Club History


The club was reformed in 1957 following a meeting of committee members of the defunct Roa Island Boat club.

Messrs A.Baker, K.Hills, T. Diamond , W.M.McCready, W.Sparrow.

It was decided to put a notice in the Evening Mail and the new members asked to elect a committee.

An offer of the old Gas House on Roa Island had been made by Mr J.Howarth for use as a club room. This building was 20ft * 30ft and could be had rent free for a period of 2 years, thereafter at £30 per year.

A General meeting was held in the Roa Island Hotel on February the 1st 1958 during which a new committee was elected.

A.Baker, A.Bratt, W.Pelan, C.Startin, T.Rawlinson, A.Jackson, L.Pennington and E.Diamond.

On February 7th 1958 the following officers were elected.

President: Laurence Allen

Chairman: W.Pelan

Commodore: Dr F Healy

Secretary: T.Rawlinson

Treasurer: A.Bratt

The Fishermans Room at the Hotel was to serve as Club Room and C&S Breweries to be asked if a store shed could be built on land to the east of the Hotel.

Entry Fee to be 1 /-

Subscription  2/6 d

A dance was arranged with a band of 5 players for 3 15 0

The first sailing races were arranged by E. Diamond in May1958.  An entry fee of 1/6d to be charged for each race to cover prizes at the end of the season.

It was decided to hold a Gala Day on August Monday. In addition to events on the water, a number of events were to be run for the children on the land at the front of the school.

On 17th July 1958 the old Gas House was offered to us for £200. We could not buy it at that price, but if it could be let on a long lease we would take it.

On November 6th 1958 the Borough Treasurer accepted our registration under the Betting and Lotteries act.

Barrow Sailing Club invited 2 of our members to their Annual Dinner this was the first of inter club invites which were to go on for a number of years.

Our Annual Dinner was to be held in the Roa Island Hotel. Mrs Murray is charging 10/6d.

In December 1958 the secretary wrote to the Railway Company asking if we could rent land on part of the Belfast Pier.

Our first Christmas Dinner was held in 1958

At the AGM held on the 16th January 1959, subscription was increased to 5/- per year and a it was decided to create a  Junior section was formed at a fee of 2/6d.

In March 1959 British Railways stated that they would let us have as much land as we required for a Club Room and dinghy park at a rent of £60.00 per year, this was not accepted. North Scale boat club had offered an army hut at a price of £8.00 We agreed to purchase and Mr Patterson would draw the plans for submission to the Local Authority.

Dance would be held on May 1st in Rampside Parish Hall. Band would cost £4.00 until midnight or £5.00 till 1am. Tickets will be 2/6d

In June 1959 a joint meeting with Barrow Sailing Club and Barrow Island Boat Club was held to discuss a joint Gala Day. T.Rawlinson was appointed secretary and G.Hall chairman.

June 1959 an application made to the RYA for Associate Membership.

In July 1959 British Transport Commission offered the whole of Belfast Pier at a rental of £40.00 per year. This was considered unreasonable and the Secretary was instructed to offer £3.00 per year for the portion we required.

In September 1959 following a meeting with the secretary, British Transport Commission offered a reduced price of £35.00 for the letting of the pier

Mrs Beckett offered a room in her house for committee meetings from September 1959.

The land by the school; canteen was offered to the club by Mr J Brondle for £70.00 in September 1959.

British Rail confirmed the £35.00 per year for rental of the pier.

The secretary was asked to write to C&S Brewery to see if they had any land to offer.

In December 1959 following a meeting between the secretary and the Railway Surveyor the price for rental of the pier was reduced to £20.00 per year. This was considered acceptable providing we could get planning permission for a shed.

At the AGM in January 1960 it was agreed that the subscription be increased to 10/6d

In February 1960 it was decided to hold a series of lectures at the Queens Hotel, Rawlinson Street with a view to encouraging more people to take an interest in boating and also increase our membership.

March 1960 a letter was received from C&S Brewery agreeing to us renting the whole of the land to the rear of the hotel subject to planning permission at a rental of £15.00 per year.

It was agree to have a big draw for a sailing dinghy to be drawn at the Annual Gala, tickets would be 1/- . The secretary to send a number of tickets to all members to sell.

It was agreed to hold a Service in Rampside Church prior to the start of the season.

In May 1960 the plans for a Club House and dinghy park at the rear of the hotel were approved by the Planning Authority.

The junior section was registered with the Local Authority as a voluntary organisation and assistance asked for.

