy clubs in the country.
1967 A boundary between Lobster Quay, and Stone Pier Yard was finally agreed with the Crown Estates, which settled the somewhat disputed zig zag boundary that existed up until then. Subscriptions had now risen to £4 to meet the ever increasing expenditure of owning property, and total membership (persons) had risen to just over 500.
1968 Concrete roads now useable in Lobster Pound.

Lobster Jetty under construction

1970 Lobster Quay jetty and Pontoon installed cost £3662, built in Southampton and floated round to the river. Depth at sea wall increased to 5ft by ‘mudlarking’ with water jets from a high pressure fire pump. River Hamble Harbour Authority formed, appoints first Harbour Master, and takes over from Port of Southampton.
1971 Dinghy racing was almost extinct, but resurrected thanks to the efforts of two members.
1974 Membership limited to 1000, Lobster Clubhouse and Pound couldn’t cope with any more. Orkney Dory complete with 20hp outboard purchased as a rescue boat for £538.
1975 Original Lobster Quay Clubhouse extended, the spar shed (just inside the gate) improved and space made for outboard storage. Club obtains a liquor license and in October opens a bar in Lobster Quay Clubhouse. A member sailed a Wayfarer to Cherbourg, Plymouth and back.
1976 Race hut removed from roof of Lobster Quay clubhouse (it repeatedly caused the roof to leak) and re-erected in the pound by the sea wall. Wednesday evening dinghy racing introduced, and was soon more popular than weekend racing. Club host the Cherub Nationals. Annual Subscriptions now £5.
1977 Club first involved in taking part in SWSA Cruiser races. 1978 Harbour Master’s Offices and Jetty built at a cost of £100,000, the building is on a platform supported by 10 piles driven down 50ft. Ground floor was intended for the Customs Officers but they never moved in. The positioning of the HM jetty resulted in HCC paying £2000 towards lengthening Lobster Quay jetty by 38ft, plus a contribution from the Sports Council.
1979 RTYC/HDYC put Shore House up for sale. The WSC EGM which decided to buy attracted 430 members, who voted in favour by a 3 to 1 majority. Now, how to find the necessary £100,000. A bank loan and some £40,000 of members debentures (at 8% interest) meant we could go ahead, but subs also had to increase from £8 to £31.

Barry Chamberlain’s depiction of Lobster Quay (1980), Neil Toye directing operations

1980 Original Lobster Quay clubhouse further enlarged with extra showers, and hot air heating added, Sports Council contributed £2000 towards the cost. After much work by members on renovating Shore House it was officially opened by Rt. Hon. Edward Heath MP on March 2nd. The Shore House slipway constructed with a grant of £2500 from the Sports Council. A group of parents started the Kippers
1981 Clubs Silver Jubilee celebrated with a Grand Ball in Thorngate Halls, Gosport.
1983 Lobster Quay jetty brought ashore for the first time and refurbished by members including new end fingers and central ramp at a cost of £10,000.
1984 Warsash Silver Salver spring series started, renamed Warsash Spring Series in 1987 with sponsorship, in 1984 a typical large boat was a Sigma 33. Club purchases its first computer for membership records (An Amstrad 1512).
1985 Winter lift out now lifting some 70 boats over four days, with a lengthy waiting list.
1986 Much of the steelwork on Shore House jetty replaced by Walcon and members efforts
1987 A large marquee was added on the lawn at the back of Shore House (where the hall is now situated), later to appear in the TV series ‘Howards Way’. Annual subs now £45.
1988 Shore House jetty extended 10m downstream.
1989 Youth winter exchange with a group of youngsters from Australia. Neal and Duncan McDonald win Silk Cut Helmsman of the Year award.
1990 Marina berths being leased on a 45-year lease for a 33ft, £47,000 plus £550 a year, seemed expensive at the time.
1991 Oil spill at Fawley drifting into the river, fouling many dinghies and gear on New Year’s Day, during the postponed Boxing Day race. Large increase in Crown Estate lease for the river 6000% pushing up mooring fees.
1992 Lobster Quay jetty lifted out again for major replacement of steelwork, an unusually high tide floated some of the concrete floats right out into the road, where it left them high and dry. Drains laid in Lobster Quay Pound followed by tarmac in place of scalpings.

Shore House during extension

1993 January 10th Lobster Quay badly flooded, a member’s car left in the pound floated away and was subsequently written off. Shore House closed from May to December for the hall to be built to replace the marquee, together with many other improvements at a cost of £300,000.
1994 June 22nd HRH Princess Royal officially opens the refurbished Shore House, the cost offset by £75,000 grant from the Sports Council.

