Leisure => Sports => Topic started by: smiler on August 03, 2011, 18:17:24

Title: Sheerness Boating Lake
Post by: smiler on August 03, 2011, 18:17:24
Who remembers the boating lake on the right about half a mile out [still there but no boats I think] used to go down there in a crowd the boats used to be kayaks 1 and 2 seaters used to get soaked using the double ended oar, early 60s
Title: Re: Sheerness Boating Lake
Post by: Minsterboy on August 03, 2011, 19:10:51
It was run by the Obray family.
During the summer in the late 1950's-early 60's their skiffs and canoes used to be anchored down the middle of the Canal (as it was known), at night, and brought alongside the shore during the day. In the winter they had a compound on one side where the boats were stored undercover.

Once a year their was a regatta style event their which most of Sheerness attended. Their was a "greasy pole" competition on a greased up pole out over the water and fathers, etc were invited to try and stay on it for as long as possible. There was also "Sweeps and Flour-men" fights out in the skiffs where the two sides pelted each other with soot and flour.
Title: Re: Sheerness Boating Lake
Post by: colin haggart on August 03, 2011, 22:55:11
My photo of the boating lake, taken in the mid 1980s, now it's a sand pit.

(http://i278.photobucket.com/albums/kk90/colinhaggart/Sheernesssandpit1980s.jpg)
Title: Re: Sheerness Boating Lake
Post by: sheppey_bottles on August 03, 2011, 23:02:56
I thought the boating lake refered to ran into Bartons point at one end and came out near monkey farm on the halfway Road. I have not lived on the island that long but seem to remember boats being hired in the corner by the canal bank Just down from monkey farm. They used to feed the ducks in that corner as well but they seem to have gone now. This was salty water ( and still is) with crabs and jellyfish, across the other side of the road it was freshwater where we caught Rudd and Tench. I bet I have got the wrong lake :) if so I will get my coat!
Title: Re: Sheerness Boating Lake
Post by: colin haggart on August 03, 2011, 23:07:12
You are right, Sheppey Bottles, it look like there is a bit of confusion over which boating lake, after Smiler's post.
Most people refer to the boating lake being the one by the amusements, I guess that is because the other one by the canal has not been used for many years, so may be it's been forgoten about, it's the one by the fair that most folk talk and know about.
Title: Re: Sheerness Boating Lake
Post by: Sylvaticus on August 03, 2011, 23:50:54
The only boating lake I knew was the small round one between the railway station and the seawall, beside the fairground as seen in Trev's postcards linked by darrenh. The one in the canal came later, after I'd left the island, and apparently was short-lived. I was expecting a picture to go with Smiler's post, his directions don't mean much without a picture.

There was a period, possibly 1940-45, without boats when it was used as a paddling pool and bathing pool for small children, it was at most 2 ft deep in the middle, or more likely 18in. I very nearly learnt to swim there. Perhaps that's why I only knew it as a pool, not a lake. But I see from Trev's postcards that it it was mostly known as a lake, but it's a pool on a couple of them (possibly late 40s). His earliest cards of the lake could be late 30s.
Title: Re: Sheerness Boating Lake
Post by: Minsterboy on August 04, 2011, 05:56:58
As somebody who's lived on Sheppey since being born in 1947, the pool by the fair was always known as the Paddling Pool, although it did have small boats on it at one time, the canal between the Halway Road and Bartons Point was known as the Boating Lake.
Title: Re: Sheerness Boating Lake
Post by: smiler on August 04, 2011, 06:59:14
I am not talking about the small lake [pond] in colin haggarts reply #4 Sheppy Bottles & minsterboy are right and sylvaticus my directions did say half a mile outside of Sheerness and sorry I don't have a photo.
Title: Re: Sheerness Boating Lake
Post by: darrenh on August 04, 2011, 08:45:06
The only boating lake I knew was the small round one between the railway station and the seawall, beside the fairground as seen in Trev's postcards linked by darrenh. The one in the canal came later, after I'd left the island, and apparently was short-lived. I was expecting a picture to go with Smiler's post, his directions don't mean much without a picture.

