The Club and Lagoon History
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Aldrington Basin
The following Painting of Aldrington Basin by Brook Harrison was donated to the Hove Lagoon Model Yacht Club by Mary Loewenstein who lived in the Seaside Villas and went on permanent loan to the Hove Museum and Art Gallery on 25th October 1995 for safe keeping and for the benefit of the local community. In the foreground is Salt Daisy Lake which later became Hove Lagoon. The original mouth of the river Adur was at the bottom of Hove street and flowed through the area shown in the painting. The mouth silted up and left a marshy area known as Salt Daisy Lake. The picture below was Reproduced with the kind permission of ‘The Royal Pavilion and Museums, Brighton and Hove' on our behalf.

There is more history on the web site called My Brighton and Hove which makes even more interesting reading.
See Also:
The following local history site

and a map before the Lagoon was built

The Club was started back in the year 1929
The Lagoon was originally a tidal pond, surrounded by a marshy area close to the original mouth of the river Adur and privately owned. In 1896 Hove Corporation purchased the area for use by the local residents and was used for sailing of model boats and water sports.
The Lagoon construction started in 1929 and was opened in 1930, the layout being much the same today as it was then. The lagoon was used as a venue for serious model yachting events when it first opened and today people still use it for model boats. During the Second World War the lagoon became a restricted area, together with the rest of the seafront, and was used as a training ground in the run up to D-Day. At nights, tanks were tested to see if they were watertight.

In 1929, even before the Lagoon was completed, the following photograph shows some of the Yachts in a shop window waiting for the facility to become available:

The club Burgee was designed in 1929 and was similar to that below. Within the white area there were no words, just a large red circle with an H in the centre of the circle in red script.

In 1930 the club started Racing in earnest and the following are some of the newspaper cuttings of that year:
The start of a Race
Mrs Bayliss, Wife of Club Secretary with her Yacht
The Turning Pole-page-001.jpg

Club Commodores
1929 – 1967 F. C. Tansley (1967 estimated)
1967 – 1980 F. Jennings
1981 – 1984 C. Colsell

The club was originally instituted on 1st March 1929 by F.C.Tansley and Lt Col Keyworth. Commodore F.C.Tansley also edited and produced ‘The Lagoon Times’ from 1931 to the beginning of the 2nd World war. This was the official ‘Brighton & Hove MYC’ newspaper.
The club has no records between 1940 and 1967, except for a copy of the 1952 rule book; hence the change-over of Commodores Tansley to Jennings in 1967 is estimated.

On the 8th February 1929 ‘The Hove & Brighton M.Y Club’ was actually formed. This committee meeting comprised Mr F C Tansley (Commodore), Lt Col Keyworth (Vice President), Major King & Major Phillips. This first General meeting adopted the rules as recommended by the Model Yacht Association and the Annual Club Subscription was set at 5-shillings. The models to be sailed would comprise the ‘A’ International Class, 10 Rater (Length & Sail Area Class) and the 36 inch Length which had no restriction in any other dimension, sail area or weight.

At this time the Marina Lake was under construction and expected to be ready for use in June 1929. Regardless of no local sailing water, the first inter-club meeting was held at Eastbourne in August 1929 for the Chamber of Commerce Trophy. On 20th September 1930, the Club sent 20 members and supporters to Race 10 Raters against the MYSA on the Round Pond, Kensington.

In 1930 the Lagoon water level became very low and later that year appliances were installed to keep the water at a suitable level. Hove then hosted Racing with both Eastbourne and the London MYSA clubs. This event attracted an estimated 700 to 800 onlookers.

Affiliation to the Model Yachting Association was agreed in January 1930.

In April 1931 juniors were allowed to be admitted to the club at a fee of two shillings & six pence per annum. The age limit for a junior was 15 years and were not allowed to enter club events or allowed storage of boats. At that time the two buildings at the western edge of the Lagoon were used for the storage of club member’s boats. However, on the 22nd August 1931 there was a Junior Regatta held on the Lagoon and the Club Secretary provided a generous gift of sweets and lemonade.

The Clapham Fleet at Hove 1938

1938 was prior to the days of Radio Control and the boats operated with a wind operated Vane steering control. Boats raced one against another until all boats had raced each other. They sailed from one end of the lagoon to the other; the first leg being a timed beating, the second leg being a timed running. Each boat had a crew of two; a skipper who sets the vane and releases the yacht on each leg and a crew member who walks down the side of the lagoon to tack the boat if it comes to the bank. It is believed that the poles with the protected tips were used by the crew member for tacking the boat.
In the foreground Jib 759 was called Raven. The design and build originated in 1936 by A J Hugo, Clapham Commodore, and at one stage MYA Chairman. In 1938 she may have been taken over by D A Macdonald, another young Clapham member and was then probably called Juanita.
These two particular boats were controlled by Braine Gear rather than Vane steering, details can be found at:

The third boat, Jib 655 was called Molly, another Hugo design, built in 1935. In 1938 she was owned by Norman Hatfield, then a trainee bank clerk.
The boats in the picture are 10-raters where the water line length (WL) and sail area (both in inches) set the rule. The result of WL times sail area, divided by 6000 must equal 10.
For more information on Vintage yachts see the UK site at and the USA equivalent site at

There are no club records for the period 1941 to 1967 which covered the 2nd World War and post war years.

The Model Maker Magazine of November 1954 Reported on a 10-Rater Championship held at Hove.
The Southwest Shelter was used & had a flagpole with all the thirteen competing club flags displayed. This was shortened two day event and 26 boats were entered although only 23 competed.
Saturday weather conditions were described as frightening with the wind directly up the lagoon and water washing over & starting to fill the small pond. Planing speeds were high, even with reduced sail area and a skilful and brave hand was required to stop these boats at the pond-side. Some of these boats were 6 foot long and had a 28 lb displacement. A few bandaged fingers were in evidence. Sunday conditions were much better and some boats now had spinnakers fitted.
Brighton & Hove then hosted a Social Dinner in the Banqueting Hall of Hove Town Hall. This was also attended by the Mayor & Mayoress.
1st place went to the London Club with Hove & Brighton in 2nd place. The results showed the following 12 clubs competed: Birkenhead; Danson; Dovercourt; Guildford; Hastings; Highgate; Hove & Brighton; London; MYSA; Norwich; Poole & Portsmouth.

The following link goes to a British Pathe record of a Yacht Rally at the Lagoon. Dated 30th August 1964.

old h.jpg

From Left to Right:John Cleeves (Ryde Club) :: Clive Colsell (Hove Commodore 1981 - 1984) :: Alf Miller (Seated & Scoring)Tim Fuller (New Forest Club) :: and Chris Dicks ( Clapham Club)

There are no club records from 1995 to 2003 and we would appreciate being advised of any available sources.


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