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Founders of the club

Founders of the club

  Click the pictures to read their stories


RWBC History KP_A4.pdf RWBC History CC_A4.pdf

Responding to a letter from George Pearson (the then Secretary of the Inland Waterways Assocn. NE Midlands Branch) in November 1961, concerning the fate of the Chesterfield Canal, the Retford and Worksop Boat Club was formed. Cliff Clarke and Ken Pinches (pictured) together with Peter Fox were the principal founding members.


November 1961:

“The fate of the Chesterfield Canal is at stake; not immediately with entire abandonment, BUT with the prohibiting of all navigation".

Sunday 26th November 1961:

A protest cruise was arranged from West Stockwith towards Retford leaving at 9.00. They reached Whitsunday Pie Lock where the gates could not be closed and daylight faded.

The protesters resolved to return the following month and continue to Worksop finishing at Manton Viaduct.

Friday 26th January 1962:

Following the two successful cruises a meeting was arranged (by IWA NE Mids Branch) at the YMCA Fargate Sheffield (the night of the Sheffield hurricane). The purpose to discuss further campaigns and the use of the canal for pleasure and/or trading.

Sunday 11th February 1962:

A protest cruise from Kilton Top Lock to Morse Lock - Two 19ft cruisers were launched one of which proved to be too wide to pass through Worksop Lock!

Friday 23rd February, 1962

The following notice was placed in the Worksop Guardian:

View original Document!

Retford & Worksop (Chesterfield Canal) Boat Club.

An inaugural PUBLIC MEETING will be held in the Lecture Room at Worksop Public Library on 23rd February 1962.

Following the successful launch of the Club with boats on the canal last Sunday and attended by over 500 people, the purpose of this meeting is to invite all interested members of the public to attend whether boat owners or not. Members will be enrolled, officers will be elected. The provisional committee will resign and offer themselves for re-election. A constitution will be drafted and a programme organised.

Chairman: Cliff Clarke, Secretary:  Ken Pinches, Treasurer:  Peter Fox

Full membership (with boat) 10 shillings and sixpence. Association members (without boat) 5 shillings.


The first club meeting is convened

Further reading

Operation Nelson

Braunston to Babworth by canal, April 1963


Studies in Local History

A Chesterfield Canal Study from 1978


Route to Rhodesia

A restoration study from 1982