Charles McPhail, the second Commodore, and his wife May were walking at Whickhope one day and there below them on the hillside, men were working, putting in the moorings…. before the lake was completely flooded.
The inaugural meeting of the Sailing Cruiser Section of Kielder Water Club was held at the Duke of Wellington, Kenton Lane. Newcastle upon Tyne, on Tuesday, 7th April 1981
The mooring buoys were the pink ones, similar to those around the lake now. Tenders were pulled up on the shore just above the water line. There was a jetty. That was all there was.
The clubhouse, at this time, was still a green hut at Leaplish, shared by all sections of Kielder Water Club, who were the Sailing Club, based in the bay at Leaplish, the Yacht and Motor Cruiser Clubs, who sailed out of Whickhope, and the Ski Club. Their area was the large bay east of the Leaplish headland. It was 1981.
The shed, a cricket pavilion from Annfield Plain, costing £300, brought over and put up by members, had not yet come to Whickhope. This was finally put up and declared fit for use by a Works Officer in October 1983.
‘Resolution’ (lain Mungall) and ‘Fable’ (Charles and May McPhail) were the largest yachts, most members sailing in 15 to 22 feet size, not in the comfort experienced today. Racing was popular, members were keen, but all the races were friendly. There must have been some bad weather, but those days seemed to be sunshine and racing winds.
Membership had increased to 63 by 1987. The Motor Cruising section was still separate. After many years, in 1985, because both sections sailed at Whickhope, it was suggested it made sense to amalgamate the Motor Cruiser Club with the Yacht Club. This finally happened on January lst 1993 under the Yacht Club name.
Two mooring buoys, bow and stern, and laid north / south against the prevailing winds caused much discomfort for the boats and eventually, in 1983, they were re-laid east to west. Much later, in 1989, these were changed to the swinging moorings we have today. It cost £150 per mooring plus diver costs of £300 a day to install the swing moorings. This was paid for by the £6,000 per year paid through Kielder Water Club to Northumbrian Water for maintaining the moorings.