Goodbye Spider Factory

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Neglected and un-loved

Our toilet block has long been a object of scorn and derision, neglected and unloved. But all that is changing. Phase 1 of the toilet block project is underway. A small dedicated team of Covid safe members (mainly Gordon) has been hard at work clearing the ivy off the outside and the inside of the building, sweeping out the cobwebs and spiders and repainting the inside of the toilet block ready for the start of the season.

Gordon showing the love.

Using some of the additional Covid Grant we are now preparing a more thorough refurbishment and upgrade of the toilet block. If money were no object then we could have knocked down the existing building and built a brand new enlarged facility to all the latest standards. But at £40-50,000 it is not within our means and grant funding for this is not currently available. Also Keith our landlord does not want any further development on the land beyond what already has planning permission. We did look at a temporary Portacabin type block, but these would be smaller than the existing block and would require planning permission along with a load of other administrative hurdles. Refurbishing our existing building is an affordable and viable proposition.

Various options are being considered

Phase 2 of the toilet block project will be to fit new windows and secure the outside of the building, repairing some damaged block work and sealing the blocks to reduce water penetration. Contractor’s prices are in and acceptable. This work will go ahead in the next few weeks.

Phase 3 will be to tackle the antiquated plumbing and bring the showers up to modern standards, along with some minor improvements to the layout, insulation and fitting a ceiling in the male changing room. An initial budget estimate is affordable. We are now working up the details.

HRH Prince Phillip The Duke of Edinburgh

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Following the sad news of the death of HRH The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, Gresford Sailing Club wish to send our deepest sympathies to Her Majesty and family at this sad time.

Preparing for the New Season at Gresford SC

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It looks as though we are going to have to be patient waiting for lockdown in Wales to ease just a bit further before we can start boating again. Hopefully the First Minister’s next announcement on 25 March will bring a bit more clarity.

In the meantime our maintenance teams have not been idle, getting the club ready for reopening.

  • Gordon has been busy clearing the ivy off the toilet block and painting the windows, toilets and changing rooms ready for the new season. Goodbye “Spider Factory”.
  • In the Clubhouse Peter has been redecorating and sorting out the storage. Bill has been busy finding contractors to lay new flooring. The old cooker is no longer safe so is going for recycling, Peter has sourced a replacement cooker and fridge.
  • Outside, Captain Bill has been working with Nick to identify all the trailers in the trailer Park and boats in the boat park.
  • The steel frame for the boat house has now been galvanised. Nick & Tim are preparing to install it and clad it in the next few weeks.

Looking further ahead we are planning some special events as Covid restrictions allow:

  • May: Reg Gibbs RYA Discover Sailing Week. (Chris)
  • June/July: Arthur Jones Classic Regatta (Nick & Simon)
  • July/ August: Rod Evans MYA Model Boat Open (Keith)

We have also updated the Club’s Development Plan and are now scoping out a group of projects which will hopefully attract Sport Wales “Be Active Wales” grant support as we “Progress” to “Tackle inequality” and “Achieve long term sustainability”.  If you want to know more just ask.

AGM, New Committee and Commodore’s Report

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At the AGM on 3 February the Committee elected for the 2021 season is : –

Officer
Ex OfficioCommodore,Chris Jones
 Vice-Commodore,Simon Jones
 Rear Commodore,Vacant
 Honorary SecretaryPeter Barker
 Honorary TreasurerNick Blore
 Club CaptainBill Jones
 Training PrincipalNick Blore
 CommitteeDinghy RepresentativeNick & Simon
 Model Boat RepresentativeKeith Pizzey
 Junior RepresentativeElin Jones
 Social RepresentativeVacant
Welfare OfficerEleanor Dowsett
CommunicationsDiane Jones
  Gordon Knight
 

Commodore’s Report to the Annual General Meeting 2021

Before we begin, please take a moment to remember Rod Evans: Honorary Member, Trustee, former Commodore, Long term club secretary, and founder of the Model Boats. Rod died last year.

Gresford SC has been through a tumultuous few years.

  • 3 years of low water :
    • This hit the dinghy racing hard and diminishing Social programme
    • Junior Sailing got by 
    • Model boating proved very resilient, growing and evolving
  • The balance of the club has changed significantly over those three years.
  • Then just as Water Levels recovered last winter, we were hit with Covid,

The crisis point came with June’s SGM, after which over half the committee resigned. 

  • In July the remaining members of the old committee co-opted other members to form an Acting Committee.  I was persuaded to take on the role of Acting Commodore until the AGM. For 6 weeks we worked in the difficult area between those upset by events and the people who were working hard to save the club.
  • The formal election of a Committee at the SGM in September cleared the air and gave the club a chance to focus on recovery.

The true test of any ship (or club) is not the storms it survived, but did it deliver the goods?

When we were allowed to, we managed to stabilise the club and run most of our sailing sessions.

