Published 11:02 on 24 Jan 2021
I regret to inform members of the death of Ian Stancliffe, founding member of Coniston Sailing Club, at the age of 89.
Some of you will remember Ian, some will be aware of the name and others will never have heard of him but Coniston Sailing Club would not exist in its current format without Ian, his vision and his dedication and drive to forming and building CSC.
You can read much more about the history of the club and its beginnings under the 'About Us' tab on the website. This covers details from the start of using the old boat house and the inaugural meeting at the Ship Inn on 26th March 1967 when Ian would take on the role of Club Secretary - a role he continued to fill (other than a couple of years out as Commodore and a year off) - until I took over from him in 1996.
Ian sailed a variety of boats, beginning with a Silhouette, 'Midnight' and ending with a Leisure 17,'After All'. In between were 'After Midnight', 'Morning After' and 'Morning All', and after he sold 'After All' he would joke that he now had '.... all' (fill the dots in). The stories are legendary and there are still people around who will happily share some of their own memories including sailing expeditions from Roa Island to the Isle of Man and club cruises in Greece.
Coniston Open Regatta started life many years ago as the Crown Paints Regatta which was sponsored by the Company Ian worked for. These were the heady days of over 100 entries, the club house decorated by Crown Paints and big social events in the evenings. Ian then joined the village to form the Coniston Water Festival Committee to celebrate Maritime England with the Sailing Club being at the centre of a full week of water-based activities beginning with the Burlington Slate cruiser regatta, the rowboat dressing during the week and the Crown Paints Regatta on the 2nd weekend.
Ian was the Rawdon-Smith Trust Lake Warden, looking after the allocation of cruiser moorings, retiring recently, and handing over to Dan Johnson. Ian's family have requested that any donations should be made to the Rawdon-Smith Trust.
He loved being behind the bar at weekend lunchtimes and was the instigator behind the infamous 'can't say too much' column which appeared regularly in the club newsletters - many of them based on comments overheard in the bar!
Ian played a huge part in my life at Coniston - supporting and encouraging us as juniors to sail, race and get involved in all of club life. This support continued when I joined the Committee in 1988 and was elected Commodore in 1990/91.
Ian previously lived in Mellor, Blackburn and when he owned the Leisure 17 had a static caravan on the site before moving to the village. In 1996, Ian took the decision to leave the Committee and sadly decided a few years later not to participate in club life - although he has remained an Honorary Member. I was delighted to welcome him back to the Club in 2017 for the reception for the opening of the new extension and the Club's 50th birthday celebrations.
Ian's legacy is Coniston Sailing Club and our thoughts are with his friends and family at this time.
Last updated 07:40 on 3 November 2023