History of East Kilbride Boat Club




East Kilbride Model Boat Club
45 years of Model Ship Construction
Boats on Strathaven Boating Pond

45 Years of Model Boat Building Construction


Formation of the Club

The East Kilbride Model Boat Club was formed on the 11th September 1975 and met In Claremont High School on a Wednesday Evening in the winter and sailed in the school swimming pool on a Sunday morning. In the summer they sailed in East Kilbride Park pond on a Wednesday evening between May and September.

Below are some of the photos which have been taken by various members of the club and gives some indication of the wide variety and interest of the members in boat building. (Other sections of the web show this in more detail).

The founder members of the club are listed below and I apologise for anybody who has been inadvertently missed as the information is quite sparse.

D Stewart, Douglas McGhee, Archie Henderson, John Ahern.

East Kilbride Park Pond

The pond was located in the new town centre park. The pond was a two section affair with a centre cross over bridge. One part was used for paddle boats and the other section as a paddling pool.

Unfortunately the club did not have a club house at the pond. This has been the case throughout it’s life, no matter how much we have strived to get one. The council have never been very accommodating in this way.

Below are some of the pictures taken in the early years. Unfortunately there is little detail of who owned them and lot of the pictures have faded over time.

The pond developed a leak in the 80’s and the council wouldn’t repair it even though club members managed to achieve a promise of a grant from the EC. We offered to help repair it ourselves, since at that time we had a full complement of members who were tradesmen. Another reason for the move to Strathaven was that people objected to the noise from the power boats, and the council said we had to move to Strathaven if we wanted to continue sailing them. Considering it was only for about an hour and a half each week it seemed a bit over the top.

We were therefore forced to move to the John Hastie Park pond, Strathaven. We have, over the years, tried to get the council to create a new pond in East Kilbride. Examples are the Heritage Loch at Stewartfield and in Calderglen Park when they were considering further development of it.

It has all fallen on deaf ears and in the meantime we have seen ponds close throughout South Lanarkshire eg Blantyre, Stonehouse etc.

The first set of pictures is from a Regatta at East Kilbride Park Pond.

Frank Kyle's Schooner

Frank Kyle’s schooner

Pyrotechnics display from a visiting ship

Pyrotechnics display from a visiting ship

Unknown Owner

Unknown Owner

Tug Unknown Owner

Tug Unknown Owner

Discussion prior to photographing one of the model boats

Discussion prior to photo graphing one of the model boats

Steam Launch from Barrow-on-Furness

Steam Launch from Barrow-on-Furness

Visitors steam launch believed from Barrow-on-Furnace

Visitor’s steam launch believed from Barrow-on-Furnace

Once the club was established it moved enthusiastically to greater things like the Red Arrows below.

A Red Arrow

One of the famous Red Arrows travelling across the pond there was five of them but they were reputed to have sailed only once together as a full display team!

Red Arrows Display Team

The Red Arrows display team The members of the team from left to right are Frank Kyle, Alex Wood, Ian Gilmour, and Eric Jarvie. This picture was taken at the Falkirk Exhibition by Norrie Smith

Red Arrow Crossing Pond

One of the Red Arrows at full speed crossing the pond.

The club attended lots of regattas all over the country including one down at Barrow-on-Furness where I am led to believe they won most of the prizes. They also attended local regattas and the one at Falkirk stands out where Eric Jarvie’s model of the Bluebird won the first prize. It was later taken to the London to the National Model Engineering Exhibition where it won third prize.

Eric Jarvie’s Bluebird

Eric Jarvie’s Bluebird.

Falkirk Exhibition

Above is a photograph of some of the members who attended the Falkirk Exhibition from left to right...
Daughter of Charlie Andrew, Charlie Andrew, Ian Gilmore, Eddie Taylor, Charlie Dobbie, Eric Jarvie, and Frank Kyle taken at the EKMSC stand by Norrie Smith,

Swimming Pool

Claremont School swimming pool

Above is one of the last photos taken at Claremont School swimming pool Christmas Regatta prior to the pools closure in 2006

The school pool was eventually closed due to developing a leak and as the council was about to build a new school they decided not to repair it.

