Ogston Sailing Club


The History of Ogston Sailing Club

Ogston Reservoir is a reservoir operated by Severn Trent Water in Derbyshire. The reservoir takes its water from the River Amber and was originally created to supply the National Coal Board's Carbonisation Plant at Wingerworth; the reservoir now supplies water for the local area and is used as a holding ground for water for nearby Carsington Reservoir. The reservoir covers 200 acres (800,000 m²) and holds 1.3 billion imperial gallons (5.9 billion litres) of water.

The valley was flooded in 1958 and completely submerged farmland, roads and part of the Ashover Light Railway. The reservoir also destroyed most of the village of Woolley, including the Woolley House Hydro, the village store, the blacksmiths, the joiners, the laundry, the sheep-dip and 'Napoleons Home', the local public house. The villagers were relocated into council houses built in another local hamlet, Badger Lane, which eventually became known as the village of Woolley on the Moor, which subsequently became the present village of Woolley Moor.

Sailing was first allowed on Ogston in 1960, following an inaugural meeting held on 4th January and attended by 70 interested people. Ogston was the first drinking water reservoir in the country to be used for sailing. Ron Daley was the first Commodore and Colonel Turbutt of Ogston Hall was invited to become Club President, with the Turbutt family crest forming the Club logo. Harry Fisher, the third Club President was elected in 1981 until 2010 and Harry Pye who was elected in 2010 is the current Club President.

When sailing began at Ogston the OOD stood under a tree and rang a handbell to start and finish races. Nowadays we have a two story OOD’s race hut, however this is usually for non competitors to watch the racing and races are run on the water from our committee boat, “Retreat”.

Initially the number of boats allowed on the water was 50, however in the 1970′s sailing became an increasingly popular sport and the demand for membership increased rapidly. The Water Board allowed the Club to increase its membership numbers and the number of boats allowed on the water, however all new members had to sail recognised types of boats and race regularly. In those early days the recognised classes were Ospreys, Enterprises, GP14′s and 505′s. Since then various other classes have fleet status. These have included Larks, Flying Fifteen’s, Sailboards, Lasers and Fireballs. The current recognised classes are Enterprises and Lasers, but we also have a number of Solos, Flying Fifteens and Phantoms racing regularly.

Ogston held its first Open Meeting in 1967, when 60 boats competed in the 505 Midland Championships. Since then Ogston has hosted open meetings for many classes and associations and has gained a reputation for friendliness, good race organisation and great hospitality. In 1997 the Nation Schools Team Racing Championships was held at the club involving 200 competitors competing in 250 races over 2 days. In 2000 the club hosted the Challenger English Nation Championships and in 2008 the National Fireball Youth Championships. In 2010 Ogston celebrated 50 years of sailing on the reservoir with a grand ball attended by members old and new including former commodores and founder members.

From the very start Ogston has relied upon club members work parties to develop and maintain the buildings and grounds. The original members worked hard to lay many tons of hard core to produce a hard standing that has lasted, with some additions, to the present day. The site for the club was a former Derbyshire Education School Camp, three buildings were kept for club use, the largest becoming the clubhouse and the other two, which were near the water, were used mainly for storage and training.  In the 1980s and 90s, again with the help of members, the clubhouse saw major improvements made to the changing rooms and the main clubroom. In 2001 the club obtained a lottery grant, which enabled us to replace the two old wooden huts with a purpose built stone building to store club boats and provide a base for the training courses. We also replaced the old OOD hut with the new two-story building, which provides an excellent vantage point for viewing the racing. These work parties are an intrinsic part of the club’s ethos. This is partly the reason why the club remains strong to the present day.