from Ullswater 'Steamers'
Ullswater Yacht Club is going back in time in the run-up to its biggest event of the year, the Lord Birkett Memorial Trophy this weekend, July 7 and 8.
The club is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year and members have been enjoying looking back at its history, collecting memories and old photographs, including pictures from the Birkett which was first raced in 1963, five years after the founding of the club.
The long distance event was established in honour of Lord Norman Birkett who died two days after making a successful speech in the House of Lords which prevented Ullswater from becoming a reservoir. Every year since then, the club has held the prestigious two-day round-the-island race in memory of the ‘Saviour of Ullswater.’
The club is delighted that Victoria Cliff Hodges, Lord Norman Birkett’s granddaughter, will be attending the event and presenting the sought-after Silver Salver to the winner at the prizegiving on the Sunday. Victoria, who lives in Oxfordshire, has also been adding to the club’s collection of old photographs with pictures taken in the 40s and 50s of Norman Birkett and his family holidaying in Cumbria. Until recently the only photograph club members had seen of Lord Norman Birkett shows him in his judge’s wig.
Victoria recalls how her grandparents used to love to come to the Ullswater area in the 1940s and 1950s, and they had great family holidays walking and sailing. She has not been to Ullswater since she was a child and is really looking forward to the event. The present Lord Birkett (Tom) cannot attend this year’s Birkett as he is abroad on a filming assignment.
“We are proud to welcome Victoria to the Birkett and hope she enjoys experiencing this unique event in honour of her grandfather,” said Commodore Rick Boyce.
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