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Brixham Junior Sailing Club
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About BJSC
HISTORY of the CLUB (to 2018)
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History of BJSC (to 2018)

In the early to mid 1970’s several youngsters, some of whom had their own dinghies, set up a “club” under the auspices of BYC. They were known as “The Cadets”, and their base was within the BYC building (where the Ladies Loo’s are presently situated!).

In those days, BYC was a much more modest concern, and “the cadets” were mostly only children of members. During this time, BYC was in possession of 1 Squib and 2 Mirror dinghies which were available for the members & cadets (with supervision) to use. The club also possessed a small motor boat which acted as safety boat. In those days, a gentleman named John Hopkins, along with Brian Dally; Margaret Slade; and others manned the show. Other occasional input from those such as Marshall Ritchie- who came to give sailing lessons/ lectures / knots / weather forecasts!

During this period, children were only allowed to enter the BYC clubhouse under very strict rules, and tended to be hidden away behind a curtain in an area which was known as the “Admiral’s walk”

In the second half of the 70’s, BYC needed to modernise their facilities. A major project was undertaken, where BYC built a new kitchen, extended the Admiral’s walk, and re-located the ladies loos into the area where the cadets had previously been homed. Whilst this was a great progression for BYC, this caused concern among family members of BYC who didn’t want the youngsters to be discouraged, especially because at this time there was a very healthy group of cadets. In addition to the 2 mirror dinghies already present from BYC, a further 14 – privately owned boats had built up!

In those days some at BYC recognised that the cadets were to be the future members of the club, and re-allocated an out-building of the premises for the sole use of young members. (This is the building to the south of BYC seaward car park). There was no money available to equip this facility, but after substantial efforts from many, enough funds were raised to transform the out-building into “the cadet hall”.

The hall proved a great asset to the youngsters, as well as BYC. It was used especially during the winter months, when the cadets continued to meet on Thursday evenings in a form of youth club. This was held together mostly by Sara-Jane Bartlett, who maintained a “tuck-shop”. During these evenings, the first hour was spent doing boat maintenance; the rest of the 2 hours playing music; playing darts; pool etc. As a benefit to BYC – during this period, many of the parents were in the bar! 
In season, the sailing progressed. BYC supported the youngsters by holding separate races for their Mirror dinghies. BYC officers and committee continued to encourage young people – even during hard times.

However, in the early 80’s, a “bubble” event occurred. A lot of the cadets reached the age where they moved away from being cadets, all at the same time, most then joined BYC as adult members. As result, the youth section continued on a much smaller scale for a few years. During this period, the cadets tried a variety of avenues to re-establish, and were somewhat overlooked. The biggest hurdle during this period proved to be obtaining funding. Private ownership of boats had ceased, resulting in shortages of boats for training and the club “hibernated”…..

In 1988 Steve Linley-Shaw joined BYC and was surprised to find no sail training in Brixham, with no sign of any dinghy activity at all. Along with Tony Ridd, Dave Edwards, Mike Hannaford and Lynn Fitzgerald they set about showing young people to how sail. The founding principles were to have fun, achieve a goal and have the time of your life – not necessarily produce 1st class sailors. On the first night we had Steve’s Enterprise and a old Mirror dinghy belonging to Tony. BYC “Shuttle” acted as a safety boat and sometimes Tony Ridd’s workboat was used for special events. All very ad hoc and loads of fun.

With support from the BYC sailing committee and various commodores the Cadet Section was allowed to flourish - this was later to become Brixham Junior Sailing Club Ltd.

BYC purchased 4 second hand Wayfarer dinghies and in the next few years 100s of local children were introduced to the joys of sailing – most grew up and went on to other things, but occasionally some returned for second and third years and for further race training. Now we see many ex juniors sailing on yachts in and around Torbay, and others have gone on to become professional sailors.

Peter Bartlett added his considerable experience and was especially involved in RYA affairs. Later Peter was made president for his services to the club. Many new volunteers also came including Peter Chrystie, Emily, Anna, Jerry, Adrian & Adam Fricker and Kevin Wright. Sorry if some have been left out……

Whilst Terry Phillips was commodore, BYC were granted full RYA training status and in 2003 BYC asked Steve Linley-Shaw to form a separate club dedicated to sail training. This would be a legal entity and therefore able to attract funding in its own right. BJSC Ltd was formed. Peter Bartlett, Peter Goldsworthy, Fred Farmer (treasurer) and Mike Elleston (secretary) were some of the early directors.
BYC kindly handed over the old Wayfarers and Toppers to BJSC and also allowed a section of compound to be used exclusively for each sailing season. At the time the BYC “Shuttle” launch was also used but this facility was withdrawn in the late 2000s.
The club bought six new Picos in 2005 with grants from the Devon community fund and local sponsors including Mrs Dyke. A container was also purchased, to use for storage and ‘clubroom’. 

