Club History


Glasson Sailing Club was founded in 1962 and has been located at the village of Glasson ever since so the year 2022 will be the club’s 60th anniversary as a resident of Glasson village.

The club is situated at Fishnet Point but that has not always been the case, it was originally on the eastern side of the east quay behind the Victoria Inn. The club’s founders started their project to create the club in 1961 by acquiring a suitable site but the club opened officially in 1962 with its first Annual General Meeting. The club originally leased an area of land on the east quay from the port commissioners and it also made an arrangement with Mitchell’s brewery of Lancaster to use part of their premises at the back of the Victoria Inn as a clubhouse. A little later it rented an area of land from British Rail for use as a dinghy park. At the time there was a slipway on the east wall where boats could be launched into the river and sailing activities could take place but that slipway has since been demolished. When it was not possible to sail in the river, sailing could be transferred to the canal basin. From the early days of the club’s existence it has had members with small boats such as dinghies and day boats but also some cruising boats which were moored in the marina. Nowadays there are a considerable number of cruising boats as well as dinghies and day boats. Most of the cruisers are now kept in the boat park at Fishnet point.

By 1973 the club had re-located to Fishnet Point and has since built a clubhouse and slipway with an electric winch in a winch house near the top of the slip. The winch is powerful enough to draw boats weighing several tons on heavy trailers to the top of the slipway. In the summer of 1995 the process of launching and recovery of cruising boats was made much easier when the club members constructed a jetty alongside the bottom of the slip. That jetty has stood the test of time and is in regular use up to the present day.

Although the rise and fall of the tide limits the amount of sailing time in the river the smaller boats can sail up river as far as Lancaster or down river to the lighthouse while the larger boats can gain access to the open sea. During the life of the club our boats have travelled far and wide, including voyages as far north as the Faeroes and as far south as the Azores. There have Been at least two circumnavigations of Ireland and but for Covid there would have been another in 2020. Recently a club boat enjoyed a circumnavigation of England, Scotland and Wales. There are other members who have sailed across the Atlantic and in the 1980s a GSC reunion was held in the Bay of Islands in New Zealand. The event was reported in Practical Boat Owner Magazine. The western Isles of Scotland, the Isle of Man, North Wales and Ireland are always popular destinations as are Whitehaven in Cumbria and Kirkcudbright in southern Scotland.

The club has a constitution with a non-executive President and two Vice Presidents in reserve. The executive committee is headed by the Commodore with a team of officers and a few members without a portfolio. Committee meetings are held monthly and Annual General Meetings in October. The club operates a future planning programme by which we try to continually improve it.

In 2022, our sixtieth year, we are a well organised and friendly club with a sound financial base and a membership approaching 200. Our members are widely distributed throughout Northern England

Before the restrictions caused by Covid 19 in 2020 the club had an open gate policy at weekends so that non-members from the village could enter to enjoy the river views from the club lawn, subject of course, to safety rules. Launching and recovery of heavy boats requires a degree of caution. Despite the difficulties of navigation in the River Lune our members have always been very happy to be able to meet in the attractive surroundings of Glasson Dock.

The First Sailing Club Site

12th April 1961 – The first move was to secure a section of the Lancaster Port Commissioners land at the rear of the Victoria Hotel at Glasson Dock, the first letters were sent to the Port Commissioners.

On the 15th May 1961 a sketch plan of the site was sent to the Commissioners.

19th June 1961 -the Port Commissioners gave consideration to the proposals and offered the land on a tenancy of twelve months and thereafter from year to year, subject to three months notice on either side. The area of land offered was in the region of 600 square yards.

The First Clubhouse

April 1961 – Negotiations were started with Mitchells of Lancaster (Brewers) Limited to rent a portion of the outbuildings of the Victoria Hotel at Glasson Dock, adjoining the land offered by the Lancaster Port Commissioners.

May 1961 -Provisional consent was given by the brewery (Mitchells of Lancaster).

July 1961 – The terms of the tenancy were agreed. Since then the terms have been altered and the Glasson Sailing Club, as it is now called, will be able to rent the premises as long as it requires them or until such time as the Club is disbanded.

September 1961 – A site meeting was held with the brewery to discuss alterations to the premises. A letter was then received from the brewery offering to pay for the alteration and reinstatement of the property, this was accepted.

November 1961 – A set of provisional plans were submitted by the brewery and accepted.

February 1961 – The plans were submitted to the Magistrates Court at the brewster sessions for approval and were duly passed as satisfactory.

The Big Day

March 1962 – The Club was finally formed and membership was open to the general public.

April 1962 – The first Annual General Meeting of the newly formed Club was held at which it was agreed that the Club should be called the Glasson Sailing Club, the Club rules and constitution were then submitted to the meeting and approved.