Also, over the years it became more difficult to sail in the pool due to the pressures on it’s availability. Originally we did not require to have any lifeguards but due to an accident we were forced into having two lifeguards in attendance at all times.

Strathaven Pond

When we initially started sailing at Strathaven we had no facilities other than a pond with water in it, but through the diligence of some committee members we managed to obtain space in the Council’s parks compound to install a container to store all our equipment.

Having obtained the space we started to fill it by building docks and buoys on the winter club nights in Claremont school. They were then used in the following years regatta. Through time we have obtained tables, chairs, gazebos, model buildings etc for use, and the container is now getting quite full after 10 years.

Below are typical pictures of the pond during sailing times on a Wednesday & Sunday

Sunday Morning

Sunday morning.

Wednesday evening

Wednesday evening.

Club House

Through time we have obtained use of the Strathaven sports pavilion as a club house on a Sunday mornings and Wednesday evenings and above is a photo of a typical meeting.

Typical regatta picture

Typical regatta picture.

Club Membership

There are very few photographs of members but here are three of the club members at events spaced over the years.

Club in the late seventies

Back row l/r  ? Norrie Smith, Eric Jarvie. Dougie McGhee. Allan Mack


The above was taken during the late seventies.

Club in the late eighties

Approximately in the late eighties.

Club in 2008

Taken in 2008.

Club in 2009

The above photograph was taken when South Lanarkshire Council film unit came to Strathaven Pond to make a film of the club and we managed to get them to take a picture of the club members when they were finished filming.

Council Film

During 2008 South Lanarkshire Council decided to make a short film of the club and this can be viewed below.

Attending Events

Over the years the club has attended many events and won several prizes. Two of the main winners over the latter years were Jim Loan and Tom O’Brien both have died in the last few years and are sorely missed.

Then again several new members have since joined and they are building models to a very high standard so the future looks fairly bright.

The biggest problem is the lack of younger members entering the hobby and this seems to be the same with all clubs.

Crisis Time in the Club

This happened during 2006-2007 when the club lost its club premises in Claremont High school and it looked like it might collapse. This also occurred at the same time as a fall out within the club, but through some concerted efforts by some club members we managed to overcome those difficulties and obtain premises in the Red Deer Centre in East Kilbride where we now meet on a Wednesday evening and a Monday afternoon.

Sailing on a Sunday morning has also been introduced and has proved very popular and encourages sailing throughout the year.

This crisis helped to pull the club back together again into one operating unit.

The other problem that has arisen is the requirement for the club to have third party liability insurance which is necessary to allow us to operate on council property. This is not a cheap or easy thing to obtain.

No doubt in the future other crisis will occur and with forbearance by club members we will get through them.

We have a good rapport with the council at present - long may it continue - and have gained use of the sports pavilion at Strathaven on a Sunday and Wednesday evening.

Web Site

This was created in 2007 and has been a boon to the club and contains information on all the clubs activities. It also contains photos of all present day model boats, trade links, the Scottish Model Boat Federation site, and other local model boat clubs. It is well maintained by our webmaster at Loudon Web Design.

35 year events

To mark the 35 years the club has been in existence, an anniversary sail was held on the Waverley on the 20th August.

Below are photos of those who attended the Waverley sail. We enjoyed the trip and the high life of going ashore at Dunoon followed by a leisurely meal in the Argyll Hotel, before reboarding the Waverley for the return trip with a few drinks, music from the Waverley band, and reminiscences.

A new Cap and Jacket was introduced, with the 35 year emblem embroidered on them.

You can see the new emblem at the top of the web site Home page. Members can be seen wearing them in the photos below.

Those who attended the sail received a new metal lapel badge to commemorate the occasion.

The Waverley Sail

The Waverley Sail

The Waverley Sail

From front left Norrie Smith, Frank Kyle, Colin MacLeod, Brian Kyle, Ian Gilmour, Bob Stewart, Mike Spicer, Glen Reid, Gordon Connor, Bob Donnelly, John McAllister, Hugh Gavin, Dave Murran, Dougie McGhee, Barry Keenan.