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Chronology of the History of NCC



The first official DW was completed by Peter Brown, Brian Walters, Laurie Jones and Brian Smith, all aged just 17.


Kennet and Avon Canoe Club becomes the Kennet Valley Canoe Club in 1950s

The early years of canoeing in Newbury started from after the second World war with the Kennet and Avon Canoe club in the 1950s and the formation of Kennet Valley Canoe club into the sixties.


Kennet Valley Canoe Club run mini slaloms at the Town Mill site.

Canoeing at the Waterside Centre

Along with paddling for youth members the centre was used by the army to train for the DW.

The Waterside LD Youth Group entered the first Junior DW team under the watchful eye of Keith Treacher where the Canoeing Youth Club evolved.

Formation of Newbury Canoe Club

As a way to provide a follow-on canoe club for the youth going into adulthood, youth worker, Richard Howison-Johnstone qualified as an instructor and formed Newbury Canoe Club. This was under the guise of a youth work project on behalf of the local Youth Service.


First Waterside Series (named after the centre) held consisting of the same 4 races as today.

70 crews; 40 adult and 30 Junior.

Race Location Distance Portages

Race A

Great Bedwyn to Newbury 13.5 miles 21

Race B

Newbury to Aldermaston and Back 17.5 miles 19

Race C

Pewsey to Newbury 23 miles 35

Race D

Devizes to Newbury 34 miles 35

These races have since been held every year with ever increasing participation rates and as a preparation for the DW. The limiting factor on the number of contestants is now the issue of cars following the race along the course and swamping local villages with traffic.

The Waterside Series has always been run by groups of volunteers from the Newbury area.


Newbury Canoe Club continued to be based out of the Waterside Youth Centre.

It was mainly general purpose paddling with a growing interest in Slalom.

Kennet Valley Canoe Club was based out of the Band Hut building on our current site and was made up of mainly long distance paddlers.

NCC and KVCC combined when NCC moved out of the rented accommodation of the Waterside Youth Centre.


Newbury Slalom is started In conjunction with Eyot canoe club

Notes from committee minutes

4th Nov 1974

Operation of a successful Kennet Valley Race – 130 competitors, income £64.65, expenditure £39.53.

2nd Dec 1975

Earliest record of band hut use – “it was agreed that the band hut be rewired as soon as possible”


NCC participate in Hungerford Carnival, with ‘Come and Try-It Sessions’

1st 2nd May 1976 – The first annual Newbury slalom with camping at Northcroft is held.


Minutes of this period show a continuous debate regarding storage of boats and shared use by the canoe club of the water side centre.

52 paid up members.


NCC participated in the Newbury Carnival.

NCC took part as way of thanking Newbury round table for funding to purchase a fleet of general-purpose canoes


By this time notable young people became part of the club, those being Clive Williams, Bob Tilling, Mike Richman, Richard H, Corrie and Shaun Pearce along with a string of others in the seventies

Newbury Canoe Club members achieved top ranking slalom positions during the 80’s reaching Junior Champions, three of which went on to World and European Success at Junior and later Senior levels.

Corrie was British Champion at 3 different age groups and then won a world silver medal at the 91 worlds.

On the Easter one-star canoeing courses of 1981 an 11 year old Shaun Pease attended. This young man became famous by the end of the 80’s as not only British Junior Slalom Champion but a Pre World Junior Champion. In later years he was to become a World Champion, World Cup Champion and an Olympian. When Shaun retired at the top of his career he initially became the Canadian Slalom coach before returning to become part of the Coaching Team for the UK National Team and for the London Olympics.

25th Sept 1980 – 76 paid up members


NCC Slalom paddlers helped out at World Championships – River Tryweryn, Bala, North Wales.

Chairman report -membership reaches 100


The amalgamated clubs’ name becomes Newbury Canoe Club.

NCC and KVCC combined when NCC moved out of the rented accommodation of the Waterside Youth Centre.

Build of new garage accommodation commenced to house all KVCC & NCC Canoes and Kayaks.

15th April 1982 – New boat storage in the Marley kit garage erected

9th Oct 1985 – Rebuild of band hut being seriously considered.


NCC organised the Under 14 National Slalom Championships at Red Locks weir, Northcroft.


Decision was made to continue paying BCU race levy’s on the Waterside Series whilst the canal was being restored to full narrow boat use.

NCC Membership exceeded 100 members


Kennet and Avon was re-opened by Her Majesty The Queen in August 1990.


25th Anniversary of Waterside series


Red Rock Slalom event recorded it’s largest entry for a UK slalom running from dawn to dusk with 53 competitors.

Last Kennet Valley Marathon.


Last Newbury Slalom

In 1996 the slalom lapsed as the following year the weir was altered in such a way that it was dangerous to paddle in the weir. Newbury Canoe Club no longer had white water to train on.

End of an era



Foot and Mouth prevented WS B,C & D from taking place (also Thameside & DW ).


Concerns over the running repairs to internal electric lighting and plastic transparent panels.


Meetings held between NCC and Adventure Dolphin. Move to Northcroft most favoured.

Collaboration between NCC and AD continued. For example Boats and Coaching from NCC Members at the Hungerford Canoe Rolling sessions.


NCC build meeting in Bacon Arms. 3 Options. Own (Current Site)/Northcroft with AD/Northcroft Large


With slalom no longer active and the green bandhut building in decline (eventually condemned) so did membership. In 2006 the buildings the club were using were deemed unsafe. The remaining few members and trustees (approx. 10 people) started to explore how to rebuild our facilities.

The Waterside Series continued but had its own troubles.


Waterside A – Chaos at Gt Bedyn. Village at gridlock, unacceptable parking.


Waterside A – Limited to 400 paddlers to minimize Numbers at Great Bedwyn.


17C on the night before Race C meant 9miles of ice, when free the day before.


WS Race A saw continued parking & support crew chaos at Great Bedwyn.


Waterside A Cancelled due to 1 inch thick ice from Great Bedwyn to Newbury

Waterside B – Monkey Marsh – Not Navigable (works) – allowed on the day due to negotiations with BW.


Application for planning permission for the new building on the site of the Old Band hut was made. The club successfully raised over £300,000 from; Sport England, Greenham Trust, Armed Forces Military Covenant, British Canoeing, Thatcham and Newbury Town Councils and other Trusts.

One lasting legacy of dad (Dennis Price) is the boat house that he did the drawings for and then got planning permission. Then organising work parties to hand dig the foundations… I think I still have the blisters.


New building is completed and opened.


Training and qualification courses were provided and coached by Kieron Blackburn which earnt newcomers the opportunities to achieve BC awards and increase the clubs membership.

Renowned names such as Mike, Clive and Dave Seward (who still trains youngsters at the Waterside centre) remain with the club and support the growing development of new paddlers.

Interest from new members increase rapidly in K1 paddling and flat water Hasler competing racing builds led by Paul Jackson.


Increased membership brought success within the Hasler racing and a need to expand the current boatshed to accommodate new club and members boats


Inclusion of SUPS’s training into the club’s repertoire

Membership hits it target of 100!


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