The Chantry Model club was initially formed (in 1988) by a number of boating friends who were looking for a place to operate their model boats. In so doing they obtained permission to use the Gravesend open air swimming pool which was originally adjacent to the Gordon Promenade on Staturday evenings. The swimming pool was unfortunately closed and converted to a van park for British Telecom.
At about the same time we were approached by the headmistress of the Chantry School to see if we would be interested in running a club at the school thereby encouraging pupils into the hobby of powered models. We did and thisis how the club arrived at its Chantry name. The club met to run ’round the pole’ planes and radio controlled cars on friday evanings.
The adult members were still on the lookout for suitable waters on which to sail their boats. The club remained at this venue for two years; that is until the headmistress retired and the new headmistress decicded to charge the club for use of the school facilitys.
in January 1994 we were given permission to use the indoor swimming pool at the Dover road School, this was however short lived as the builing which the pool was housed was comdemned as unsafe. The same year the club became affiliated to “The Thames and Medway Canal Preservation Society” and so gained the use of the Gravesend section of the canal. The following year major works were carried out to the canal and became unsuitable for model boats.
When the gardansat the Gordon Promenade were restored we were given permission to use part of the lake for model boating. This however did not sit well with the fissherman who also used the lake as they claimed that our activitys disturbed the fish.
One of our club members happened to be friends with the caretaker of “the Gravesend Boys Grammer School” so the headmaster was approahed and he agreed to rent us the school indoor swimming pool on sunday mornings. The club remained at this venue for for a number of years during which time the club held exhibitions using the pool and the school hall hence rasing much needed funds for the club.
During 1968 the school applied to the goverment millennium fund for a grant to repair and update the pool chlorination equipment. They were unsuccessful so the pool fell into decline – becoming unsafe and unusable. The year 200 , when Bluewater Shopping Centre started to flourish, a number of model boat clubs applied for permission to use one of the several lakes within there grounds. We were the lucky club and given the use of a pond in the water gardens, the following year we was offered pond No. 7 which is where we are located to this present day.
The summer house at this time was being used by the “outside grounds officer” who offered us use of the hut whilst we were present at the pond. When the outside work was completed and the outside ground officer retired Bluewater gave us sole use of the hut on condition that we maintain it in good order and while we are required to abide by a number of rules laid down by the Bluewater establishment they have generously given us free use of the pond for the past 17 years.
During our time at Bluewater pond we have added the word “Boat” to our club name so people will better know what the club is about. We are therefore now known as “Chantry Model Boat Club”