October 1st 1962 – The Club took possession of the Port Commissioners land.

October 8th 1962 – The Club took possession of the Clubhouse and changing rooms.

October 20th 1962 – The Clubhouse was officially opened. (The clubhouse referred to is part of the Victoria Hotel and the slipway was at the eastern end of East Quay, all that remains are a small flight of steps and a few stumps.)

October 22nd 1962 – The Club began negotiating with British Railways for the use of their old slipway which would give the Club access onto the river Lune. November 1962 – Agreement was reached with British Railways over the use of the old slipway and a licence was granted to the Club giving its members the right to cross the railway property between the Club premises and the slipway.

December 1962 – The Club applied to British Railways for a tenancy of the land adjoining the Club’s premises and the slipway, this was refused. The Club tried every month in 1963 for a tenancy of this land but were not successful until December 1963, when the railways agreed to look into the matter further.

April 28th 1964 – British Railways agreed to rent to the Club an area of land, at the top of the Club’s slipway and adjoining the Club premises, consisting of 433 square yards or thereabouts for the sum of £40 per annum, this was accepted by the Club. Application was then made to the Lancaster Rural District Council to use this land as a dinghy park, permission was duly granted.

May 1963 – Work was started on the rebuilding of the old slipway. The original remains were removed and a completely new structure built some 60 feet long.

June 1964 – The Club obtained planning consent from the Port Commissioners to erect a balcony over their land affixed to the front of the Club house. The balcony was erected in July 1964.

August 1964 – The slipway was extended a further 20 feet, making a total length of 80 feet. The Club also purchased three ex-army pontoons which are now moored alongside the slipway and are used for mooring dinghies after they have been launched. Also in August the Club held its first open regatta on the river Lune, this was a well attended meeting with entries from all over Lancashire and the surrounding districts. During this period the Club arranged a winter series of races for the dinghy members, this series was open to members of the Morecambe Bay Sailing Association, to which all the sailing Clubs around Morecambe Bay are members.

Spring 1965 – Further extensions to the slipway were planned and completed. The slipway is now 110 feet in length.

During the summer of 1965 the Club arranged a full series of races for both the dinghy and offshore sections. These races were held on the river Lune, when the tide was suitable, and on the Lancaster Canal basin on the days when the tide was not available. The following special events were also held:

· An open meeting for the National Osprey class.

· Glasson Sailing Club Open Regatta.

· The National Hornet Northern Championships.

The Current Glasson Sailing Club at Fishnet Point

The following part of the history is incomplete, if you have anything for us not already saved here please contact David Booth

The club was classed and registered as an unincorporated not for profit organisation in the eyes of the law and the taxman. We are subject to many of the laws that businesses are including Management accountability/responsibility, health and safety, financial auditing and reporting to the (stakeholders) membership. When the founder members set the constitution up in this way it was to enable them to get a grant from the sports council to build the club house. The application was couched in terms as a community sporting asset for the people of the area who wished to take part in the sport of sailing but couldn’t afford it.

The types of craft sailed by the Club members in the early years were as follows:-

· National Graduate

· National Enterprise

· GP14

· National Hornet

· National Osprey

· National Shearwater Catamarans

· Sea Bat

· Piccalo

· Sunday Times Signet

· Y W Wayfarer

The Club members also owned a large variety of coastal and ocean cruisers from 18 feet to 54 feet in length.


1962 – 4
1963 – 10
1964 – 22
1965 – 40

Offshore Boats

1962 – 3
1963 – 9
1964 – 14
1965 – 19

It has been suggested that the above figures for offshore boats are a little optimistic.

In 1965 each winter the Club arranged a programme of film shows and lectures which were held every Wednesday evening from the first of November to the first of April. These programmes covered a very large range of subjects mainly on sailing but a small proportion are on subjects of general interest. These meetings were advertised in the local papers and were open to the general public.

Club facilities were as follows:-

Clubhouse with two rooms, the main room 31 feet by 27 feet fitted with heating equipment and a bar. The second room 24 feet by 10 feet is the committee room, but is also used as the Club kitchen and is fitted with an electric cooker and sink.
Ladies and gentlemens changing rooms each containing two toilets, shower and hot and cold water supply.
One slipway 110 feet long
Three ex-army pontoons.
Parking for 28 Dinghies.

Early Membership Details

The above figures are at the 28th February each year. These figures do not include any of the schools or university as they pay differently.

The Club was financed by the following means:-

By subscription
Profits from the bar takings
Profit on dances and social events
Profit of 6d fruit machine
Profit on bar billiard table
By the rents from parking dinghies, 30/- per dinghy, per annum.