Model Yachting

In January 1894 the Cardiff Model Yacht Club was granted permission to sail model yachts on the lake.[1] On the day of the park's official opening in June 1894 the club gave an exhibition of yachts under sail.

A building was later provided to store the model yachts, following a request from the club in March 1897. The store was ready for use in October of that year, at a rent rent of three shillings per week, which was reduced in December 1900 to an annual charge of £5-5s. The store contained 36 lockers, all reported to be in use in May 1903.

Model Yacht Club members requested in Sptember 1906 to be allowed to hire boats on the lake at the same charge as anglers (4d per hour) instead of the 1/- per hour that they were paying. At the Parks Committee meeting of the 22nd October 1906, the Parks Superintendent reported that he had approached the boatmen and obtained their agreement to reduce charges accordingly to members of the Model Yacht Club.

From 1927 onwards model yachting was handicapped by the practice of lowering the level of the lake water in winter. Winter was the best time of year to sail model yachts because there were fewer rowing boats on the Lake. The club wrote to the Parks Committee in November 1928 complaining it was impossible to do any sailing owing to the water being lowered in the lake.[2] The Parks Committee agreed to reduce the rent for the club to £2-10-0 in recognition of this situation.[3] As a long term solution the club requested that a special model yachting pool be provided at the Splott foreshore when that land was laid out.[4]

The club was still renting the building at Roath Park lake in 1958, when the Parks Director reported that no model yachting had taken place for some years.[5] The Parks Committee decided that the tenancy of the Model Yacht House would be terminated in view of the urgent need of the Parks Department for accommodation on the boat stage.[6]

In the photograph below, the model yacht house is the white building in the centre.

Model Yacht House 12th January 1963

Model Yacht House 12th January 1963
By kind permission, © Tom & John Wiltshire Collection

Sources of Information

In general, the information in this section is taken from A. A. Pettigrew, The Public Parks and Recreation Grounds of Cardiff, Volume 3.

Other sources are:

  1. Meeting of the Parks, Open Spaces, Footpaths and Allotments Committee 8th January 1894
  2. Meeting of the Parks Open Spaces and Burial Board Committee 27th November 1928
  3. Meeting of the Parks Open Spaces and Burial Board Committee 24th November 1931
  4. Meeting of the Parks Open Spaces and Burial Board Committee 24th September 1930
  5. Meeting of the Parks, Baths and Cemeteries Committee 11th April 1958
  6. Meeting of the Parks, Baths and Cemeteries Committee 22nd May 1958