The concrete slipway on the East of the Island was started in June 1960.We also reached agreement to rent land off Mr L Allen for �25.00.

In June 1960 a sectional shed was purchased and erected on MR Lawrence Allen’s land for starting races.

Merger with Walney Boat ( North Scale) June 1960.

Walney Boat Club had proposed that they would cancel payment for the Army Hut and transfer their assets of about £100.00 to the Roa Island Boat Club, in return for 3 years free membership for all their members who wished to transfer. This was agreed unanimously.

In August 1960 the club held a barbeque and treasure hunt on Piel with the Knighting of T.Rawlinson taking place in the evening.

November 24th 1960 Roa Island Boat Club joined the MBSA

December 1960 agreement was signed with Railway Company for 30/- per year.

January 1961 AGM the adult subscription was increased to 12/6 and Juniors to 5/-. The junior section had been given Newby Terrace canteen for their boat building along with 3 boat kits and £50.00 tool allowance

Mr J D McDowell donated a championship shield.

In March 1961 the fence on Mr L. Allen’s land moved to edge of the cutting to allow more space for parking.

The flagpole and flags were provided by Wards Shipbreakers free of charge.

2 boats reported that shot from the starting gun had fallen on their boats, it was therefore decided to use blank cartridges in future.

Arnside open meeting it was decided that we would enter boats in this and any other open meetings held by MBSA clubs.

Roa Island Week. We decided that we would hold a full programme starting with the August Monday Gala.

Dinghy Park at Roa Island House, as we were being charged £15.00 for the first year it was decided to charge a 5/- parking fee.

June 28th 1961 first round Walney race.

A 1961/62 winter programme was agreed with 6 nights covering different subjects and films, to be held in the club room on a monthly basis.

MBSA T.Rawlinson RIBC appointed secretary and G.Hall Barrow SC Chairman.

Due to the fact that the Education Authority financial year ends on March 31st and ours December 31st it was agreed that separate accounts be kept for the Junior section.

Morecambe Bay week 1962

Class races for 505, Hornet, Enterprise, Gp14, Graduate, Heron and 2 Handicap classes. First weekend to be sailed at Morecambe with the second weekend and prize presentation at Roa Island.

Mr Duckworth reported that the Cadet dinghies had been completed. It was agreed that the Launching Ceremony would be held on Easter Monday attended by the Mayor and Mayoress who would name the boats. The Education Authority will film the event.

AGM February 1962.

Officers for 1962

President: R Raby

Commodore: Dr F Healy

Vice Commodore: A Duckworth

Chairman: W Pelan

Treasurer: A Bratt

Secretary: T Rawlinson

Subscription was raised to £1 single and 30/- family.

Dinghy parking 10/- per boat

Juniors 5/-

March 1962 an approach was made to Mr L Allen to purchase the dinghy park to the east of his house.

A ladies committee was elected in March 1962 to handle social events etc.

The start of season Church service would be held on April 15th. The cadet dinghies would be in the church, Mr Smith will film the service and Barrow Island School choir would attend.

The Telephone manager had agreed to raise the telegraph poles between the dinghy parks free of charge provided it would not exceed 30 man hours.

Letter received from the Chief Education Officer that a total grant of £218.00 for Junior Boat Building had been granted. The total cost of building the 4 cadet dinghies was £42 13 2d.

Jolly Boat World Championship was won by RIBC members Alan Duckworth and Terry Rawlinson

It was brought to our notice that Mr J Morgan was interested in buying Belfast Pier. The secretary was asked to write to the to the Railway Company to see if the land was still available for rent or purchase by the Boat Club. If we could not get this land further development of the club would not be possible.

In July 1962 a letter was received from the Railway Surveyor stating that they must now withdraw their offer previously made owing to negotiations being made with another party.

The rescue boats for the round Walney race would be stationed as follows:-

Mr F Whitehead will accompany boats from the start.

Dr Healy will go opposite Walney baths.

Mr Allen would cover the South end of the island.

In August 1962 Mr Allen advised that he was converting his house into 2 flats and would not agree to any further development on his land.

Mr Pelan resigned from the chairmanship of the club.

A letter was received from Fisher’s agent at Heysham stating that a Cadet dinghy of ours that had gone adrift has been landed at Ellesmere Port by the M/V Shell Driller and was awaiting collection. Mr Duckworth stated that this was not correct as it had now been taken to Workington and impounded by the Customs. Mr Davies agreed to go and collect it.

