Green Diamond Club
ABOUT THE CLUB
The Green Diamond Club – affectionately known as the Gee Dees – was formally started in 1957 by Peter Hammond, who until 1995, was the Chairman of the club. The Green Diamond symbolises peace and international friendship stretching to the four corners of the earth.
In 1954, Peter organised a ski trip to Seefeld, Austria, costing just 29 guineas for 15 days (which included the rail and boat fare, heating fees, kurtaxes and a 10% service). This trip was so successful that it became an annual event, and formed the basis of the Green Diamond activities. Memories of the Second World War were still fresh in people’s minds, and Peter’s objectives were to organise activities suitable for parties rather than individuals, to promote a spirit of friendship extending where possible to International Relations, to provide a means of charitable contribution and to support the United Nations Association.
In 1957, it was decided that meeting only once annually was simply not enough, and this was when sailing was established at Chichester Harbour, costing just £1 for a whole day of sailing, including transport from London. In 1959, the first dinghy was bought for £60 and sold a year later for £65. Sailing developed rapidly and the fleet was gradually enlarged and replaced with better boats.
Water skiing began in 1963 with a small outboard ski boat on the River Hamble, where it continued until a 4mph speed limit was imposed. It moved via lakes at Oxford, Tallington, Cosgrove, Berinsfield and to its present home in Chichester.
In 1960, membership subscription was 5/-d per annum, and by 1962 the club had 62 members (up from the 6 in 1957).
By 1965, the club owned 3 sailing boats and had a speedboat at its own exclusive disposal. This was the year of rejuvenation for the club; the year to encourage 20-25 year olds to join the club.
The club made continued progress in financial strength and improved activities. In 1969, Peter Hammond entered the Daily Mail Transatlantic Air Race from the top of the Empire State Building, in New York, to, what was, the GPO Tower, in London, by scheduled aircraft. On the strength of members’ connections with British Airways, GPO, PLA, the Police to name a few, Peter was able to go on and win the Rothman Trophy, for the fastest journey by subsonic aircraft, and a sum of £4,000. He entered the race twice and in his second attempt he managed to clip off 56 seconds off his time, meaning his winning time was 6 hours 54 minutes. With the winnings, the first canal cruiser was bought.
2021 SEASON PRICES
Additional days £100/day
Weekend booking is from 4.30 pm on Friday to 9.00 am on Monday
Midweek Booking is from 9.00 am on Monday to 4.30 pm on Friday
Booking enquiries to be made by email to:-
David Kavanagh (firstname.lastname@example.org) and secured by completion of an official booking form & a 25% (non-refundable) deposit.
Following the success of the Air Race in 1969 when the winnings gave us the opportunity to purchase our first fibreglass canal boat, many members have enjoyed leisurely cruising along the network of waterways first on Lokojokon and then upgrading to Blackthorn and Warrior.
We are now the proud owners of Tara, a 60ft Wessex built steel hulled boat with a 4 cylinder Isuzu 42hp engine, purchased by the club in 2017. After upgrading the two shower rooms and galley area, changing the mattresses and restocking her with essential items, she is a very pleasant place to stay.
Tara has a life of her own. Members pick her up where they find her and either bring her back to the same spot or move her to another destination, advising the next crew where she is moored. We have a Gold Licence which allows us to cruise along most canals and rivers in the UK including the Thames. She could quite literally be anywhere!
Bookings must be made by a Green Diamond Club member and for insurance purposes there must be a GD member on board at all times when she is cruising.
Training is given to novices or those lacking confidence.
Prices are substantially cheaper than commercial organisations. To help achieve this, we ask you to bring your own bedding (pillows, duvets, sleeping bags etc) and to leave Tara in a clean and tidy condition as you would wish to find her.
Prices for the 2021 season
Member ski £18. Non members £25
Driver/weekend leader £12
Visitor skiing £5 per day
Visitor non-skiing £10 per day
We will be running two "Give it a Go!" days water skiing for those who have not tried water skiing or wakeboarding before.
We encourage all skiers to come to Ivy lake, Chichester, for an 11am start and we will provide lunch for all. The prices (which include unlimited skis and lunch) are as follows: GD Adult Member - £45 Adult non-member - £60 Child - £30. We only have 3 spaces left on the 12th June, but have 9 spaces on 31st July. Please email Lottie if you would like to book a space (email@example.com). Stay safe and all the best, Lottie.
The water ski section has a long history since being added to the Green Diamond Club's activities in 1962. It began on the River Hamble (near Southampton) with a small outboard ski boat, where it continued until a 4mph speed restriction was imposed. The club's operation has re-located several times to lakes at Tallington, Cosgrove, Oxford, Stewartby and is now currently based in Chichester.
The section is now run by Lottie James. She is a qualified UKCC 2 Water Ski and Wakeboard Instructor, and has completed 2 summer seasons in Greece teaching. She regularly volunteers to coach new and existing GD members, whilst organising the general administration of the section.
