Celebrating 75 years 17 Jun 2006
“Twenty-four hours before the time appointed for the official opening, there seemed very little prospect of the Clubhouse being ready for the members, all of the floors still being in the possession of the builders…”
But chaos gave way to order, the rooms were cleared, carpets laid, furniture installed and flowering plants banked in the entrance hall and lounge. At six o’clock on the Saturday, 25th July, 1931, the Club burgee was hoisted to signify that the Flag Officers were “at home”
A large company of members and invited guests quickly assembled and were received by Mrs Mitchell, the wife of the Vice-Commodore. They all inspected the building and then some 150 persons sat down to dinner under the chairmanship
of the Vice-Commodore, and then some 150 persons sat down to dinner under the chairmanship of the Vice-Commodore.”
That was how Cyril Goodman described the opening of the new Clubhouse in the Club’s history, “One Hundred Years of Amateur Sailing”
This is how several members described the evening when the Club decided to celebrate.
This is Ken Bushell’s contribution –
The Summer Ball was Burnham at its Best.That was the key to the marvellous celebrations for the seventy-fifth birthday of our Clubhouse. Nearly
one hundred of us had a great evening during one of the Crouch’s finest nights; warm, still, peaceful and us benefiting, as ever, from the proximity of our club’s balconies to the reflecting river. Inside the evening was formal in dress- the ladies looking lovely in flowered gowns- but informal in spirit and in fact. Our meal was followed by dancing and laughter late into the night to a great Jazz Band. Did they have it better in 1931? One doubts it – in fact we believe they didn’t have it as good!!!”
Anne Allen writes –
The programme instructions for the Summer Party were “black tie/flowery dresses but there were a variety of ties including at least one white tie worn by the Commodore. We were greeted at the door with a delicious strawberry pink cocktail accompanied by impressive canapes. The glorious summer evening encouraged guests to take their drinks on to the balcony to enjoy the marvellous view. We sat at long tables with tall flower decorations and fan shaped napkins. There were about 100 guests. Ken Bushell in his inimitable style proposed a toast to the Club which was celebrating its 75th anniversary.The historical display of the original plans by Joseph Emberton showed how the club has progressed since the 1930s. It was good to meet members from afar who were visiting the club after several years’ absence.
This how Mary Makey remembered it –
How delighted we were that our historic Club House was opened some 75 years ago – what other excuse do we need to spend a balmy summer evening enjoying the beauty of the building and the river with good music and good company?
Perhaps the unexpected highlight of the evening was the Sofa on the pontoon to which all were invited for a photo call – an exercise in itself for those with high heels!
Philippa Munro remembered it this way-
I think everyone who came to the Corinthian Summer Party last Saturday would agree that we could not have had better weather or a better time. After a long day of decorating the club it was great to see people dressed in their best setting off down the pontoon to have their photographs taken on the settee. Cocktails and canapes were accompanied by music from Lenny and his band and after our supper, we listened to jazz floating out over the river on a truly beautiful summer evening.
Commodore Martin Makey gets the last word.
On a glorious June 17th Saturday evening, we partied the evening away to celebrate the 75th Anniversary of the commissioning of the new Clubhouse. It was due to the foresight of the then members that we have an iconic building of the modernist era, designed by one of the leading architects of the day, Joseph Emberton. It was as if your present committee today gained the services of say, Richard Rogers, to build a club in the style of the Lloyds building!
Andy Barr created a fascinating display of old photos and archive material demonstrating the history of the new building. My favourite fact was that the cost of construction and land purchase was £12,500, about £6.5m today. Although nicknamed “The Concrete” and other such epithets, I think our Club House has stood the test of time and now we can be grateful for the foresight of our ancestor members in commissioning this unique building.
An event of this kind takes much organising. We acknowledge the House Committee, Philippa Munro & Mary Makey, together with Pauline Shanahan, Lindsey Barr,Amanda Waples and Gemma Cahalane. Not forgetting the Staff who might not have enjoyed the warm evening so much! Special thanks to Andy Barr for the display panels.