The junior meeting with Arnside SC was to be held with 20 boys and 10 girls from RIBC racing. 10 dinghies would be going and the secretary agreed to make several trips to tow the dinghies.

A Special General Meeting was called in October 1962 to discuss the purchase of Belfast Pier. After evaluation by Mr Boysen it was agreed that we would purchase the pier subject to satisfactory financial arrangements being made. The Town Council were asked to help with this, by a donation and as a loan to cover any balance.

Mr Hampson stated that the District Bank would lend us the money if the Council could not help.

Mr Hampson said the cost of forming a Limited Company by Guarantee would be £25.00. He himself would not ask for any legal fees.

If our offer through the solicitors of our purchase by the proposed Company is accepted we will proceed to draw up Articles of Association of a Company limited by Guarantee to be known as Roa Island Boat Club Ltd.

The figure for the proposed offer was £800.00.

The bank manager agreed to loan us £450.00 if it was required.

It was agreed that we would stage the Northern Hornet Championship on behalf of the Federation.

A letter was received from the Borough Treasurer was received stating that we had broken the law by not making sufficient profit on our Annual Draw. It appears that no more than 50% can be given in prizes.

At the 1962 annual dinner

The President to propose the Loyal Toast

The Mayor will propose the Roa Island Boat Club

Mr Duckworth will reply.

Agreement had been reached to purchase Belfast Pier at a price of £805.00, with other charges the total required would be £860.00.

At the AGM Subscriptions for 1963 were set at the following:-

Family Member 30/-

Single Member £1

Junior Member 10/-

The Entry Fee of 25% of subscriptions to accompany all applications for Membership. This will be returned if not elected. Any person paying the Entrance Fee after October 1st will not be required to pay subscriptions until the following year.

In February 1963 our offer on the Pier was accepted. A clause in the purchase Agreement held the signatories responsible for the maintenance of the pitching on the North side of the pier. To protect these individuals from any possible future claim it was decided that we would form a Limited Company.

An Extraordinary General Meeting was held on March 11th 1963 regarding Belfast Pier at which Mr Harrison was appointed secretary.

Mr Hampson said the bank would loan the money for purchase if 6 Guarantors of £100.00 could be named. Each of these would be indemnified by a further 9 members who would guarantee £10.00 each.

It was unlikely that the Guarantors would ever have to honour the obligation.

Messrs K Flather, R.Harrison, Dr Stuart, D Thomas, O Wood and V Bratt agreed to £100.00. Mr Hampson pledged a further £50.00.

Further donations of any amount were asked for, it being understood if we did not buy the pier, they would be returned.

Club members could also pay their subs in advance for a period of 5 years to 30 years. A payment of the latter would constitute Life Membership. They would also be immune from any increase in subs for the years that they pre pay for.

A cruiser section was formed on the 10th November 1963. The secretary was to be  E Diamond , Chairman Dr Healy.

Mr Taylor tendered his resignation as Treasurer Mr Stan Lander was elected to replace him.

The 1964 AGM was held on 27th January, at which Mr D Hall was expelled from membership. The subscription increased to £2.00.

The Annual Dinner in 1964 was held in Michaelson House, a chicken dinner with fish course 13/6d.

The first club newsletter was produced in October 1964 by Mr Duckworth.

Mr S Lander was leaving the District and tendered his resignation. Mr G S Rose manager of the Nat West Bank was appointed Treasurer and our account transferred to his bank.

AGM 1965

Officers for 1965

President: W C Robertson

Commodore: T D Rawlinson

Vice Commodore: A Smith

Rear Commodore: C Lander

Treasurer: G S Rose

Legal Advice: R Hampson

Secretary: R Harrison

Permission to develop Belfast Pier had been received from the Local Planning Authority.

Interest free loans were asked for from members and 29 members agreed to £10.00, 2 agreed to £5.00 and several promised smaller amounts.

A meeting with a Ministry of Education official had been arranged to explore the possibility of a grant.

March 1965 saw the club established as a Limited Company and the first meeting of the new club was held on the 5th April 1965.

The transfer of all assets of the Roa Island Boat Club to the new Limited Company was agreed on May 3rd 1965

The Directors of the Roa Island Boat Club Ltd were as follows,

W C Robertson Chartered Electrical Engineer

T D Rawlinson  Engineer

Allan Smith Engineer

Colin Lander Engineer

G S Rose Bank Manager

R Moore  Trinity House Pilot

W Stevens Electrical Engineer

B Dean Assistant Departmental Manager

S Crowe  Draughtsman

D Rogers Paper worker

E A Diamond Schoolmaster

J Helm  Schoolmaster

N F Smith  Work Study Investigator

F P Healy  Medical Doctor

A D Sawyer  Post Office Engineer

In November 1965 Mr Dean was appointed Berthing Master.

