Jumbles Mumbles NEW YEAR Edition 2009
Goodbye 2008- a damp Summer, soggy Autumn, cool Spring and cold start to winter--- despite which we seem to have had some good sailing and at least we have not been short of water in the lake. A happy 2009 to you all
2008 had a number of notable successes for our younger members and the annual prize-giving at the laying up supper in February is going to see some new names on the honours list. On a sad note in September we lost founder member and former commodore Brian Early- Colin has been good enough to prepare an obituary which is published below.
Although formal sailing is now over until March the club house remains open to members and most Sundays will see the club in use for informal sailing or as a base for walks around the reservoir- feel free to join in because winter practice has been the foundation of many a club champion.
On New Years Eve there will be a party in the club house on a “bring your own buffet” basis and all members young and old are invited.
Have a wonderful 2009.
1936 - 2008
Shaney and I first got to know Brian when we joined Jumbles in September 1984 - we had tried dinghy sailing in Corfu that summer and had got ‘bitten by the bug’.
Brian had been one of the original Civil Service members (he worked at HM Stationery Office, Chadderton) when Jumbles SC was formed in the late 1970s. By 1984 he had become Commodore. Then it was the duty of the Commodore to ‘vet’ new members, and since we were Civil Servants (whom the Club, then as now, badly needed) Brian encouraged us to join.
Right from the start of Jumbles, Brian’s interest was very much sailing - as opposed to racing. In fact, despite all his experience he was not Club Champion until 1993 - the year after I first won it (in a Topper!). It just shows how a novice can learn from a master mariner.
In those early days, Brian helped both Shaney and I in the finer points of sailing. He would often take Shaney out in his GP14 (called ‘Dampmancunian’ which he co-owned with Bill Kelly) to the bottom end of the reservoir - out of the way of the racing sailors. That would often get the tongues wagging (especially amongst the women) as to what was going on especially as Brian was a tall handsome man with a charming & fun personality.
Brian, as Commodore, was the inspirator/clerk of works/project manager for the clubhouse extension. What is now the lounge & bar area is in fact a late 1980s extension to the original clubhouse. At this time, Jumbles was fortunate to have a number of professional tradesmen amongst its members (bricklayer, plasterer, electricians were readily available) with the rest of us acting as ’general dogs bodies’. With Brian in charge and his powers of persuasion, the job was done on a virtually free-labour cost basis with only materials to be paid for.
Brian was also instrumental in Jumbles buying a new rescue boat. When we joined the club the rescue boat was ‘Jumblestiltskin’ - an old boat of questionable reliability. It was his decision to buy the Dory (which preceded our present rescue boat) from a man in Nottingham who had used it to fish in the Trent. It was brought up to Jumbles and Brian had the honour of the first ‘sail’ after its launch - accompanied by the usual fanfare including a bottle of beer (we couldn’t afford champagne) over its bows.
On its maiden voyage, and coming into shore in front of the clubhouse, the throttle jammed fully open, and Brian rammed it onto a large metal stake putting a big hole in its bows! After the initial shock there was great relief that it had been done by the Commodore himself - with no one else to blame. Fortunately, the Dory was of GRP construction and easily repairable, despite the suggestion that it should now be named ‘The Titanic’.
Brain had a great sense of humour and he often recounted this incidence with a hearty laugh.
Even though Freda, his wife, wasn’t a sailor, Brian brought up both his children, Susan & Mark, to go sailing. However it was Mark who was the keenest and best at it. I remember the day Brian bought Mark a new special edition Laser Black Magic. It worked since Mark was Club Champion in 1983 & 1984.
There are many old photographs of Brian (and his family but especially Mark) amongst the collections in the clubhouse.
Brian and Freda left Rochdale (and Jumbles) when they went to live near Mold in North Wales and he sailed a Drascombe Lugger out of Abersoch. Four years ago they moved to Cornwall where he joined Hooe Point Sailing Cub, the Civil Service Club in Plymouth to sail his Drascombe there.
Brian, aged 72, ‘went out’ doing what he liked best - sailing. He had just had a sailing holiday with Mark and was planning to go again - and had been to look at another boat which Mark had been thinking of buying.
He will be sorely missed by Shaney and I and all the older Jumblies who remembered him. He was a gentleman and all round good guy in every way.
Our sincere condolences go out to his wife Freda and children Susan and Mark, who both live in Jersey, where Mark is a GP, as well as their grandchildren.
Since writing this Colin and Shaney have received a Christmas card from Freda Earley with the following message:
"Would you please express my thanks to Jumbles for their donation to Brian. The family is still reeling - Mark is devastated - we just can't believe he has died. Best Regards Freda."
Laying Up Supper 2009- early warning
Our one “formal” social event where we share good food, wine, company and hand out the prizes! Early warning of the 2009 event- it is to be held on 28th February in the clubhouse.
Christmas Races 2008
The “Christmas Cracker” and “Icebreaker” races were a great success (- seventeen boats competed for the “Christmas Cracker” (raced as a “pursuit” race this year) and a very respectable thirteen boats for the “Icebreaker”. This is more boats in the depths of winter than we often get for racing in the height of summer. The magic ingredient must be something more than a bottle of rum as a prize and we would really like to see this many boats competing on a regular basis. If you have any theories- especially if you are an occasional competitor who made a special effort to sail in one of these races I’d love to hear them- especially as the new sailing secretary because if there is something we are getting right about these races that we are getting wrong about some others we need to know.