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Brighton Canoe Club

My treasured canoe
From the personal collection of Peter Wood

Discovered my canoe

I was a member of this club in the sixties. It all started when I became fascinated with canoeing whilst still at school. I discovered a folding canoe manufactured by a company in Cambridge called Granta. This canoe consisted of a folding wooden frame which fitted inside a rubberised fabric and canvas skin and the whole kit fitted into 2 portable bags. I think it cost around £12 pounds and was sold through the Gamages store in London. I only had a paper round for income but saved hard, and the day soon came with the delivery of my new toy.

Joining the club

I started by taking it on the 26 bus to The Steine and then to the beach where the swimming club was located. I used to paddle around the Palace Pier which was where I came to the attention of other canoeists who were members of the club. They persuaded me to join the club which was located in the arches just to the west of the East Street groyne.

My participation in a race

I remember two names from those days, Alan Duncan, the club president and Robert Goldsmith. Robert was an accomplished canoeist and I remember the day he encouraged me to participate in a race. I thought I stood a reasonable chance of coming second and I did. There were only 2 of us, Rob and I. I managed to win a transistor radio by coming last.

I also used to take the canoe by bus up to the Adur where the old road bridge is located and paddle back out to sea and along the coast to the Palace Pier.

They were happy days, does anyone remember the canoe club or maybe me? If you do, please post a comment below.

Comments about this page

  • I was Junior Treasurer of the Papercourt Canoe Club which became the Brighton Canoe Club. My double kayak was called “Jason” and had a sharks mouth on its bows. Our Commodore owned Streamlight Mouldings of Shoreham by Sea which made some of the first fiberglass canoes in GB, we used to test them on the river Adur. I remember Bob and Gay Goldsmith and “Mac” the Brighton Corporation youth worker who showed us how to make a K1 kayak which he kindly loaned to me to enable me to win the singles race and become “Brighton Youth Canoe Championships 1964 Kayak Class ‘B’ Winner”. I was known by my given name John and Chalkey and Shonke!
    I’d love to hear from you Peter and anyone else who remembers those golden years.

    By Joe Stoner (30/04/2019)
  • I’m sorry that I don’t remember you Peter, what years were you at the club?

    By Joe Stoner (24/10/2019)
  • Hi Joe, sorry about the late reply. Not quite sure of the years I was at the club but I think from the late ’50s until the early ’60s. I remember Bob Goldsmith, is he still around? I possibly left before you joined the club & I don’t remember Mac. We did have some fabulous fun, particularly at low tide when there were small waves we could surf, much to the consternation of any bathers who happened to get in our way. Remember practising the high & low telemark turns & eskimo roll, which I was rubbish at. Could never work out which way was up! Certainly were golden years; have been in Melbourne since 1968 & no canoeing since. Took up flying microlights 30 years ago, must be a miracle that I am still here & still flying.
    Best wishes

    By Peter Wood (18/03/2020)
  • Bob & his brother Gaye formed GayBo Mouldings and made some of the best fibre-glass kayaks in the UK. I took up snorkelling and diving eventually diving professionally. I got back into a kayak for the first time in 50 years and now have two “stopper bobbers” but am working my way back into it, same for diving. I live in Snowdonia next to the longest & fastest zipwire in Europe. Do you remember the club being called Papercourt and Alan Duncan the “leader” of it?

    By Joe Stoner (22/10/2020)
  • I live in Queensland Australia,,I used to go to school with Bobby Goldsmith and knew him and Gabe at the Canoe Club and Mac I recall Camber Sands trip in 1963. Would love to hear from you Bobby, never forget you.

    By Ray Blakeman (03/12/2020)
  • Anybody else remember the club when it was called Papercourt Canoe Club?

    By Joe Stoner (13/12/2020)

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