Lancashire Powerboat Racing Club
Way back in 1936 a group of like minded enthusiasts from the North west of England got together at Carr Mill Dam, St Helens to form the Lancashire Hydroplane Racing Club. One of the oldest clubs in the country. The race circuit was very different back then with a Boat house on what is now the right hander, and the course being limited to the northern and western areas of the dam. At this time Carr Mill was a well known beauty spot with the adjoining Happy Valley attracting hundreds of visitors at the weekend.
During the war years no racing took place but afterwards, with adrenalin fuelled ex soldiers and the availability of army surplus stock which could be turned into all manner of road and waterborne racing kit, the post war years saw a meteoric rise in powerboating activity across the country, and the Lancashire Hydroplane Racing Club started to flourish with its base opposite the present clubhouse.
Carr Mill Dam changed ownership on various occasions during the 50s and 60s and at one time boasted a fairground with helter skelter and a miniature railway. Unfortunately, with the changes in ownership and also finances of the owners along with the popularisation of the motor car and cheap holidays, the Dam lost its popularity. Eventually in the early 60’s the club managed to gain use of the whole lake and also its present day clubhouse and once the boat house on the right hander was demolished or rather blown up according to legend, we had access to one of the most challenging courses in the country, which bears testament to the number of national and world champions the club has spawned over the years.
As the water grew, so did the differing activities and sportsboats took over from hydroplanes and a core of water skiers started to grow. In 1969 the club changed its name to the Lancashire Powerboat Racing Club to denote its current and also present-day activities, and by virtue of some shrewd dealings by the members at that time we took on ownership of all that we had previously leased. LPRC is unique in being the only UK powerboating club to own its own water as well as its own clubhouse.
The 1970s and 80s were the boom years with club race numbers often over subscribed and the lake full of water-skiers on weeknights and free weekends, with the racing fuelled with the desire to take part in the Famous Bristol Grand Prix which many of our members have won.
Unfortunately, in 1985 a neighbour successfully took out an injunction against the clubs activities these being somewhat curtailed as a result, and the financial cost took us years to recover, however we learned to live with these restrictions and the club continued regardless.
From the 1990s onwards, activities decreased along with the membership to the present day where a very small but experienced group involve themselves with the day to day running, but as powerboating has diminished we have included other activities such as the wet wings electric float planes, the canoe club, and the Mountain Monkeys outbound activities, with plans also for a ski school.
The clubhouse is also open at weekends to give a welcome to passers-by who walk around the dam or just want to sit and watch the water. We also undertake training and taster days in our three club owned boats, for budding powerboaters who either just want to have a go, or else want to seriously take up the sport.
We have spent much time and money on improving the club and its facilities and now have an environment that we can be proud of.
What does the next 80 years hold? Who knows but as members we are fiercely prod of our heritage and we look forward to the future.
Established - 1936 Membership - 160