The History of HCC, according to Ian Campbell

“In the beginning, three people – Jack Jobey, Eric Wiltshire and Reginald Wilkin – talked about forming a Yacht Club. At that time, Jack Jobey owned the yard and buildings at Hollowshore, as well as the pub, the ‘Shipwrights Arms’. The idea was soon to become a reality, and in 1953 Hollowshore Cruising Club was born.

The next item on the agenda was a design for a club burgee.

At that time the discovery of a Viking Ship on Graveney Marshes, coupled with the premiere of the film ‘The Vikings’, made it seem logical to use the Viking ship profile on the burgee. It must be said that although some of the film was shot around Hollowshore, neither Kirk Douglas nor Tony Curtis came to Hollowshore! Some folk also believe that the story of Beowulf, the earliest known narrative poem in English, and one of the most famous works of Anglo-Saxon poetry, was set in these parts.

With a clubhouse and a burgee, all that was now needed were members. Word soon got around, but in the early days of the Club there were not that many boat-owners around, so an advertisement was placed in the newspapers, asking folk to attend on a Sunday between 1200 and 1500.

As for how to find us, they were told 51° 20′.15N 000° 53′.67E. That’s fine if you can read a chart! I think my father-in-law took about three weeks trying to find the place ( by road) but he got there in the end. He became one of the first members.”

The photo above was taken by Ian Campbell in 1956, looking down Oare Creek towards Hollowshore from Ham Wharf. Note the coaster outbound from Faversham.
And this photo was taken by Ian from the same place in 2003. Not much has changed, just rather more yachts, and, of course, no commercial traffic at all.

And in 2008, the club was forced to move from its home of nearly 50 years when the landlords, the Tester family, decided that they would not renew our lease. Less than six months notice was given, with no prior hints, and the club had to work hard to find a new premises. Fortunately they found a welcome at Youngboats, at the head of Oare Creek, where Terry Young agreed to lease part of his building. Members fitted this out themselves with professional help paid for out of club reserves and also by many kind donations from members. The bar opened for the first time on 9th March 2008, ‘last orders’ having been taken at the original clubhouse the previous Sunday.

Click Here to see a gallery of photos from the old clubhouse