There was a period, possibly 1940-45, without boats when it was used as a paddling pool and bathing pool for small children, it was at most 2 ft deep in the middle, or more likely 18in. I very nearly learnt to swim there. Perhaps that's why I only knew it as a pool, not a lake. But I see from Trev's postcards that it it was mostly known as a lake, but it's a pool on a couple of them (possibly late 40s). His earliest cards of the lake could be late 30s.

there was an additional paddling further along the sea wall.  pictures on trev site

http://www.pbase.com/luckytrev/image/32216720
Title: Re: Sheerness Boating Lake
Post by: sheppey_bottles on August 04, 2011, 09:15:16
This is quite a recnet paddling pool and is still there as far as I am aware. When I worked this area in the 90's I was constantly having to go here due to smashed glass in the pool and graffitti in the shelters. The sandpit (ex boat pond) was no better with glass and needles!!
Title: Re: Sheerness Boating Lake
Post by: RETSUB12 on March 26, 2012, 17:28:11
 Hi my name is Graham White I was a friend of the Obray family from the early 1950s i would help paint the boats in the winter and help with the customers in the summer fill the paper bags with soot and flour for the miller and sweep fights from two small boats at the regattas, also tow the customers back from the far end of the canal when the wind was to strong for them to return. we did not  enter the regatta races as it was believed we would have a good advantage.I have lived in Folkestone for more then 40 years if you remember me please Email all the best GRAHAM
Title: Re: Sheerness Boating Lake
Post by: seafordpete on March 26, 2012, 18:39:18
Wasn't the one by the fair always called the Paddling Pool? Hand cranked paddle boats on it in the 1950s. To me the Boating lake was out towards Halfway
Title: Re: Sheerness Boating Lake
Post by: Steve OBray on April 07, 2012, 19:52:01
Hi my name is Graham White I was a friend of the Obray family from the early 1950s i would help paint the boats in the winter and help with the customers in the summer fill the paper bags with soot and flour for the miller and sweep fights from two small boats at the regattas, also tow the customers back from the far end of the canal when the wind was to strong for them to return. we did not  enter the regatta races as it was believed we would have a good advantage.I have lived in Folkestone for more then 40 years if you remember me please Email all the best GRAHAM
Hi Graham my name is Steve O'Bray my father is Dave O'Bray and he built many of the boats you talked about. My grandfather Bob O'Bray started the boating lake when he left the Royal air Force. If you have any photos from the boating lake I would love to see them as we don't have any. I was a small child when the boating lake was in full swing and remember little from them days. But my dad would love to see them. He is in his 70's now.
Title: Re: Sheerness Boating Lake
Post by: CDP on April 07, 2012, 20:45:03
The paddling pond was the one near the Fairground ( I lived in 21 Winstanley Road then ) ,and the Boating Lake  ,or Canal Bank  boating lake ( I lived in 14.St.Helens road then ) is the correct name for them ,I remember them both very well .The paddling pond ,where we were never allowed to paddle I used many times and fell in the water twice ( every lad would fall in the water  sailing their little homemade boats ) and  we made sure that we never fell in the very muddy boating lake
Title: Re: Sheerness Boating Lake
Post by: JohnWalker on April 08, 2012, 00:33:20
http://www.pbase.com/luckytrev/image/32216213 (http://www.pbase.com/luckytrev/image/32216213)
Title: Re: Sheerness Boating Lake
Post by: RETSUB12 on April 08, 2012, 17:25:44
Hi my name is Graham White I was a friend of the Obray family from the early 1950s i would help paint the boats in the winter and help with the customers in the summer fill the paper bags with soot and flour for the miller and sweep fights from two small boats at the regattas, also tow the customers back from the far end of the canal when the wind was to strong for them to return. we did not  enter the regatta races as it was believed we would have a good advantage.I have lived in Folkestone for more then 40 years if you remember me please Email all the best GRAHAM
Hi Graham my name is Steve O'Bray my father is Dave O'Bray and he built many of the boats you talked about. My grandfather Bob O'Bray started the boating lake when he left the Royal air Force. If you have any photos from the boating lake I would love to see them as we don't have any. I was a small child when the boating lake was in full swing and remember little from them days. But my dad would love to see them. He is in his 70's now.
Title: Re: Sheerness Boating Lake
Post by: merc on April 08, 2012, 18:09:06
Please use the persons 'full forum name' if a post is aimed at someone, not their real name.
Title: Re: Sheerness Boating Lake
Post by: JohnWalker on April 08, 2012, 19:14:30
Here is a good picture of Sheerness Boating Lake - not sure if it's the one being discussed but it does appear to have paddle boats.

Link to photo only as author has requested copyright.

http://www.pbase.com/luckytrev/image/32216213 (http://www.pbase.com/luckytrev/image/32216213)
Title: Re: Sheerness Boating Lake
Post by: colin haggart on April 09, 2012, 14:31:39
Hiya Johnny walker, thanks for your post, sadly it's not the boating that is beeing talked about, it the one on the right just as you come into Sheerness from Halfway.