Lobster Quay 1995

1995 Lobster Quay Clubhouse refurbished again, largely paid for by money reclaimed from the VAT man after a long battle.
1996 Shore House jetty refurbished at a cost of around £40,000. Club hosts the RYA Youth National Championships
1997 40th Anniversary celebrations. Start of enabling members to pay club subscriptions by Direct Debit. Club membership 1556.
1998 Shore House Pound hard surfaced
1999 Members redecorate Shore House. warsashsc.org.uk website launched.
2000 Harbour Authority powers delegated to the HCC Excecutive Member for the Environment. Mast derrick constructed on Shore House pontoon. July Solent Celebrations 2000 Current ‘Lobster’ launch purchased.
2001 PB2 required for Lobster Coxswains. Use of spinnakers banned in the river (later rescinded). New outboard shed in use. 2002 Club achieves Volvo/RYA Champion status. ‘Rumours’ took on our catering. Shore Road one way system reversed despite 100% objection at meeting in Shore House. Club acquires second ‘runabout’ launch.
2003 Davis weather station installed and linked to club website. 2004 Boreholes at Lobster Quay to investigate the construction of the sea wall, which was found to be in good shape. EGM to decide on developments at Lobster Quay. Harbour Authority Powers delegated to a new (HCC) Harbour Board.
2005 Smoking banned in the Bar. Plans to extend Stone Pier Yard Marina to almost mid river, to which the club strongly objected, were refused by FBC. Designed by one club member and sailed by another member ‘Purple Haze’ wins the Round the Island Race. Harbour Dues for dinghies introduced, Club objects to Secretary of State.

Lobster Quay under construction

2006 Current Lobster Quay Clubhouse completed, opened on June17th. Dredging carried out off HM pontoon and Lobster Quay pontoons
2007 Club celebrates its 50th Year on 21st March.
2008 25th year of the Spring Series races with 277 entries. Outer pontoons at Lobster Quay replaced. Complaints raised about the Lobster pots on the foreshore in front of Shore House
2009 Select Committee established to look into the charging of Harbour Dues for dinghies a rule established in 2005. New outer wall facing the road built at Lobster Quay.
2010 Harbour Board accept Harbour Dues on dinghies will be zero rated under a length of 6m, bringing a 5 year saga to an end. Winter Cruiser lift out moved to Universal Yard at a club discount, as no longer viable and safe in Lobster Quay. Stone Pier fuel barge/jetty sinks.
2011 First club WiFi Hotspot installed. Presentation to 6 members with 50+ years of membership.
2012 Harbour Board plan for major redevelopment of Warsash public hard.
2013 Crown Estates propose two long pontoon mooring trots off Warsash Pool, following objections the Harbour Board rejected the application. Proposed wind farm west of IOW. New club IT system proposed.
2014 New IT system goes live. Limpet fleet introduced, and racing started. Gold medal for Fareham in Bloom entry. Live music Jazz evenings started.
2015 New Race Hut on Shore House jetty. Kitchen refurbished. Member wins Volvo Round the World race. Silver Medal for Fareham in Bloom.
2016 Initial plans for Shore House development to be rethought. Fire in upstairs toilet caused only minor damage thanks to Bosuns quick actions.
2017 60th Anniversary . Club IT and website updated. Glass doors fronting the garden replaced in the hall. Major repairs to Lobster Quay clubhouse.
2018 New club caterers, Too Much Spinach, appointed. WSC in the first tranche of clubs awarded British Youth Sailing Recognised Club status by the RYA. Credit cards accepted for bar and other payments.
2019 Long term structure study report, Honorary House Office post created to support Rear Commodore House. Information Display system installed in entrance, inaugural Christmas Fayre.
2020 COVID-19 severely limited activities this year, Spring Series only managed one race, No annual Fireworks or Prize Giving. Enforced switch to card only payments. Club administrative database replaced. Online voting for AGM resolutions. Flag Officer, Executive committee and bar committee posts. AGM conducted using video conferencing and then broadcast to members.
2021 Activities return to nearly normal, subject to regulations and guidelines. Spring Series not held but Spring Championship ran successfully. SUP & Kayak racks built at Lobster Quay. Water heating at LQ changed to electric from gas. AGM held in Victory Hall with Online voting used additionally.
2022 Spring Series & Championship held in full. New caterers , Alexanda’s appointed. WSC hosts the Bursledon, Swanwick & Warsash Regatta after 50+years in Bursledon Pool. AGM held in club with significantly increased attendance by member. Christmas Fayre returns.