History of the
Cambridge Motor Boat Club
The Cambridge Motor Boat Club
was founded in 1911 by a small group of boating enthusiasts with some
well-known Cambridge names such as W.G.Pye, founder of the famous radio
empire, R.C.Pierce, Manager of the Cambridge Electric Light Company and
Commodore of our club for a record 29 years, and the Banham brothers, local
boatbuilders who did more to popularise boating in Cambridge than anyone
else. Many of our present members had their first experience of boating in
one of Banham's fleet.
The 1912 handbook records 61
members and 44 boats. The headquarters of the club were at the Blue Boar
Hotel in Cambridge although there were no facilities for boats until 1919
when the club rented some land by the River Cam at Clayhithe, five miles
north east of Cambridge. In 1930, the lease was extended to include all of
the present site covering nearly four and a half acres.
In 1936, thanks to some hard
negotiating by members of the committee, the club was able to buy the
freehold of the land and enjoyed steady growth with, in 1939, 308 members
and 77 boats on the register.
Electricity was laid on to
the grounds in 1949, followed by water in 1950 and, in 1971, additional
moorings were made available by the excavation of a mooring basin in
conjunction with the adjoining Cam Sailing Club.
The present large clubhouse
was built in 1974, enabling the club to hold a variety of social activities
all the year round. The project was helped by the generosity of many members
who donated fixtures and fittings or made funds available by paying five
years subscription in advance. The official opening ceremony was held on
23rd February 1975 with a dedication by the Bishop of Ely.
In recent years, the
clubhouse has been renovated, with new toilets and showers and also
double-glazed windows and improved heating and lighting systems. In 1984,
our slipway and winch came into operation, enabling members to lift their
boats from the water for painting and other maintenance. In addition to the
30 mooring spaces, there are, on the site, 16 chalets and 16 caravans, owned
by members and all with their own electricity supply.
The club has an active social
programme throughout the year, with competitions held for boating and
sporting events. Many of the trophies for these have been presented by past
club members, the oldest trophy being the Coronation Cup, commemorating the
coronation of George V in our foundation year of 1911.