Tug towing and scale sailing
Balne Moor Model Boat Club
Featherstone Model Boat Club sailed at Purston Park until equipment was lost due to vandals burning down the storage container early in 2002. We decided to look for another site. Winter came and I ran out of bottled gas for heating my workshop so I went to buy some from Mr Colin Welsh, a gas and coal supplier based in Hensall. I have known Colin for over 40 years and he knew of my interest in model boats. After explaining what had happened he said he was about to extend his fishing pond at Balne Moor and there may be room to dig a pond for the boat club on site, so a deal was struck!


The boat club members could dig a new pond in exchange for helping to extend Colin’s fishpond. I was site agent for the construction of Selby bypass 9 miles from Balne Moor, so I had access to the heavy plant needed for the job. Hence one wet Friday we arrived at the new site with a 16 ton excavator, a 25 ton truck and an engineer for levels. By Sunday at 1500hrs 1900 cubic metres had been excavated to give a predicted water depth of 30inches. The next few weeks were spent digging Colin’s fish pond which brought the total to approximately 8000 cubic metres excavated and placed in an embankment on the railway side of the field. Colin then did a lot of work on the landscaping with his own excavator on site. There was then only one problem, no water. The pond bottom, being clay, started to dry out and crack. But then the rain arrived and within 24 hours we were able to sail boats.
This was only the start of all the hard work put in by the faithful few members. There were walkways, benches and steps which had to be made, mainly from second hand materials, the club house purchased etc. The list seemed to be endless. It took about a year to complete to a good standard after a lot of hard work. Since then new members have joined and have taken on jobs around the club to maintain and improve standards. Of course none of this would have been possible without Colin, I find it amazing that it all came about after such a casual conversation.