The Chipping Norton Yacht Club is for all who love boats and the sea. We may be 100 miles inland but that’s precisely why we need a yacht club. There are many people locally who sail but, until now, there’s been nowhere for them to meet like-minded nautical folk. Whether you take your fun on a sail boat or a motor boat, whether you have your own craft or charter, at the Chipping Norton Yacht Club you’ll meet lots of people who share a common interest.
was half the answer to one of the questions in Barnaby Scott’s taxing Christmas quiz – one of the highlights of Chipping Norton Yacht Club’s December gathering. The question was posed with a short piece of printed musical score. Easy enough if you can read music. Not if you can’t. The other half of the question? Who wrote it?
For another question he’d prepared sets of 10 timber samples, the wood of which we had to identify. Bits of doggerel were there to help; these being the first three, to give you a flavour:
1. Though my price may cause you to murmur, With shipwrights I couldn’t be firmer A favourite as deck Or whole boat – what the heck! And you’ll find me growing in Burma
2. As English as pints of warm beer, I built navies the world would revere. You once ruled the waves And never were slaves Because of my timber, it’s clear
3. I’m strong but I’ll flex – I don’t care – So I’m perfect for legs on a chair. As a tiller I’m fine, As gaff jaws I will shine, But I’ll rot if you use me ‘down there’
I asked him afterwards how easy this was for him, as a professional woodworker, and whether he could do it by touch and feel. “Nah!” he said, “I don’t need to touch or feel – the smell is quite enough”…
A photo competition (stitched together into a movie by Hugh Woodsend) ran on the big screen, showing something of where members had been and what they’d seen during 2016 . We saw rusting hulks, sunsets, picturesque lighthouses, speeding hovercraft, beautiful anchorages, fine wakes behind far-sighted helms(wo)men, narrowboats and gaffers. Chris Adams won with an evocative shot (below) of The Strand – the drying channel between Colonsay and Oronsay in the Inner Hebrides.
Hugh had also put together another movie with highlights of this season’s talks; from members about their sailing exploits, from sailing or maritime professionals, from authors who write about sailing.
But all this was background to an informal gathering, with Christmas as our excuse, at which we could chat to fellow enthusiasts about the things we get up to, or plan to get up to, on or around the water.
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