History of the LSC in the Library
Members who have recently joined may not be aware that the Library holds a considerable collection of historic documents about our Club.
If you want to find out more about the Club's history a good starting point would be to read "Little Ship Club - the First 75 Years" edited by Dick Negus and written by Rachel Hedley.
This illustrated Club publication was put together in 2001 to celebrate our three-quarter century and tells our story succinctly. Unfortunately the publication is no longer available to buy but you may read it in the library.
The Club has always been associated with renowned sailors and the library has books by many of them. Of course this includes our current President Mike Golding OBE and our past President Sir Robin Knox-Johnston whose book "A World of My Own" has never been out of print and is reviewed here. We hold copies of many of Sir Robin's other works including Practical Seamanship and his book with Chris Bonnington: "Sea, Ice and Rock".
But of all the sailors associated with the club the most prolific writer must surely be founding member Maurice Griffiths.
'MG' Maurice Griffiths - who as editor of 'Yacht Sales & Charters' used its pages to promote the Club in the mid-twenties and went on to edit Yachting Monthly for 40 years. We hold 7 titles including his 1932 "The Magic of the Swatchways".
This classic text is essential reading for those who would evoke a world of East Coast sailing in traditional craft and who will appreciate tales of passages through Havengore and over Foulness; through the Ray Sand Channel over the Dengie Flats when the leadline was the only depth sounder; from before water skiers made the Walton Backwaters untenable and where '...a faint channel leads straight up to Beaumont's Quay'. The sailing that he describes and the learning he recounts illustrate a lost world of yachting that will never be recreated. But you can find it and imagine it again in the library.
MG also had strong views about yacht design and wrote about these views all his life. His first book and the book that started it all "Yachting on a Small Income" was aimed squarely at 'little ship' owners and was one of the first books to talk about the opportunities for sailing for the ordinary man.
This book pre-dates the LSC by a year or two but shaped MG's extraordinary career. It was the first of a long series of books that reflect MG's passion for a particular sort of sailing and increasingly a particular sort of yacht to do it in. His last book 'Sailing on a Modest Income' was published as late as 1996. MG, though, was not simply a writer and designer of yachts nor just an editor of note and a yachtsman of influence.
To find out about MG's other life as Temp. Lieutenant Maurice Walter Griffiths who, along with over 400 of our members joined the RNVR in the late nineteen thirties, was awarded the George Medal for 'Undaunted Devotion to Duty' on 14 January 1941 and went on to design the charges that scuttled over 70 ships to form the Mulberry harbours in 1944, you must read Dick Durham's brief but excellent biography of MG - "The Magician of the Swatchways".
This Yachting Monthly publication is out of print but there is a copy in the library. We also hold Dick Durham's On and Offshore.
For the full story you must delve on our shelves and delight in the unique collection that only your very own Little Ship Club library can offer.
Of course, if you do read 'MG' you may find yourself enjoying your yacht from a variety of angles...