East Coast Branch

A Brief History

Details of the founding of the branch seem to have been lost in the mists of time, although there is some talk of the existence of a branch charter somewhere.

The branch was formed in 1991 with a grant of £50 from the MOA ‘Head Office’ and was originally known as the River Orwell branch. Its first Captain was Sue Heaser, who stayed at the helm for four years, and the Treasurer at the beginning was Peter Bellfield, who managed the branch finances for twelve years.

In 1991 the first event was a BBQ at the East Coast Boat Show at Foxes and was attended by 26 people. A year later there is mention of a membership of 50, which rose to 122 by 2002 and currently stands at more than 260.

Regrettably the attendance at events hasn’t increased in line with the membership, although when Lin and I joined the branch some 15 years ago things were thriving under Bob Day’s Captaincy, ably assisted and kept under control by his wife Kay who was Secretary! In those heydays over 70 people sat down at dinners and also danced to a disco afterwards.

The branch enjoyed a resurgence in activity in the five years with Chris Hennah in charge and we now have several clusters of members who hold events over a much greater part of the large geographical area that the East Coast branch covers. Putting on events in the most northerly parts of the area, i.e. Humberside, remains a challenge.

With the branch’s planned lunch on HQS Wellington on the Thames Embankment to celebrate the MOA’s 30th Anniversary year things have come a long way since that first BBQ at Foxes!

Robin Harris

Saraband

March 2015 updated February 2020

CaptainYears
Sue Heaser1991-5
Neil Lerner1996-7
Greg Barns 1998-9
Bob Day2000-3
Christine Day (no relation) 2004
Andrew Warren 2005-6
Chris Hennah 2007-11
Dick Holness 2012-14
Mike Ballinger 2015-18
Giles Ford-Crush2019
Alan Giles2020