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 of activity over the 5 years that Chris Hennah was our Captain and we now have several clusters of members over Kent, Essex and Suffolk who hold events both afloat and ashore which attract members from these counties to sail or drive to parts they have not previously visited in order to meet with and enjoy the company of fellow Moody Owners. However, it is fair to say that putting on events any further North in the Branch’s area, which extends from Dover to Berwick-on-Tweed, proved a challenge.

Although the Covid years inevitably constrained the Branch’s activities, the Committee still arranged as many events as they reasonably could, within the ever changing rules, and these events were reasonably well attended. Post Covid, normal service has been resumed, but arranging events North of Lowestoft remains challenging.

Peter Wright
Wild Thyme

Updated Dec 2023

Sue Heaser1991-95
Neil Lerner1996-97
Greg Barns 1998-99
Bob Day2000-03
Christine Day (no relation) 2004-05
Andrew Warren 2005-06
Chris Hennah 2007-11
Dick Holness 2012-14
Mike Ballinger 2015-18
Giles Ford-Crush2019-20
Alan Giles2020-22
Peter Wright2023 - current