2nd Arnside Conference: 2020

Saturday, March 21, 2020
Minx with Rally organiser Penny in gold braided cap
©Mike Garlick

The second Arnside Conference, 2020, will build on the success of the first one in 2019. OGA members are warmly invited to attend and hear more about the boats built by Crossfields of Arnside. Crossfields of Arnside were leading builders of gaff rigged yachts and Morecambe Bay Prawners (also known as Nobbies). They were active from the 1840s to 1940s. There are 27 Crossfield Boats on OGA Boat Register, including 'Bonita' 1888 the oldest boat to take part in the 2013 OGA Round Britain Challenge. In 2018 Arnside Sailing Club brought 'Severn' 1912 to have example of a Crossfields’ Boat in the village.

There will be talks during the conference about 'Empress' 1928, which is being restored prior to going out to the Mediterranean and 'Ziska' 1903, which has been shortlisted for the Classic Boat Awards, Best Restoration for a boat under 40' and Gstaad Yacht Club Centenarian of the Year, decided by online vote. 'Ziska' featured in November 2019 edition of Gaffers Log. She is currently based in Port Townsend on the West Coast of America. In June 2019 'Ziska' took part in a Race2Alaska coming 22nd of 35 starters following a two year restoration by her owner Stanford Siver.

The afternoon will focus on the 'Sir William Priestley' 1934, the Morecambe Fishermen’s Lifeboat and the different boats that have been built from a mould taken from Sir William by Eric Bergqvist in 1979. There will be talks by Paul Jolley (South West OGA) owner of 'Minx' and from Gary Flashman (Solent OGA) about 'Freda' which was built as the prototype for the Freda Class based on the design of the Sir William Priestley.

The conference will be chaired by Eric Crossfield, great grandson of William Crossfield, who set up the boatyard on the shore at Arnside in the 1890s.

Tickets are £24 including buffet lunch (any surplus will go towards the maintenance of 'Severn'). Arnside Sailing Club’s clubhouse on the Promenade will be open for drinks from 8.30pm on the Friday prior to the conference and there will be a conference supper at 7.30pm on Saturday (price £10). On Sunday 22nd, there should be a chance to visit the new Windermere Jetties Museum of Boats, Steam and Stories, which includes in the collection 'Coch-y-bonddhu' built by Crossfields for Arthur Ransome in 1934. The visit includes a talk on their conservation workshop. Discounted price £7.50.

To book, please complete and return the booking form (download from below).

Read a brief summary about Crossfields of Arnside here, and search the online Boat Register for Crossfield boats.

Venue: 
Arnside Educational Institute
Church Hill, Arnside, LA5 0DF
Organiser: 
Alasdair Simpson