Chairman's Log March 2020

Since I last put pen to paper we have enjoyed an immensely festive Christmas get-together; a fun skittles match at the Byfleet Boat Club (no trophy this year but another opportunity in eleven months’ time!); a fascinating visit to the Globe Theatre followed by an excellent talk and dinner at the Little Ship Club; an outstanding Fitting Out Lunch at Glenmore House – and our AGM has come and gone for yet another year!  My personal thanks to everyone who made it happen.

Corona virus permitting, we have some major events on the near horizon: a Scenic Scotland coach tour; our new format Thames Cruise; and a very different style of cruise on the River Danube.  We will monitor closely and keep you posted on any impact resulting from the current situation.

It was a great pleasure on Sunday 8th March to attend the official launch of a ‘Wheelyboat’ that will carry the name ‘Don Everitt’.  Like all Wheelyboats, the Don Everitt has a bow that can be lowered to allow wheelchair users and others with restricted mobility to get aboard and enjoy everything the river Thames can offer.  The boat is the result of three years of fundraising spearheaded by Richard Hunt, Group Scout Leader of 1st Cuddington (Warspite) Sea Scouts working together with Ajax and with Sealion Sea Scouts in Surbiton.  The TSCC is one of the many donors who helped to make this happen.  Don Everitt was a Sea Scouter of the old school and a pioneering RYA Dinghy Instructor trained by Bob Bond who wrote the original RYA training manual.  Don was also the founding principal of the Warspite / Ajax RYA Training Centre based in Thames Ditton.  Many of us have very affectionate memories of Don who sadly did not survive to draw his pension.  The boat was “Christened” with a few splashes of Bacardi and Coke, Don’s favourite tipple, especially late at night at summer camp!  Those were indeed the days!  The task now is to staff the boat and make sure it delivers the maximum benefit for those who would otherwise be unable to enjoy what so many of us take for granted.  The ceremony was attended by Sea Scouts, leaders and parents from all three Groups as well as numerous guests including Steve Collins, Chair of RUG 8, Richard Hart from the Docklands Scout Project and Joe Rogerson, Surrey Scout County Commissioner.

Here’s wishing every member of the Club a happy, healthy summer with boating aplenty.

Mark