The Club was formed in December 1969 through a request to Mike Todd from the Brigade Executive. It was launched through articles in both the BB Gazette and Steadfast Magazine. The two main reasons for establishing the Club were firstly, to provide a simple administration to deal with enquiries and information, and secondly to encourage the introduction of Boys and Officers of the Brigade to the pleasures of canoeing.
The first event organised by the Club was held over the Spring Bank Holiday in 1970 at David Grieve House, the Newcastle Battalion Headquarters. It included baths, sea and river canoeing along with discussions and the first Annual General Meeting.
This event was followed up by meets over the Spring and August Bank Holidays until 1974. It was then decided that the Club should organise some form of competition over one of the weekends. The first such event was planned for Spring 1974 at Pateley Bridge and was to take the form of a slalom. It turned out to be by far the largest gathering of BB Canoeists up to that time. The entries included some from Hull, Birmingham, Wolverhampton, Warrington, Newcastle and even the 1st Bridge of Weir Company from Scotland.
The venues used for Club meets have all been at the invitation of Club members and the more popular sites have been Glasshouses, Ironbridge and Newtown.
In 1976 the Club received permission from the Brigade Training Department to run a Canoe Training Course each year. The first of these was held at Quorn in Leicestershire although they now take place on the last weekend in April at The Mill Activity Centre at Glasshouses, near Harrogate .
The British Canoe Union organises an International Canoe Exhibition over a weekend in February each year at Crystal Palace. The Club has been represented at this event for many years by various members of the Club from throughout the country who have been promoting the Club activities and the BB in general.
By Chris Chester