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News 1999

Flag-Pole Erection

It's Up!!!

Pictures all from the flag pole re-erection day, Sunday 19th December 1999.

There should also be a newsletter article out soon.

The Warning

The club's long missed flag-pole will be re-erected on Sunday 19th December. After the disaster of the lowering last year the broken spar and Jason's foot are now both mended. The shiny new painted spars will be put back by a working party - any volunteers most welcome - contact Chris Crossland or Chris Eade.

10am on Sunday 19th aiming to finish by 12.30pm (Chris has a party then!) followed by free beer for the workers. We need 10 volunteers and have 5 already; any surplus over 10 will be found useful jobs.

No car parking at the club on the Sunday morning


The last time...

The Flagpole

The old Club had an enormous flagpole, complete with gaff and yard-arm, from which the Red Ensign always flew. Before some great occasion it was deemed that it should be lowered and repainted, and I was endeavouring to finish the painting in time. Michael Gilkes, who was then Harbourmaster and had boundless energy and was particularly good at getting people to ‘volunteer’ for such jobs as I was doing, suddenly arrived. He said the flagpole must be raised immediately, and despite the fact that I was still busily plying my brush, he proceeded to get ‘forces’ to carry out the job.

Now the flagpole was supported by a tabernacle - a box round it perhaps four feet high, so that it could be lowered for painting and re-rigging. There was no fourth side to the box and the pole was effectively on a hinge at its foot. In spite of the fact that it was covered in wet paint, a large crowd of ‘volunteers’ began pushing underneath to raise it, whilst another group got round the other side and pulled equally on the guy ropes. Majestically the flagpole rose slowly from the horizontal, but everybody kept pushing and pulling like made, with the result that the pole swept rapidly to the upright position - where it came into collision with the fixed side of the tabernacle. The foot shattered, and the pole swept over the vertical to plunge towards those who had been pulling a second before.

By a miracle no-one was killed or injured, but Gavin Robertson had a narrow escape: the end of the yard-arm plunged into his pocket, leaving him wearing the upper half of his jacket. A photograph was taken afterwards of Michael Gilkes explaining to the Bosun: ‘How I failed to kill some of the members’ - or that was the caption it was given.

Extract from London Corinthian Sailing Club Centenary History 1894-1994 by John Herbert

Copyright © London Corinthian Sailing Club, 31st Jan 2000