Nantwich Boat Club : History 1953 - 1958

Article written by Brent Hinchliffe and reproduced in Denise Frost's Club Magazine - '60 years of the Dorfold'

The Nantwich and Border Counties Yacht Club (NBCYC) was founded on 30th October 1953 by a Mr. Bickley. He organised a meeting at the Crown Hotel at which it was resolved to form a Club with 22 members. Six owned boats moored at Nantwlch, others either moored elsewhere or had not at the time owned boats.. A committee was elected and Officers appointed. Details of the appointees are not known positively but the first treasurer was Mr. W. Thistlewaite who remained in office until the late 1970s never owning a boat! The Club has grown to its current size with 200 plus members and moorings for some 70 boats — steel, fibreglass and wood. It occupies a stretch of the Shropshire Union Canal, a mile from Nantwich town Centre, with moorings along the main line and in the 'Dorfold' - a small marina alongside the canal.

The owner of the fourth boat to moor at Nantwich is believed to have been Mr. Cyril Bickley and he is credited with being the catalyst for the idea of forming a Club at Nantwich. His boat may have been 'ldalia' which he later co-owned with Mr. HT Smith.

What to call the Club? Suggestions included, Nantwich Cruising Club and Nantwich Boat Club but Mr. Bickley, believed to be Commodore, proposed the present name which was adopted. The word ‘Yacht' includes a vessel propelled by motive power and used for pleasure cruising, travel etc—it does not need to have sails. Border Counties' are those of Cheshire, Shropshire and Staffordshire.

Again, Mr. Bickley drew the design of the burgee featuring the areas of green and white to represent England and Wales and the plume of feathers from Cheshire, the leopard of Shropshire and the Staffordshire knot.

At the end of 1953 there were five boats on the moorings, the latest being Mr JL Weatherby's boat. Two of the others belonged to Mr. Slack (probably ‘Glen Rosa’) and possibly Mr. S V Offley (probably ’Eileen'). The club went from strength to strength and members such as Messrs Slack and Offley carried out many cruises aimed at securing the continued existence of the canals nationwide for the benefit of pleasure cruising. They both played a significant part in the activities of the recently formed Inland Waterways Association and all boaters owe them a debt of gratitude for this.

In 1954, a Sailing Section was formed which had a Lease at Doddington Lake, near Nantwlch and this enterprise continued until 1969. Combined social functions were held at each others’ premises with great success, probably being financially beneficial to both. The Sailing Cub still exists and its Burgee is very similar to ours.

(History of the Dorfold 1939 - 1952)