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Pilkington Sailing Club to merge with Wigan counterparts

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Published 19:39 on 27 Sep 2019

Wigan Sailing Club and Pilkington Sailing Club have agreed to combine as Wigan and St Helens Sailing Club (WiSH SC), the merger to be finalised in 2020 after remaining formalities are completed.

Wigan SC was formed 51 years ago and is based at Scotman's Flash, Wigan and Pilkington SC is 62 years old, being based at Eccleston Mere, St Helens since 1960.

The move has been brought about because of growing pressures on Pilkington SC, including massive increases in rental, imposed by new landlords who bought Eccleston Mere from the Pilkington glass-making company five years ago. At the time the club had been negotiating to take over the lake themselves but were told it had been sold.Leading members of the Pilkington SC committee visited other local clubs in search of a solution. At Wigan one Sunday they were met by Neil Hornby (now Wigan Commodore) who promptly invited them into the clubhouse for a coffee and chat. Neil asked what had happened and then: "Would you think of a merger?" That led to more meetings as the plans began to develop. "We chatted to them and asked about their vision and realised that as a club they are just the same as us. They have different faces and names but we fit together very well."When the talks got to formal proposals, Wigan SC were the first to hold a Extraordinary General Meeting and the vote was unanimous to merge.

For Pilkington SC Commodore Andrew Melding, the future had become more positive: "The welcome was almost unbelievable. The right thing to do was 'to give us as much help as possible', they were saying. After two meetings we realised that the future lay with a bigger club, with a bigger water and better sailing."We have really only been discussing the merger since January so we have made enormous progress. The new plan will continue to supply sailing to the St Helens community just as Pilkington has done.

Pilkington Sailing Club have now held their special meeting to endorse the merger.

In the images, Neil Hornby (WSC) is on the left shaking hands with Andrew Melding (PSC)

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