Anyone bemoaning the supposed decline of model boating would have had cause to revise their opinions at the Chantry Club’s Open Day on 10th June. Over 150 boats were present at this relaxed annual fixture which was blessed with warm sunshine. Supporting the event in addition to the host club were the Brentwood, Cygnets, Dover, Herne Bay, Ramsgate, Southend, Southwater and Tugs'r'Us clubs.
The Chantry club are fortunate to have an attractive venue at Bluewater, Kent. Many UK readers will be familiar with this vast modern shopping complex which is set in an old quarry near the Thames at Dartford. Bordering the shops are extensive car parks whilst outside there are landscaped grounds, including several small lakes of which the Chantry club has the use of one. For wives and daughters becoming a little jaded with the boat modelling scene, a five minute walk offers opportunities for unlimited retail therapy which may well have a terminal effect upon the annual family modelling budget!
As with the Mayhem event a couple of weeks earlier, I was struck by the wide variety of models on show. Both quantity and quality were equally impressive and the effective use of the frequency board ensured that the maximum number of boats were on the water at any one time. The general atmosphere was very friendly and all the modellers seemed very happy to talk about their boats to anyone who asked. It was particularly pleasing to see such a large turnout of scale sail models including a colourful contingent of Thames barges which always look most attractive on the water.
As this was essentially a non competitive event there were only two awards – best power driven model and best sail boat. The former went to John Boyd of Tugs ‘r Us for his impressive tug John B, while the sailing prize went to Alan Woodroffe, Commodore of the Southwater Club for his large ketch Lancer which looked beautiful on the water and sailed like a dream.
This was my first visit to this annual event and I very much liked the friendly, laid back and efficient organisation, backed up by the free tea, coffee and delicious cakes provided by the ladies without whom no event of this type could possibly function – and I do mean that most sincerely!
The pictures give some idea of the variety of models on display and it was very difficult selecting them from the 160+ pictures that I took during the day. Digital cameras are two edged swords, you take far more pictures than you need and getting the numbers down to fit the space available can be a painful process!
Attendance for clubs and individuals is by invitation via Colin Barrett, Tel: 01634 256682. The date in 2008 has not been fixed at the time of writing, but will most likely be around the same time in June – it really is a club orientated event with no trade support, but plenty of free sailing in a nice environment.
Want the latest issue of Model Boats? Use our magazine locator link to find your nearest stockist!
Make sure you never miss out on the latest news, product reviews and competitions with our free RSS feed
We welcome well written contributions from Website members on almost any aspect of Model Boating with a particular emphasis on practical hints, tips, experience and builds.
In order to maintain a consistent standard and format, all suggestions should first be sent to me by Personal Message for approval in principle. Only a very limited amount of time is available for editing contributions into a suitable format for placing on the website so it is important that the material is well presented, lucid and free from obvious spelling errors. I think it goes without saying that contributions should be illustrated by appropriate photos. I shall be happy to give advice on this.
The Member Contribution area offers space for short informative mini articles which would not normally find a place in Model Boats magazine. It is an opportunity for Website Members to freely share their expertise and experience but I am afraid that virtue is its own reward as there is no budget to offer more material recompense!
I look forward to receiving your suggestions.
Colin Bishop - Website Editor