1960-90 – Challenging times
The Club, throughout its history, went through good and bad times and at this time things became challenging, and the house was sold.
From the 1960s through to the 1980s, there was less and less activity on the river in general. One aspect of all this was ironically, whilst the dockworkers and other river workers went broke, pleasure boat owners were people who had more money and bought more expensive boats. These boats, mostly made of fibreglass, generally were not designed to take the ground and their owners were looking for easier access than mid river trots. To get to a boat that was not on a pontoon one either took a dinghy and rowed it out to the awaiting vessel or one waded through mud to get to the boat. Either way it was messy and time consuming, not generally something that appealed to those who had better funds. So, as the poorest river types went broke and sold their boats, the richer ones and their boats went upstream to the non-tidal river or to where pontoon moorings were easier to find. Consequently membership was drastically reduced and income declined.
Despite the problems, the spirit of HYC was maintained. For the first time, from 1990-1992, there was a female commodore, by the name of Eileen Pigott, a really colourful but modest character. Eileen worked very hard to revive the family aspects and organised much loved family style Sunday lunches at the Club, when 30 or 40 members would sit at long tables eating lunch. The food was prepared by members’ wives, mostly at home and brought in. No effort was too much for Eileen who ran a shop at Euston Station. She was not a wealthy person but when Club funds were short she would not hesitate to pay for things out of her own pocket.
Xxxxxxxxxxxxxpicture of Eileen to be found