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Home / Club / Club History
Home / Club / Club History

Club History

The Club was founded in 1920 and has functioned, apart from the War years, without interruption from that date.  Originally it was started by local people racing against each other and later it developed into organised racing for holiday visitors as well.  This is still one of its principal functions.

It was largely the initiative of Philip Sharp which got the Club re-started in 1946.  The racing was controlled from a caravan on the Quay and, for some fifteen years, a Clubroom was found at various places in the village.  In 1947 it was provided by the Secretary, Miss Carlisle, at her home, Landfall, and the following year the Clubroom was moved to the Ship and Castle Hotel.  In 1954 a Notice Board was provided at the Quay Office and the Clubroom was at the St Mawes Hotel and then, in the late 50s, Room A7 at the Victory Inn was used.

In the early 50s, due to the energy and far-sightedness of our longest-serving Commodore, Major Matthews, and his Committee, the Stoneworks Quay on the Percuil River was acquired for use as a Dinghy Park.  The acquisition of this facility, together with that, much later, of a Clubhouse above the Post Office in 1977, led to a rapid growth in the number of members.  During the eight years when the social life of the Club was centred round this one room it was served by a number of generous members who ran the bar and all the house facilities.  Foremost amongst these helpers were Howard Lees and Dennis Clive.  In 1985 the Committee, under the leadership of the Commodore, Brenda Pye, acquired the rooms above Ralph's Store (then the Salad Bowl) and with the help of Peter Leach, as architect, and of Brian Pearce, converted what was a Gift Shop into club rooms, so extending the Clubhouse to its present size.  Members could for the first time reach each the Club through a front entrance instead of creeping past dustbins along a narrow passage and up the back stairs.  By this time the Club had grown to a size that necessitated the employment of a part-time steward and some secretarial help.  The first computer database was installed with the help of Peter Davis.

In 1994 various members, under the leadership of the Commodore Roger Smith, made the Bridge Deck into one large room for controlling races or conducting meetings.  At the same time Derek Saveker with Alan Sadler rebuilt the balcony and the office was moved to an open plan reception area on the Lower Deck.  After a visit from the officer in charge of fire regulations in 1995 a very extensive refurbishment became necessary, and this was carried out by and to the design of John Todd.  By the 1996 season the Clubhouse was in splendid shape with a vastly improved space on the first floor, a well-equipped cellar and the kitchen moved from the Lower Deck to the Bridge Deck floor.  A completely new fire escape had to be built and the stair well was enclosed.  The furniture had to be largely replaced and the whole of the Clubhouse was re-carpeted.  New toilet and shower facilities were built, and the bar area was given water-proof flooring.

In 1991, under the stewardship of John Castle as Commodore, Brian Roberts, with the support of various local organisations and generous private individuals, acquired eight Oppie sailing dinghies and started an Oppie Club to provide local children aged 8 and over with opportunities to become familiar with the water at an early stage and to learn to sail.  This enterprise was later expanded into Junior Sailing in 1998 when funds were raised by the Club, under the leadership of Brian Davis as Commodore, and six Laser Pico dinghies were acquired.  This enabled sailing instruction to be extended to a wider range of age groups and to the families of all Club members visiting St Mawes during the summer months, through a series of structured courses provided by highly qualified professional instructors.  Some 118 youngsters completed courses in the first year.  The Club received RYA recognition for its Junior Sail Training in the following year, 1999.

Over the winter of 1998/99, the facility at Stoneworks Quay was completely rebuilt.  The new building provides secure facilities for outboard engines, good toilets and showers as well as a clubroom for the Junior Sail Training lessons.  During 2002 the Oppie fleet was upgraded and cruises on the Training Ship The Hardiesse were added to the facilities open to our junior sailors.  The Pico fleet was upgraded with new boats in 2003 and subsequently RS Fevas, Q'bas and Hartleys have been added.  We now have 3 RIBs for teaching and safety cover.  In 2005, JST added Race Clinic to its existing Week and Saturday courses in an effort to increase numbers racing at the Club.