I scanned this from the tenth revision of the Local Red Book, which has  street maps of amongst other places Sheerness.

(http://i278.photobucket.com/albums/kk90/colinhaggart/Sheppey%20photos%202011/BoatimglakeSheerness.jpg)
Title: Re: Sheerness Boating Lake
Post by: colin haggart on April 09, 2012, 16:08:21
I've put this photo, taken in 2007 on here on behalf of Minsterboy.

The boating lake is roughly in the centre of the photo.

(http://i278.photobucket.com/albums/kk90/colinhaggart/Sheppey%20photos%202011/BoatingLake.jpg)
Title: Re: Sheerness Boating Lake
Post by: isleansuz on April 10, 2012, 16:52:45
How intriguing, despite being a born & bred swampie, living on the island til the last day of my 6th form exams it'd always been known as The Canal to me and anyone i knew. Very odd.
Title: Re: Sheerness Boating Lake
Post by: Minsterboy on April 10, 2012, 17:56:28
Well to make it even odder, in my 65 years here, I've always known the eastern half as "The Canal" and the western half as the "Old Canal".
Title: Re: Sheerness Boating Lake
Post by: RETSUB12 on April 11, 2012, 13:22:44
In my 70 years + I have known it as the boating lake and the canal----Never the boating pond.   I SPENT MANY OF MY YOUNG YEARS WORKING THERE I should know---G.F.WHITE 
Title: Re: Sheerness Boating Lake
Post by: Minsterboy on April 11, 2012, 15:58:00
Happy days, whatever we all called it and as a young kid, I loved the place.
Title: Re: Sheerness Boating Lake
Post by: sheppey_bottles on April 11, 2012, 16:10:16
At the other end of the canal at Bartons point when Alan had control you used to be able to hire the peddle boats, peddlos I think they called them, as well as kayaks, canoes and windsurfers. I think he kind of started up when the boat hire finished at Halfway road end.
Title: Re: Sheerness Boating Lake
Post by: John38 on November 28, 2013, 19:52:41
The circular pond near the Fair was the Paddling Pool. The Canal was ....the Canal! At least they were called that in the 1940s & 50s when I was growing up there. There were boats for hire on the canal, run by the Obrays'.

Brian Obray was a shipwright apprentice who started on the same day as me in HM Dockyard Sheerness. At the end of the apprenticeship we both got called up for RAF National Service, but we both signed on.

The last time I saw Brian was in Singapore, when we had mounted a special Aero-medical flight to bring a dangerously ill woman back to the UK - it turned out to be Brian's wife. Would love to know how she got on!
Title: Re: Sheerness Boating Lake
Post by: Local Hiker on October 29, 2017, 14:28:37
I think that these are the 2 boating areas that are competing for this topic.

I think that the topic was meant to refer to the right hand one, dug beside the Sheerness Military Canal at Barton Point.

My only interest is that I bought myself an inflatable kayak earlier in the summer, and used the Barton Point lake to get familiar with it.
Title: Re: Sheerness Boating Lake
Post by: Roseann on October 30, 2017, 00:16:26
Here are some postcards from the boating lake at Sheerness.
Title: Re: Sheerness Boating Lake
Post by: colin haggart on November 05, 2017, 20:23:14
Local Hiker, the Boating Lake on your map is in the wrong place.   The Boating Lake was on the canal next to Monkey Farm. The one on your map could be where there is one now, not where the old one was.
Title: Re: Sheerness Boating Lake
Post by: Local Hiker on November 06, 2017, 22:05:19
Thanks tor clarifying colin haggart. I was there 9 days ago.

My photo in Guess the Place "Reply #223" is overlooking the boating lake that you refer to from the defensive earthwork along the northern bank.
The boating lake that you refer to re-used part of the Military Canal, the section just to the east of the bridge on the Halfway Road.
The concrete landing stage along the eastern edge of the bridge is still there: lots of swans and ducks to feed!
Other landing stages along the northerly bank are eroded or rotted, some coincident evidence to be seen on the right in my Guess the Place photo.

I read a while ago that the scrap yard on the Monkey Farm site along the southern bank of the boating lake has planning permission for housing development.
Maybe the boating lake section of the canal would be tidied or restored as part of such development?

The boating lake that I referred to was dug into the southern bank of the canal at Barton Point Coastal Park (late 1960s or early 1970s), 850 yards to the east of your lake.

My lake and your lake are one body of water, joined by the canal, but your lake does appear to be the original that this thread was raised in relation to.