Slaughden Sailing Club was started over thirty years ago by a small group of local people who had attended evening classes in Leiston. Some had built their own Mirror dinghy and they wanted somewhere to sail, rather than race. As there was no nearby club willing to host their needs, they started their own under the Chairmanship of Harry Molyneux. It was known as the Slaughden Sailing Association. The Aldeburgh Town Council allowed them to keep their boats on an old tip at Slaughden and Fred Cane the local boatman allowed them use of his slip.
The First Clubhouse – and the storm!
Soon other people showed interest in the Association and its membership grew. At first a small boat with a lid on it, lying in the adjacent creek, met the basic needs for a brew up and somewhere to change. Walking the plank to board it produced its own hazards so an old caravan was acquired. When this was swept away in winter gales thoughts turned to a fixed clubhouse. The Association became a Club and a long lease on the site was obtained from the Aldeburgh Council. Funds were short and there was no Lottery money in those days. An old Terrapin school building, some 50 miles away, was bought, dismantled, moved and re-erected on the Club’s site. With the concrete raft already prepared the whole operation was achieved by members’ efforts in a single day.
By the 1980’s club membership had increased, there was keen dinghy racing and a larger clubhouse was required. Some parts of an old sectional building, used as construction workers accommodation, were obtained from a nearby site. The original foundation raft was extended and new changing rooms added. The following decade saw the original Terrapin deteriorate, its steel structural components weakened by corrosion.
Also during this time the original lease on the site expired. The Club was able to negotiate another, at considerably higher rent, but including more land. The Club also leased a piece of foreshore and a neighbouring creek from the Crown Commissioners.