TMCA history

The Gravesend Sailing Club

In 1975, the Inland Waterways Association decided that the canal and basin should become part of the waterway network and benefit from the canal restoration effort that was enveloping the country in the 1970’s.  So in September of that year a Rally of Boats was organised.  Activities took place on the Gordon Promenade and the canal basin and dignitaries, politicians, reporters and several hundred local residents attended the festivities.  A brochure was produced and a rally queen crowned.

As a result of the interest engendered, the Thames and Medway Canal Association was born in February 1976.  Since that time it has been very busy (see Achievements)

Since its inception, the committee has numbered around six and the venue for the meetings has usually been at one of their homes although the Gravesend Sailing Club and the Three Daws pub were used for several years.

The Association has been very fortunate over the years in attracting dedicated people to its committee.  It has been supported in times of need by co-opted enthusiasts with specific skills.  The committee has been further encouraged by the long-term support of members, locally and in many parts of the country, including several life members.

Others came as volunteer navies on some of the initial Big Digs and then to the regular Sunday digs.  Other volunteers have turned their hands to manning information stands, fundraising events and publicity work.

Many friendships have been forged and new members would be most welcome to enjoy this social aspect of the Association.

In 2005 the Association achieved Charitable Status and now have a Board, company secretary, a registered office, a set of official objectives and has to submit annual accounts.  However, the Association’s original aims remain the same.