Some notable events from the history of the dinghy section at Bardowie loch.
Main club formed - November 1909
The Clyde Cruising Club (CCC) began, possibly on the Duchess of Montrose while sailing back to Wemyss Bay, or perhaps in the Argyle Arms at Rothesay. Many records were later lost when the club office (the S.V Carrick) sank in 1977, so who can say.
Cadet section formed - 1927
The CCC formed a Cadet Section with its own Committee and functions (including a dance), showing an emerging interest in sailing for young people.
Dinghy sailing proposed - November 1927
The CCC Racing Secretary proposed that the Club should invest in some 14 ft centreboard dinghies to put on a loch near Glasgow to encourage younger members. A committee was formed.
Bardowie loch selected - October 1932
The committee agreed to refer negotiations to use Bardowie loch for the Dinghy Section to a general meeting for approval.
Dinghy section agreed - 3 November 1932
The CCC formally decided to set up dinghy section with 5 year lease of Bardowie loch.
Dinghy section planning - November 1932
Objectives of the Dinghy Section were stated as:
1) to provide sailing facilities during the week throughout the summer when it was not convenient to travel to the coast;
2) to instruct the members and cadets in the handling and racing off dinghies;
3) to institute evening races and generally encourage small boat handling
The CCC loaned funds so the Dinghy Section could rent the loch, provide a clubhouse, build and equip boats, instate moorings / racing marks, and hire a waterman. A guarantee fund was established.
First dinghy design - February 1933
The first standard design of club boats was approved, for £16 each. Bardowie was to remain for many years a one-design sailing club, with members not allowed to bring their own boats.
First clubhouse agreed - March 1933
A quotation of £31 was accepted for the first club house, to be built partly over water on stilts with a finger jetty.
Official opening - 18th May 1933
The Dinghy Section at Bardowie loch was officially opened by Commodore Sir Thomas Dunlop, 1st Baronet, with representatives of all Clyde yacht clubs present.
"We have got to get it into the minds of the young that we are a maritime nation. We have got to give them a chance first of all to be yachtsman. They cannot all be ship owners but they can easily own a boat in a loch like this."
- from speech by Sir Thomas Dunlop
Subscriptions were set at £1.10/- for ordinary members, 15/- for ladies and cadets.
Bardowie test established - 1933
Standard sailing tests were set out so members could show they were sufficiently proficient and could take out a boat. Blue cards were awarded to allow members to crew, with red cards awarded after passing the seamanship test to allow members to skipper.
Laird trophy - 1934
Nigel Laird, the Commodore of the Royal Scottish Motor Yacht Club, donated a trophy for a series of inter-club races. School teams were barred.
Leadership elected - 1935
First Captain and Secretary appointed, taking over from the CCC committee.
Fewer capsizes - 1936
The club journal reported approvingly that the number of 'capsizals' were reduced from 12 to 4. As a jacket and tie was common wear for sailing, capsizing was a major event.
Canoe racing - April 1936
The Opening Day featured racing between 2 dinghies and 2 canoes.
First regatta - August 1936
As well as races, the first regatta had an aquatic pillow fight, an obstacle race, and a tub race.
Guarantees returned - March 1941
The guarantee fund set up when the Dinghy Section was created was returned to the backers, showing that Bardowie was now financially self sufficient.
Second world war - 1939/45
Bardowie not only provided sailing during this period but also helped the war effort by providing training facilities for the Navy and Reserves (an estimated 140 RNVR officers). Tree logs were moored all over the loch to dissuade a possible enemy seaplane landing.
Lease renewed - 1945
The club's lease on the loch was renewed for 5 years, showing confidence in its future.
Second dinghy design - January 1948
Membership numbers had to be restricted because the club was too popular for the number of boats available. It was decided to replace the fleet. A new design built by Silvers yard (for £130 each) was tested on Gareloch.
Jetty extension - 1949
An L shaped extension was added to the jetty.
Boatshed built - 1950
A boatshed was built so boats did not need to be stored under tarpaulin or at Glasgow.
Paint shed built - 1951
A paint shed was built from second-hand wood.
Loch purchase planned - 30 November 1951
The committee agreed to purchase Bardowie loch for £1000.
