|Ron Green talking about Mersea Regattas past and present, recorded August 1994 for Lions Talking Magazine 191. He is talking to Albert Streeter and John Foxall.
An article in the 1980 Regatta Programme by Hervey Benham describes a Regatta from 1838. The races are thought to take place in Bessom Creek.
These days there is Mersea week as well, but the Regatta Committee just organise the Saturday Regatta Day. There is also the breakaway Cobmarsh Marathon Day.
The Regatta is not sponsored and is supported by contributions. 1991 the Commodore's appeal brought in £570, sailing entries £550, the Programme £3,274, social events £2,600, fireworks cost £2,225 two years ago - the bucket collection brings in about half of this. Expenditure was around £14,000 to run the Regatta in 1991. Mike Rayner, who has produced the recent very successful Regatta Programmes, has suddenly died.
The Regatta Committee is large - Ron talks about some of them.
Regatta Fair - Bert Stocks - used to be behind the Victory, now on the Burma Road.
Ron describes the format of Regatta Day, with racing in the River in the morning. Smacks, Fishermen's Open Boats, yachts - 14 classes. Watersports in the afternoon. Some events are no longer included - Pull Devil Pull Baker with flour and soot, and the Duck Hunt (not since John Chatters died), over the rigging of the Committee Barge.
The oldest known photograph of a Regatta is from 1881.
With thanks to Mersea Island Lions for all the history they have recorded on the Talking Magazine over many years.