During these times BYC allowed BJSC to store boats and use a section of the ‘compound’ which BYC rented from Torbay Council. (This was extended with the construction of the Oxen Cove car park and the compound was expanded by BJSC to accommodate its equipment.
Arrangements were also put in place for BJSC to contribute to a joint insurance policy with BYC.

Things continued to improve, Steve became a senior instructor and the club gradually took on more help; many supplied from the crew of “apiano”! Peter & Ann Chrystie, Mike Inness, Jane Silver and many others swelled the ranks and training became more formal and consistent. Mark Hobbs became bosun and Assistant instructor.
In the later part of the decade (2008) the club was presented with the yacht club’s superfluous safety boat (Orange rib) and also managed to purchase a smaller safety rib (Grey rib). We also acquired two RS Fevas for the more experienced juniors. This was achieved with funds from both BYC and other local and national charities.

Tim Corbett joined the club as a volunteer in 2006. He brought his own safety boat to help the training and took on a main role in managing the paperwork and the website.

BYC’s RYA status was also passed to BJSC in 2010 and the club became the RYA Recognised Training Centre for both establishments. Membership increased and all the dinghies, about 18 in all, were fully utilised.

In 2011 three dinghy instructors became Senior Instructors and other volunteers obtained various RYA certificates. More parents were involved especially in Safety Boat work. BYC donated funds to help purchase a new outboard for our small rib. Chris Coote became a fund raiser and is now our treasurer.

By 2012 we had about 40 club members and even more volunteers, some with their own boats which were also used for safety cover. Several young people became qualified Assistant Dinghy instructors.

In late 2012 Steve Linley-Shaw retired after many years acting “in charge” and Tim Corbett became the first elected principal of BJSC Ltd.

BJSC continued to enjoy the support of BYC for a time, and plans for improved storage and an office went ahead with the purchase of another container erected above the original within the compound. Parents were even allowed to watch sailing sessions whilst enjoying supper in the BYC clubhouse. In 2013 the club commenced a pilot scheme for adult training sponsored by BYC. This proved very successful and the adults all achieved their RYA qualification. In 2013 we received much financial assistance from local organisations, and a grant from Sport England enabled the club to purchase four additional Fevas.

The club continued to thrive and began to operate on two evenings a week. In 2015 the club assisted BYC in setting up dinghy racing on Mondays (a junior training night). However during 2016 changes at BYC began to highlight some difficulties between the two clubs. In early 2016 BYC applied for and were granted RYA training accreditation in addition to that held by BJSC. Towards the end of 2016 the yacht club asked BJSC to reduce the space that they used within the compound, so that this could be utilised for paid dinghy storage. By early 2017 it became clear that BJSC would no longer be able to continue in its current format with the reduced space requested, and in March the yacht club gave BJSC one months’ notice to vacate the compound.

Fortunately Brixham Harbour Authority and local councillors recognised the value of BJSC to the local community and hurriedly arranged for space in the harbour compounds to become available. In April 2017 BJSC completed the transfer to this new area and became a totally independent club. With grateful thanks to local businesses and individuals who helped with all parts of the relocation.

In early 2017 BJSC were granted full charity status and received some substantial grants. With a donation from Brixham Town Council the club purchased an additional three Pico dinghies, with grants from Devon Community Fund we purchased replacement sails and a substantial grant from Sport England enabled the purchase of a new safety rib. We have also received grants from the Brixham Trawler Race and numerous other local establishments.

The 2017 commencement of training was slightly delayed, but the new venue proved very successful and training continues two evenings per week with well over forty young students and some adults undergoing instruction. 

In 2018 BJSC purchased two additional boats, a used Feva to add to the fleet and a used Wayfarer. Both these boats will enable us to carry our repairs without compromising the availability of our core training fleet. In late 2018 six volunteers achieved their RYA Dinghy Instuctors certificate.

We hope to train yet more instructors from our existing volunteers and trainees. Volunteers are always welcome – lack of experience is not a problem. We apologise if anyone has been left out in this brief history we are very grateful to everyone, and you know who you are !