Loch purchase agreed - 7 January 1952
A special general meeting ratified the decision to buy the loch.
Coronation regatta - 1953
A regatta was held to celebrate the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II.
New clubhouse - 1954
The first phase of a new clubhouse was opened.
Third dinghy design - 1959
The third club design was approved. Dinghies were delivered for £195 each, with sails at £18.
Hurricane Debbie - 1962
The storm capsized boats at their moorings and put a tree through the clubhouse roof.
Ice - 1963
The loch froze enough (14 inches) for cars to race course 1 and a motorbike to roar up the loch at 65 mph.
Hard standing - 1964
An 8-year project to create hard standing was completed by infilling, including material from demolition of Duke Street jail.
New sails - 1964
Cotton sails were replaced by larger terylene ones, which performed and dried better.
Lifejackets required - 1964
Lifejackets now to be worn at all times on the loch. Previously this had only been required at the discretion of the Officer of the Day.
Racing on Clyde - 1966
Bardowie boats were first taken to race at Clyde Week.
Modern Laird trophy - 1966
Laird trophy became exclusively for school teams, with 10 schools competing that year.
Car park - 1966
The current car park was created and fenced, since more members were travelling by car, and the existing lay-by was inadequate.
Brazill cup - 17 August 1966
The Brazill cup was donated by local couple to thank the club for hours of pleasure watching the boats. In this first challenge the flag officers from the parent club were beaten by the Bardowie team.
Electricity - 11 October 1966
The site was connected to the electricity supply, and the Tilley lamps were put away for the last time.
Floating jetty - 1968
A floating jetty was installed.
Age limit reduced - 1968
The minimum age for membership was reduced from 14 to 12.
Staying at Bardowie - 1968
The committee decided not to move to Milngavie Reservoir. The policy of not allowing members to use their own boats would also continue.
Lark trials - 1968
Trails to select a replacement for the third standard design settled on Larks (£430 each), which offered the possibility of inter-club races.
Hurricane Low Q - 15 January 1968
The jetty was destroyed by ice driven down the loch by the storm.
Larks arrived - September 1969
The first Lark racing dinghies arrived, which were fast but flighty, and led to new slip being built for safe launching.
24-hour race - 20/21 June 1971
The first 24-hour race was held, with boats rigged with mast-head lights, and racing marks lit. There was a competition to guess how far the winning boat travelled. A marquee was erected and a temporary alcohol license awarded. Helensburgh sailing club won (over 75 miles), followed by Monklands and then Bardowie.
RYA centre - 1972
The Dinghy Section at Bardowie was recognized as an RYA training centre and authorized to issue Dayboat Certificates.
Open day - 1972
Instead of an opening day for the season, the first Open Day for the general public was held very successfully.
Safety boat - 1973
The first powered safety boat was purchased, a 13 foot dory with an 20hp engine. It was necessary because of the unforgiving nature of the Larks.
Opie Quaich - 1973
The Opie Quaich was donated for a steward's race at the regatta.
Tall ship racing - 1974
Tall ship "Crusade", crewed by 12 Bardowie members, won the mini Tall Ships race on the Clyde.
Lasers - 1976
Four Laser dinghies were purchased second-hand after Youth Championships at Largs, allowing advanced training.
Age limit reduced again - 1976
The minimum age for membership was reduced from 12 to 8 when accompanied by an adult.
Women's championships - 1978
The first RYA Scottish Women's Championships were held on the loch.
Paid steward - 1979
As an experiment, a paid steward kept the club open during the day for July and August.
GP14s - 1981
Larks were replaced by GP14s (general purpose dinghies) in time for the Open Day after a dash from England through blizzards.
Member boats - 1981
After decades of essentially having a single dinghy design at the club, members started bringing their own boats to the loch in significant numbers.
Boardsailing - 1981
A boardsailing (windsurfing) winter series of races were held.
Fire - 13 March 1981
Sadly the clubhouse was largely destroyed by fire. Most events were able to continue.
New clubhouse - 1982
A new concrete clubhouse was erected by members, with sailing time sacrificed to learn new building skills.
50 years - 4 September 1982
An all-day regatta held to celebrate 50 years of the Dinghy Section, with many former members attending, including Norrie Chesters who was reprimanded by the committee for the first "capsizal" in 1933.
