Page 28 - Yachter Spring 2024
P. 28

                                     The RMYC is in a part of Birkenhead called Rock Ferry and lies south of Cammel Laird Shipyard and Tranmere Oil Jetty. As you can imagine over the years it has been caught up in the Industrial Revolution of the 19th and 20th centuries. The present Clubhouse dates from 31st May 1901 and of course this is where we found ourselves.
Luckily the gates were open and a chap who was working on his boat who shall remain nameless (forgot to get his name!) made us most welcome and then handed us over to
a gentleman that had just driven up, who turned out to be an ex- committee member called Steve Moore. Steve could not have been more accommodating and after introductions, offered to open the Club in order for us to have a look inside. Once alarms had been switched off Steve gave us a short tour of the ground floor. He explained that the upper floors were in need of restoration and that
the first floor was being worked on. The first port of call was the Dining Room and what a splendid room this was.
We then found our way into the Committee Room which was equally splendid, where the photo with Steve took place complete with RMYC Caps and then we went on into what can only be best described as a Wardroom
cum bar area where a lot of the Club history is displayed.
Steve explained that the Club was very much self-help these days and as we are finding out membership is something that must be worked at to keep the numbers up. The Club has a small yard and access to the old Rock Ferry slipway where their Yachts are launched and then taken out to swinging moorings.
There are three classes of One Design Sailing boats sailed by the Club: Royal Mersey Mylne designed by Alfred Mylne in 1935. In 1934, a committee was formed at the Royal Mersey Yacht Club to look into a new class of yacht to sail and race on the River Mersey. One of the members, a Mr S McLauchlan, had
been on holiday in Scotland and seen a yacht built by D Monro and Son, a small boatyard on the Clyde. This yacht was to be shipped
to Egypt for her owner. Mr McLauchlan brought a half model of the yacht to show the members, who were impressed. Alfred Mylne, the yacht designer, was asked to approve and modify the design, and an order for five boats was placed with Munro’s. The cost of the first boat was £185 ex-quay Glasgow. They were shipped down to Liverpool and had their first race on the Mersey on 11th July 1935. The names of the boats all began with MER, and of the original five, four are still sailing today, Meryl, Number 2, having been lost.
The National Squib is a distinctive racing keelboat with mace-coloured sails, designed in 1967 by Oliver Lee. It is a strict “one-design” class of boat, big enough to sail at sea, but small enough to be trailed easily behind a family car.
The Etchells is a fast but stable racing boat which can be sailed competitively by 3 or 4 average sailors. It can tack through 70 degrees and its low wetted surface hull keeps it moving
in the slightest breeze – in 20 plus knots of wind it absolutely flies. Over 1400 boats have been built worldwide, but the class rules ensure that older boats remain competitive, allowing newcomers to join with relative ease.
After saying goodbye to Steve Moore
and the RMYC it was now time to visit my favourite Pork Butcher, GH Pearson of New Ferry and buy my favourite Pork Pies to be consumed for Lunch, followed by a visit to Port Sunlight, the factory village of Lord Leverhulme, the famous soap manufacturer and my Family home where both sides of my family lived and worked.
After a quick tour of the Village, we proceeded to Parkgate on the other side of
the Wirral looking out on the River Dee and North Wales and also birthplace of the famous Lady Hamilton.
What a great weekend was had by all!
Chris Brown

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