1928 – HYC relocates to Deodar Road

In 1928 the Club was given notice to quit the premises by Fulham Yacht Club. Both clubs had been growing in size and there was no longer enough room. After much searching, the present site, then derelict, was decided upon.

The site they had found had become derelict as a result of the railway crossing the river some 40 years earlier. Roughly where Deodar Road is now there was an elegant South Kensington style terrace of houses built in 1853, called The Cedars where there used to be a mansion of the same name.  Hence Deodar Road which was a later development almost on the same site.

The railway, when they built the bridge across, more or less went straight through the terrace o0f houses. That coupled with the noisy and smelly steam trains, drove the residents away and eventually the Cedars were pulled down around 1890. At the time, no-one wanted to stay and so the site was easy enough to rent and bit by bit the Club took on slices of land, all on leases.

[PHOTO]Xxxxxxxxxxxxxxpicture of the Cedars, taken from the Putney Past book page 62

Raising a loan fund of £700 among themselves (a very considerable sum in those days),  these enthusiastic people, under Commodore J H Brown raised the money for new Club premises and to generally establish this Club upon a sound footing by their own efforts.

Here is a copy of the loan form that the club used in 1929.


Xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxpicture no ST61

Then it was Commodore A J Elwood who was in charge (1931-33).

Today’s HYC members owe a debt of gratitude to commodores Brown, Elwood and the determined enthusiastic members of the time  who raised the money and then built the Clubhouse. They can be assured of a special place in our history.

And here they are working on putting in the first pilings (years later the club had real difficulty taking them out again to replace them with new ones…..!)



(no 2 the piling part)

This is how the landing stage and dry dock looked in 1931. Notice the same pontoon as we have today…..no wonder it is a little in need of repair from time to time.



(no 60)

Here is a picture of club members building the ladies’ loos.



(no 80)

Below is a picture of the Clubhouse when it was first built (completed around 1932).


Xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx (no 2 the clubhouse part)

Interesting to note that eventually the old club premises that had been abandoned by the Club, across the river on the Fulham side, became a drinking place, known as the ‘Dirty Den’, where the local murderers and gangsters with their molls met. Clearly there were some extraordinary goings on and the place became legendary for its scandals.  Eventually its notoriety became too much for the local population.  After an infamous and bloody incident involving a well-known actor/tough guy by the name of John Bindon the place was closed down. Bindon had some dubious connections with Princess Margaret. He got away with murder a number of times, claiming self-defence.

In the 1930s there was a great effort to introduce sailing at the Club. There are some lovely pictures of those sailing boats like the one below.



Soon enough, as stated in The Motor Boat edition of 29 November 1935, there were 90 boats registered at HYC which then, under Commodore J Robin,  had 150 members, 40 new members having joined during the year and 12 having resigned, a net gain of 28 in one year. At the Annual Dinner Dance that year, 118 people attended.  22 prizes and trophies were presented, a record in the history of the Club at that time.

Below is a notice for the Regatta in 1935


Xxxxxxxxxxxxxx ST63


And here is a picture of the trophies awarded in that year


( B 58)

Cups were awarded for motorboats, sailing yachts, outboard craft, men and women’s dinghy races and long distance events from Holehaven, Erith and Greenhithe.