Short History of The Little Ship Club
The Club owes its formation to a letter to a yachting paper suggesting that during
the winter months, then the dead season, many keen sailing people would be glad of
an opportunity to get together and swap yarns. So on 5 November 1926 at the Ship
Restaurant in Whitehall, 27 enthusiasts met and the Little Ship Club was formed.
‘Keen but Ignorant’ were the words that appeared in Yacht Sales and Charters,
6 October 1926 and started it all. ‘Keen but Ignorant’ turned out to be Robert Gibbon.
Plans for social activities and a chance to learn from fellow sailors about the sea
in preparation for the following season were developed. The founder members were all
men but since 1927 women have been welcomed as full members.
By 1932 membership had risen from the original 27 to over 500 and it was decided
that the club should have a permanent office and a paid office staff.
Arrangements were made with the Hudson Bay Company and the Club became tenants at
Beaver Hall. This very successful arrangement lasted for 30 years during which time
membership increased from 500 to 4,000.
The training classes became so successful and highly regarded that in 1936 these
facilities were used by the Admiralty to train members of the Royal Naval
Supplementary Volunteer Reserve, many of whom were also Club members.
In recognition of this, the Admiralty, in the person of the First Sea Lord speaking
at the Club’s annual dinner in 1937, invited the Club to apply for the privilege of
having its own blue ensign defaced with the club emblem. This is the only known
instance of such an invitation being made.
In 1960 it was decided, not without some opposition, that the time had come for the
Club to have its own home. A long lease was granted on an old coal wharf downriver
from Southwark Bridge on the north bank of the Thames. On the 15 February 1962 the
Lord Mayor of London laid the foundation stone of the Clubhouse in Bell Wharf Lane
with a lecture hall, restaurant, bar, cabins and club office. At the end of that
year Eric and Susan Hiscock gave the first lecture in the new building.
The new building was completed in May 1991 and the Club returned to Bell Wharf Lane
when the Lord Mayor opened the new Clubhouse.
2001 saw the Club’s 75th anniversary celebrations which included a Dinner in the
Painted Hall at the Royal Naval College Greenwich, and publication of the Club’s
We are delighted to be allowed to use the Club’s facilities and would like to thank
Gastronome Didier Felix for his hospitality.
19.00 for 19.30
Prosecco frizzante Del Colli Tervigiani
Ceviche of sea bass with pickled cucumber, grapefruit, mango & lemon oil
Confit of duck leg and breast with spiced red cabbage and celeriac
Chocolate and bailey’s brownie with raspberries and clotted cream
Coffee and chocolate
La Chene Grenache Blanc Pays D’Oc France 2011/2012
Tarabilla Red, Spain 2011