A Brief History
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 233.
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!
|Christine Day (no relation)||2004|