 SessionsAttendeesAverage
Total635398.6
Maintenance13624.8
Model Boats302949.8
Dinghy161227.6
Junior33511
Social12626
  • In just six months we have nearly completed an ambitious programme of projects. First the Covid adjustments including the sink. Then weeding the trees and bushes from the boat park, starting the boathouse, stoning the car park and finally the tree management from the boat park along the road to the Fisherman’s Bench.
  • Through the October lock-down we reviewed and update much of the club’s governance including our Constitution, Data and Safeguarding Policies.
  • Our RYA Accredited Training Centre was re certified just before the current lockdown came into force.
  • Over Christmas Di and I rebooted the club website  www.gresfordsailingclub.com
  • The Committee is also pleased to confirm that: Peter Barker, Tim Humphreys and Chris Jones, are being appointed as trustees of the Club to replace Harry, Rod and Charlie.

Covid has thrown up many challenges for the club. It has not been smooth, and there have been differences of opinion. But we would not have been able to function without our own Covid Heroes:

  • Kevin who securing the original Covid Grants (Now totalling £19k) and prepared the club during the first lock down.
  • Bill, Nick & Simon: Who prepared risk assessments, stewarding and generally sorting out the sailing sessions.
  • Most of all Peter: As our Covid Officer Peter has been trained by RYA Cymru. He has kept us up to speed with the ever changing rules, regulations and guidance. Then converted them into the context of GSC. He has also had to balance the conflict between the libertines and deniers on one hand with other members who are rightly terrified of this horrendous pandemic. In short, Pete made our 2020 season possible

Honorary Membership is a gift granted by the committee to recognise long term service to the club through good times and bad. This year we have three new Honorary Members: –

  • Paul Sharples: 2x Commodore and long term treasurer. Instrumental in the growth of the club over the last 10 years, securing grants which funded the Training Centre
  • Alan Rogerson: former Commodore and long standing committee member. Solid dependable and a voice of reason. With a wicked sense of fun on the race course.
  • A N Onimous who has never been a member of the committee but who has quietly looked after the club first in body and now in spirit with great humour over many years. I know who you are, you know who you are, we all salute you.

Gresford SC survived 2020.

The Challenge for the new committee:

Is to make Gresford SC thrive again in 2021 and beyond.

Roadside Trees

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It is that time of the year again when we prune the trees around the Flash. This year it is the turn of the road side trees. Work started in October with John Dutton running his flail along the verge, but because of the stumps and low branches over the lake he was not able to get to them all. So the Committee decide to use some of the Covid Grant monies to hire contractors to cut and chip the remainder. Most of this work was completed before Christmas. Chris has now cleared the brambles and brush in the corner near Mark 5.

Mark 5 Corner AKA “The Fisherman’s Bench” clear again

Old Wrexham road has become a very busy walking and cycling route, particularly during Covid Lockdowns. Passers by have all been very complimentary of the work, delighted that they can now see the Flash again. One described it as the best Christmas Present she could have had.

To complete the works we will have the contractors back to finish the area between the boat park and the road and we are arranging with Tim to use his JCB to grub out the stumps.

Model Boats sale for charity

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Donation to BHF

Gresford Sailing Club Model Boats recently presented Mr Andy Green (centre back row) with a cheque for £147 as a donation to The British Heart Foundation. The money was raised by the sale of the modelling goods donated by Mrs Evans from her late husband, Geoff’s estate. Geoff was a member of Gresford Sailing Club. Andy Green said that he was delighted  to attend to accept the cheque and thanked the club and Mrs  Evans.

Bill Jones (Back row Left) said that Mrs Evans was delighted at the amount raised  and it was her wish that Geoff’s friends presented the cheque to BHF

Gresford Sailing Club can be contacted  atgresfordsc@gmail.com,https://gresfordsailingclub.org.uk  Andy Green  BHF fundraising manager  can be contacted at greenand@bhf.org.uk or via Facebook Andy Green BHF

 

Membership

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We hope you are all keeping safe and well in these worrying times. As you are all aware due to Covid restrictions there is no sailing at the club until further notice.

With the new Covid vaccine being rolled out there is now hope of sailing  in 2021. So we will let you know as soon as we are able to safely organise any activities at The Flash whether for dinghies, training, model boats or social.

Even though we are not using the club we still need to keep things going and this has costs so thank you to all who have renewed their membership.

Our Annual Membership fee is £55. This single fee covers individuals and members of their immediate family including all those in full time education.

For 2021 Existing Members can choose to renew their membership for the discounted fee of £40 in recognition of the very much reduced 2020 season. To benefit from this discount Existing Membership must be renewed by 1 April or it will be deemed to have lapsed.   

The Membership Application form can be found here:- 

E mail the Secretary for a membership application form. email:-  secretarygresfordsc@gmail.com

20200407_115706
The Flash April 2020 Plenty of water. Even more water in Spring 2021

I

Frostbite

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Just 3 races to go

Frostbite 2019

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The Frostbite is back as a full series there have been 4 races so far (2 days) with another 7 to go (4 days) with the last day having 1 race followed by carols and mince pies on December 7th

6 races entered to qualify so still time to join in.