In 2002 a new category of membership was introduced for those born and bred in the Roseland.  This Associate Membership comes with no voting rights but allows this category of member the use of Club facilities.

The bar, catering and cleaning services of the Clubhouse are run by franchise.  In 2003 the first contract was taken up with the St Mawes Hotel and in 2012 a new contract awarded to member John Howard who continued to provide an excellent service to members and their guests.  Since 2016 the franchise has been run by Anna Ridgway and Simon Miller.

In 2011 there was a major refurbishment of the bar, lower deck and the toilets and gentlemens shower.  In 2012 a fully equipped commercial kitchen was installed on the top floor enabling a much-improved variety of catering.  In 2013 the Club was incorporated as a Company limited by Guarantee.

Always on the lookout for ways to improve the Clubs facilities, in 2018 the General Committee was given the opportunity to purchase the top floor of the old Lloyds Bank building, together with the roof-top terrace over the adjacent building.  This was an opportunity too good to miss, and has allowed the Club to create a fantastic terrace overlooking the Harbour and Club start line, and a studio apartment, Clock Cottage, which is available for rent.  

The Club's most recent development project, which took place in 2022/23 was the installation of a pontoon at Stoneworks Quay.  This has significantly improved the utility of the Quay for members and JST, and a further programme of improvements is underway to enhance other aspects of the infrastructure at Stoneworks.

Club Burgee

The original burgee, which was flown from the Clubs formation up to the Second World War, was a blue M on a white triangular pennant with the Ship and Castle in gold on a red oval badge. After the War the then Commodore, Philip Sharp, designed a new one which was dark blue with the Ship and Castle in gold on a red oval. In 1952 the then Commodore, Alec Matthews, invited members to submit designs for a more visible version, and the current design by Joy Teasdale (now Matthews) was chosen from four entries at the AGM. It has red and white quarters with the black Shield and 15 Bezants of Cornwall in the top white quarter next to the hoist.

It might interest members to know that the Shield and Dots are part of the Cornwall County Council Coat of Arms. The 15 'yellow dots' are derivations of the original gold coins struck at Constantinople by the Byzantine Emperors between the 9th and 14th centuries, and these gold coins (then worth about 20p each) were the chief pieces of money used in Europe. The Crusaders brought these to England and introduced them into the English Heraldry about the year 1220. When King John's son, Richard, was made Duke of Cornwall, he had these coins (by now called Bezants when used in Heraldry) incorporated in his Cornwall Coat of Arms. They have remained 'Cornwall' ever since.

Past Commodores

  • 1920 - 1927 No Records
  • 1928 - 1932 Col D Grant-Dalton CMG DSO JP
  • 1933 - 1937 Capt M Napier RN
  • 1937 - 1938 EG Hicks 
  • 1938 - 1945 War Years
  • 1946    PG Sharp 
  • 1946 - 1949 Dr NC Penrose OBE
  • 1949 - 1961 Maj AB Matthews OBE DSO MC
  • 1961 - 1964 Capt HI McMichael OBE MN
  • 1965 - 1966 WS Black 
  • 1967 - 1969 ER Thomas 
  • 1970 - 1972 Lt Col CJ Bradford
  • 1973 - DA Rickards Esq CBE
  • 1973 - 1974 GL Gibbs 
  • 1974 - 1975 RVG Sharp 
  • 1976 - 1977 TM Dover 
  • 1978 - 1980 MG Harrison 
  • 1981 - 1984 Sqd Ldr D Clive AFC
  • 1984 - 1988 Miss BD Pye
  • 1988 - 1992 JB Castle 
  • 1992 - 1993 TD Saveker 
  • 1993 - 1996 RE Smith 
  • 1996 - 1999 BM Davis 
  • 1999 - 2002 JO Tresidder 
  • 2003 - 2004 PAN Hutton MB BS FRCS
  • 2004 - 2011 TC Holm 
  • 2011 - 2017 NG Sharp 
  • 2017 - 2020 BG Chenoweth JP
  • 2020 - 2023 C de Glanville
  • 2023 - present John Andrew 


Last updated 15:16 on 20 May 2024

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