Board sailing - 1983
The Autumn series saw 20 members competing at sailboarding.
SPT - 1984
The Seamanship and Pilotage Trust was formed by the CCC to take over ownership of Bardowie Loch for future generations.
Optimists - 1986
The first fleet of Optimists arrive at the club to help introduce younger members to sailing.
Optimists championship - 1988
The dinghy section were joint hosts with Largs sailing club for this UK-level event.
Duncan's regatta - September 1988
A regatta for Challenger trimarans was held at Bardowie for the first time, with the first Challenger only being launched on the loch earlier in the year at the open day. Sponsored by Duncan's Yacht Chandlers.
Disabled access - 1990
General improvements made around the site to support disabled sailors, including an access ramp.
New boatshed - 1990
A replacement boatshed was put in place to accommodate the growing fleet.
More challengers - 1991
Two new Challenger trimarans were gifted to the club.
More boats - 1993
New Optimists and GP14s were launched at the open day.
Summer school - 1999
The first summer school was run to deliver RYA-level training, supported by an RYA coaching course for senior instructors that had run earlier in the year.
Junior training - 2000
Volvo champion club - 2000
The dinghy section received the prestigious Volvo champion club award.
Olympic bounce - 2001
After the Sydney Olympics, membership rose to a record 480 and the number of sailing certificates awarded doubled.
Membership growing - 2002
Another record year of membership, reaching twice the number of 3 years before.
Making plans - 2002
Planning permission was granted for a new clubhouse, to be paid for by Lottery funding and matching donations.
Instructor award - 2002
Senior instructor Victoria Wallace was made RYA Scotland's instructor of the year.
Building boat capacity - 2003
The new dinghy park and slip were completed to the west of the clubhouse.
New clubhouse - 25 May 2004
The current clubhouse was opened by Boyd Tunnock MBE, providing better facilities including disabled access. It was built with assistance from sportScotland and the lottery fund.
Wayfarers - 2007
Two wayfarer dinghies added to the fleet for use by families and older members.
Fevas - 2008
Two Feva dinghies were purchased, making it easier for cadets to step up from Toppers and Picos to the Laser 2000s.
Lifetime achievement - 2008
David Mollison received the RYA Community Award for Lifetime Achievement. As the longest serving member, he had in particular dedicated many hours to maintaining the boats.
Theory courses - 2010
RYA theory courses started to be held at the clubhouse for Day Skipper and Coastal Skipper.
First female captain - 2010
Helen Kirk was elected captain, bringing a depth of knowledge of the club, its members and their families.
Instructor award - 2010
Senior instructor Jenni Kirk was made RYA Scotland's instructor of the year, recognising her commitment and ability.
Club award - 2010
A great year was crowned by the dinghy section being made RYA Scotland club of the year.
Access dinghies launched - 15 June 2013
As part of the 80th anniversary event, two Hansa 303 access dinghies for disabled sailors were launched. These Olympic pathway boats were funded by donations, with the "Glasgow Cooper" being fully paid for by the Incorporation of Coopers of Glasgow. The event also featured conversion of the clubhouse into a 1930s-style tearoom (with volunteers in period dress running it), and sailing in 1930s attire.
Commonwealth games relay - 19 July 2014
The Queen's baton arrived at Bardowie en route from Bearsden to Bishopbriggs on day 36 of the relay around the UK before the 2014 games were held in Glasgow. Press were at the loch for photos of the baton held by Scottish comedian Craig Hill.
Sail for Gold - August 2016
Instructors take 3 Hansa 303 access dinghies to the Riverside Museum to help with the RYA Scotland event to celebrate sailing at the Olympic games while giving school children the chance to try sailing on the Clyde.
World Blind Match Racing - September 2016
Laura Cammidge from Bardowie helped her team win silver, in her first race sailing for Canada at the World Blind Match Racing Championships on Lake Michigan.
RYA lifetime award - 22 November 2019
Derek McLean, the RYA Principal at Bardowie, received an RYA lifetime commitment award.
RYA impact award - 1 June 2023
Hugh McLean, the bosun at Bardowie, received an RYA impact award for his leadership of the Monday group, who help maintain the boats and the site.