The first AGM of the new Company was held on 28th February 1966.

It was agreed to draw the names of 2 members who had made loans to the Club, for the purpose of repaying them.

Due to the fact that the Juniors being a separate section were making little use of the Cadet dinghies and also the difficulty in finding anyone to oversee their activities, it was decided that their special functions should cease and the boats returned to the Education Authority.

Subscriptions were increased to

Single £5.00

Family £6.00

Juniors £1.00

This would raise funds for the erection of a clubhouse.

Mr J Moore was elected Life Member.

Glaxo had formed a Sailing Section to their Sports Club but at present had nowhere to sail, and asked if it was possible to make a block payment to allow their 25 members to use our facilities at Roa Island. They proposed to buy 5 boats for this purpose. It was decided that under our Rules only individual membership at the full rate would be allowed.

Furness Fishing Association agreed a fee of £10.00 for controlling the rights to fish from Belfast Pier.

In July 1966 a crane had been donated to the club and would be erected at the head of the slipway.

The family of the late Ian Grice had asked that a Memorial Trophy was to be purched out of the £20.00 he had advanced to the Club as a loan

In July 1966 work proceeded with the levelling of the site of the proposed Clubhouse.

In September 1966 it was proposed that we hire the 99 Club for a Cabaret and Dance with their artists at a cost of £40.00

It was agreed that we ask for tenders to supply a clubhouse for the pier.

During October 1966 rails were laid for the slipway.

Messrs Rose and Rawlinson reported on a meeting a meeting with Mr McWhirter at the Ministry of Education who agreed to travel to view the site of the clubhouse. Mr McWhirter stated that it would qualify for a 50% grant on any work not yet started, but it would take about 12 months to go through the necessary channels.

It was agreed that we apply for a grants to cover the cost.

A further Cabaret and dance was booked at the 99 Club for February 8th 1967.

An enquiry was made about the possibility of hiring a steamer for a trip to the Isle Of Man. The cost would be £1000.00

The AGM for 1967 was held in March

2 members had won International recognition for their voyages during the year, Bernard Rhodes and Phil Patterson.

The slipway had been completed.

Levelling and widening of the Pier was progressing.

2 further loans were repaid to members.

It was agreed that we would join other Clubs with a Gala in the Docks to celebrate Barrow Centenary Celebrations and hold a cruiser race for the Barrow Centenary Cup that the council will provide.

In September 1967 a dance was arranged at the Victoria Park Hotel. The Mayor and Mayoress and the Town Clerk and his wife to be invited.

A further dance was to be arranged at the 99 Club, the artist was to be Ruby Murray.

Mr Hampson had met with Ministry officials in London, our application had failed because not sufficient space had been allocated for changing rooms and toilets. They stated that if we made a fresh application quickly for a £1000.00 was made, it might be favourably considered provided we could match it with a similar amount from Club funds.

Mr Rawlinson had discussions with a member of the Borough Council, they agreed that they would tip stonework from the Cornmill on our site as soon as they received written authority from the club. A similar agreement was reached with Harbour & General who were rebuilding the sea wall along the Coastroad. This will result in many thousands of tons being tipped.

After several tenders were received and considered a representative of Marley,s came to the site on June 12th 1968. It was agreed to purchase a Marley building at a sum of £2000.00. which was to be erected by them on a base prepared by club members. Marley would submit the plans to Barrow Council within 6 weeks of receiving our order.

In July 1968 way leave was granted to lay electric and water pipes over the Roa Island Hotel land. A 3 phase electric supply to the clubhouse would cost £46 5 0d, Mr Rose said he did not wish to contract a mortgage for any additional money that we may require, but his bank would loan the money and hold the Pier deeds as security.

By November 1968 the materials and provision of services on the Pier to date amounted to £240.00.Marleys would arrive on site in December.

During 1969 the partitions and lining of the clubhouse was carried out by voluntary labour.

The official opening ceremony was conducted by the treasurer Mr G S Rose on the 12th February 1971.

Since then there have been 2 extensions to the clubhouse and other portions of land purchased together with most of the foreshore rights around Roa Island in order to provide you with the facilities that you enjoy today.