Welcome to the GWYC

The Green Wyvern Yachting Club was founded in 1947 (some say 1946, but the first cruise was Easter 1947) by a pair of brothers who happened to be schoolmasters at separate schools in Leicester.  They set out the foundations of a club which has taught generations of young people not only how to sail, but also how to co-exist with other people in a relatively small space through teamwork, tolerance and a good dollop of humour.  People who have sailed with ‘The Wyvern’ have made lifelong friendships and come back year after year.

The club has provided sailing holidays on the Norfolk Broads since its inception, using the basic rules and scale of rank as laid down by Cecil and Bert Howard all those years ago.  Initially, young people attend a week by invitation of the sailing secretary.  We are an entirely voluntary organisation and wouldn’t be able, or willing, to cope with commercial numbers.  However, we are into a recruitment drive at present, so should you feel that you, or your children, would enjoy a week afloat in traditional style then please contact the Secretary at the number given in the first instance.  Successful completion of two weeks afloat (not necessarily concurrently) would then lead to election to membership and the freedom to sail without invitation, and access to the great community of Wyverns and the great camaraderie that goes with it.

The boats used are River Cruiser class yachts, typically pre-war wooden boats as seen in Coot Club. They are basic but comfortable, a bit like a scout camp on water.

We are affiliated to the Royal Yachting Association (RYA) and as such we also run training courses to provide RYA qualifications.

It is our belief that the safety of those we sail with is paramount and as such we provide buoyancy aids for all who sail with us.  The skippers of the boats will be RYA Qualified Keelboat Instructors or Assistant Instructors and are CRB checked and first aid trained.

For those who enjoy sailing with the club and want to sail again (and again and again, as we did and we hope they will) and become members, we will train them in yachting skills, starting with the basic skills needed to act as crew, through the various modules in the National Sailing Scheme, and up to RYA instructor level, for those who wish to advance that far.  See RYA Cruises for more information on our latest offerings.

Club History

The Green Wyvern was established in 1947 by Bert and Cecil Howard to teach youngsters how to sail. The name and burgee design come from the two schools in Leicester where Bert and Cecil were teaching. The Green is for Alderman Newton’s school, whose boys wore a green blazer with a red badge. The Wyvern is for City Boys’ School whose blazer badge was a wyvern – the emblem of the city of Leicester.

Bert and Cecil had been visiting the Broads since the thirties and had brought small parties of school children to learn about sailing and this ended up as the basis for the Green Wyvern. In 1947, several boats were hired and a full scale cruise was organised. The Green Wyvern had arrived!

Year after year more children were coming and some of the older ones became skippers and then teachers who started to bring children. Eventually a cruise would often consist of boys from a variety of places around the country. The Green Wyvern net was very wide.

Sixty plus years on and in the new world of Health and Safety, the club no longer has a large intake of new blood from its traditional school sources and, while maintaining the ‘old club’ philosophy, the Green Wyvern is looking ahead and is recruiting from alternative sources.