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2023 NEWS


January - This is usually the coldest time of the year, with few people sailing on the lake. In fact the lake has been frozen over on a number of days, providing an opportunity for the ducks to practice their skating and the local youf to throw sticks / branches onto the lake.

The time has been used to perform some maintenance - the rescue boat now has an upgraded electric outboard motor, thanks to the installation by Andy, Richard et al. The new motor is approximately 10 x more powerful, so care will be needed in using the rescue boat in the future. Training sessions are available to anyone feeling the need to go rescue dead boats from the lake.

SMBC Annual General Meeting was held late January, when it was impossible to sail on the lake as it was frozen over. The geese were there as usual, ice skating.

At the AGM, all the current club officers were re-elected, discussions were held about safety, forthcoming events and the club finances. Trophies were awarded to 2 members - John who's outstanding work for the club every week and at events won him the Syd McGoun trophy for the year and Jim, who won the 2022 Club 500 Race championship.

AGM trophies

Several items were bought and sold including some bargain boats at the bring & buy sale, and the morning finished off with tea and biscuits and chats about... boats.


April - Club 500 championship Round 1

2023 Club 500 Championship started this month with just 7 competitors for round 1. You can watch the Youtube videos of 2 of the heats here,


YouTube Logo

and check out the results here



May - Stotfold Watermill Steam Fair and Country Show

We have had our most successful appearance at the Stotfold Watermill Steam Fair and Country Show yet. In past years the Show organisers have seen us as an important part of the "Special Interest section". This year we have become an event in our own right. When I searched for reviews of the show this morning I found three which listed us. I would like to thank all of those who helped in the setting up and running of a very successful event. Thursday we set up and filled the pool with 7 tonnes of water. In a change of plans we also set up the gazebos. Friday was cold, wet and very windy when I went along in the morning our gazebos were being blown about so badly I had to remove the sides to protect the gazebos. Two other stands lost their gazebos to the wind. When we went along later in the day to complete setting up the mud was so bad we decided to leave leave further setting up and watched tractors towing vehicles around on the site. Saturday was dry and and a little warmer.  

Stotfold show

We ran scale boats in the pool and later ran sessions with the 'Come and Try boats' which were a huge draw and very popular with the children. Sunday was very warm and we finally saw the sun! Once again the pool was a huge draw. Both days went very well with a great deal of interest being shown and the pool was a great success. The tricky bit turned out to be emptying it. - Trevor

Stotfold show


Model Boat Mayhem

This from Andy. 

Just wanted to thank all of you who turned up at the weekend for Mayhem at Wicksteed, and making it the club's most successful outing yet. I'd decided to build the club a small village lakeside this year, with 42 feet worth of table space under our two marquees, plus my other club (Blackheath) in our 10' gazebo on the end. Somehow our club managed to not only completely cover all of the tables, but we also had to put two more outside to house extra boats and the catering department - thanks go to Richard for keeping us fed all weekend. There also wasn't much time over the weekend that the club didn't have a boat on the lake, well done everyone who came along, it only does good for our presence as a club. The IC demo that Richard, Steve and I put on was as massive a hit as it always is, several people had very positive things to say about it. John even put on a fast electric demo at the back of our slot on Sunday, something that has not happened at Mayhem before. As for the event itself, it was by far the biggest one we've done yet. 

Mayhem SMBC stand

At 10:30 on Saturday morning I counted 140 boaters by the water, which became impossible to count by midday but estimates are that there were around 300 of us, and for the first time ever there were gazebos right up to the end of the lakeside. At one point there were 26 boats on the water which was quite the spectacle. None of it would have been possible without our club members that came along. Whether you were there for a while for the experience or there with us until the bitter end dragging 200 kilos of lead acid batteries through the mud back to the car park (wish someone had a camera for that bit...), I cannot thank you all enough. If you were on the fence about coming along this year, please do come along for the next one in a year's time. It'll only be even bigger and better 

 Thanks again, Andy



June - Wings and Wheels

Chairman Dave Gray reports... 

 Boy was it hot! The hottest weekend of the year so far and we were trying to keep cool in the middle of the North Weald Airfield at Wings and Wheels. The boats were tucked away in the second row, a cluster of about 10 clubs, some from quite a long way away, Salisbury, for instance. There was a nice above-ground pool; the water was close to waist height so it was easy to get boats in and out. It's called Wings and Wheels for a reason. It’s mostly about aircraft and there are a variety zooming about all weekend. There were a few car / truck stands and quite a lot of general radio gear and component stands and one with a good selection of aluminium boxes.


A few boats for sale in the sales compound and among the general sales of used models, but as usual some prices were unrealistic. The Salisbury MBC stand was just used, dusty models for sale, in not very good condition; all projects. Interested, and chatting to them, as I worked in the Salisbury area for a few years, they apparently have no permanent water for sailing. There were other clubs having problems, Welwyn, for instance, so it re-inforced how lucky we are at Stevenage. Sat chatting in the shade of a gazebo, with the fan supplied by Colin, whirring away. Chris said that he hadn’t spent a day doing so little for a long time. Me neither. Chris, Barry and Colin camped overnight and had the means and makings for tea and coffee. Some boats were sold together with bits and pieces off the stand, some bits and pieces were bought from the traders and a lot of drinks and ice creams were consumed. Another very enjoyable weekend.




September - Headcorn Model Show

Another sunny weekend for a model show, several boat clubs turning up to share the large boat pond. Check out the slide show...



September - IPMS Chiltern Model Show at Biggleswade

SMBC had a table at the IPMS Biggleswade show. There were clubs from far and wide with plastic models and dioramas of all kinds. We had various boats, some plastic conversions to RC, some not. As usual we had a bit of interest, and chatted with a few fellow modellers.



September - Club 500 Championship final round and results

SMBC Club 500 round 6 saw no change in the leader since round 5. Chris Balmforth was top of the results table with 42 points... well done Chris. Here's his boat finishing round 6

See the results here... 


September - St Albans MES - Models that move

Another fantastic show over 2 days from the St Albans Model Engineering Society. Plenty to see and especially good for children as they could get involvd in 'try a boat' as well as seeing models being made. Fun for all the family with train rides. SMBC were there with quite a variety of boats on show. Several club members showed up to join in the fun. We even had a 3D printer on the stand printing parts out! As well as model boats, there were Meccano stands, live steam outside in the garden together with a small boat lake.  

Slide show has images of our stand and some of the other attractions. 

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YouTube Video Channel...

Don't forget to check out our channel on YouTube to see some of our boats in action... we usually have a new video every couple of weeks.