Ash Tree Boat Club

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The Club's History

The Club was formed in the Autumn of 1970 by a handful of enthusiasts encouraged by Eileen Lakin who was then the owner of the Ash Tree Inn, a canal side pub adjacent to bridge 62 on the Trent and Mersey Canal at Rugeley.

She made available a strip of land bordering the canal for mooring purposes and very soon afterwards a J.C.B. was hired, bank work was carried out and boats started appearing on the new moorings.

Still flush with enthusiasm great strides were made during the summer of 1971 and by the end of that year a concrete slipway had been constructed and all bank work completed.

The next major advance was in 1973 when after negotiations lasting several months, the club entered into a lease with the then National Coal Board for a further strip of land adjoining the present ‘Pub Moorings’.

The club suddenly became the proud possessors of several hundred feet of overgrown, crumbling bank with shallow water levels. Within the year staging had been constructed along the whole length, to enable the majority of members to moor at the club. The work carried out in 1973 stood the test of time as it is only over recent years that a program of replacement has been completed by the current membership.

In 1972 via the French Tourist Office, the club became twinned with a similar boat club called Club Nautique de Segre which is located in the village of Segre (pop. 6000 circa 1972) situated about 150 miles south of St.Malo in France. Over the years several ‘exchange’ visits have been made in both directions. By far the most memorable was when the Mayor of Segre came over and was given a ‘Civic Reception’ by the Lichfield District Council.

In the clubs formative years our monthly meetings were held at the Ash Tree Inn, but over time with the regular change of ownership of the pub, the club has moved it’s monthly meetings to The Brereton Sports Club in Armitage Lane, Brereton.

Our club is still made up of boating & non-boating members whose aims ‘are to promote interest in the past, present and future use of the British Inland Waterways’, although some members have ventured onto the continent to try their inland waterways.

These aims are now promoted through close contact with other local Boating Clubs, together with regular support and commitment to several pressure groups and societies who are working to improve the overall waterways system.

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Last updated January 14th, 2019.
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