2020 saw a lot of mechanical works being done to the 2010 Ski Nautique 196 boat, meaning it is now reliable for our activities. The club can provide all the equipment needed for water skiing and wakeboarding (wetsuits, life jackets, skis, boards and ropes) to suit all ages and abilities. Those at Chichester lake are incredibly helpful in providing secure storage for our belongings.
With Chichester allowing us to have camping weekends with the use of their facilities, including the showers, kitchen and BBQ, we offer something very different to commercial water ski clubs. The social environment, whilst encouraging everyone (all ages, members or not!) to enjoy the sport, is at the core of the GD ethos.
The season runs from April to October, and members are encouraged to book both weekends and weekdays to enjoy the facilities. The section relies on members volunteering to organise groups of their friends and family, and the club has a number of qualified ski boat drivers who can also support the organisers of these sessions. Should anyone need any help in organising their weekend, please contact Lottie and she will be more than happy to help!
Water ski weekends are a great way to watch all generations try out the sport and to organise memorable get-togethers. We hope that the coronavirus restrictions will be eased this summer to allow for the stories to continue.
A weekend in Dorset and Wiltshire on 7th/8th August 2021: Saturday 7th August 2021
We will go to the Compton Abbas Airfield “Vintage Saturday” Fly In. The airfield is near Shaftesbury in Dorset. It is one of the most scenic airfields in England. This is a popular event for pilots and non-pilots alike.
You can go dressed in your vintage period clothes (anything pre 1970). You can bring your classic car, or hire one for the occasion.
Come and enjoy the atmosphere and watch the planes flying in from other airfields.
Book in advance, a flight with an instructor to fly one of the Compton Abbas aircraft.
Have a picnic lunch in the airfield car park or go to their café.
In the evening we can have a meal somewhere between Shaftesbury & Salisbury if we know numbers well in advance.
Sunday 8th August 2021
A tour of Salisbury Cathedral & Magna Carta and a pub lunch near Salisbury.
In the afternoon you can visit Stonehenge, 8 miles north of Salisbury (Free to English Heritage and National Trust Members).
If you are interested, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Pottery Experience at Token Studio, SE1 2BE – Saturday September 4th – 13:00 Members = £36 Non members = £38
There are two large sections (Making & Painting) and several little steps in this ultimate pottery experience: Firstly we will be given a tour to the studio to see the whole process of how ceramics are made in the kiln. You will then experience how to throw a potter's wheel in the standing position, "Fire" your creation by your own with the special technic. Creations can be anything from a mug to a cake stand, so bring your imagination!
After the firing, we can enjoy a very relaxing painting session (but what is ever relaxing with the GD’s present?!). At the end of the session, you can decide to bring the piece of your creations home to air dry or you can leave it to Token studio professional team to fire it and glaze it in the kiln, please be aware that the kiln firing service costs £10 for your first creation. Your pottery will be ready to collect in 3 weeks.
Additionally, we have been allowed to bring our own drinks, so please feel free to bring your tipple of choice. There are limited spaces so bookings will be taken on a first come first served basis.
To book your space or if you have any questions, please contact Amie – email@example.com
Pre-Christmas Lunch, Davy’s Wine Vaults SE10 8JA - Saturday November 13th – 13:00
Members = £50 Non members = £65
Too early to be thinking about Christmas? With many places already getting booked up, we wanted to secure a private dining area for us all to be reunited again. Including a 3 course set menu meal (to be pre ordered), pay at bar and entertainment, it is the event not to be missed!
Individual bookings or tables of 4, 6, 8 or 10 (tables can be pushed together for large groups if requested) are available. Please note there are limited numbers and therefore bookings will be taken on a first come first served basis.
To book your space or if you have any questions, please contact Amie – firstname.lastname@example.org
Meet the Team
Amanda James (Chairman)
As the elder daughter of the founder of the Green Diamond Club, GD events have been a big part of my life since the day I was born!
I live in Winchester with my husband, Chris, and Golden Retriever, Albert, both of whom are active members of the club! Chris and myself have two grown up daughters, Amie and Lottie.
I enjoy snow ski-ing, water ski-ing, sailing, tennis and swimming as well as drinking Gin and Tonics!
Outside of the Green Diamond Club I run a small company specialising in Overdue Accounts.
Nigel Pay (Treasurer)
Nigel is a retired Film industry professional with a life long passion for getting wet. An accidental meeting with a member of the Hammond clan resulting in being strong armed into Green Diamond Club membership in 1982 and he has never been allowed to look back. Nigel has enjoyed every facet of GeeDee life over the years and four decades of playing with whatever the club has that floats has filled his photo albums with amazing memories of family and friends and his enthusiasm remains undiminished to this day.
Nigel served as Special Events officer in the 1990’s and sailed an early leg of the Round Britain in a Wayfarer jaunt, getting wet again in the process.
Euan Stokes (Membership Secretary)
Hello, my name is Euan Stokes and I am the Green Diamond Club's Membership Secretary. I am originally from Edinburgh and via a quick stint overseas in Hong Kong I now live in South West London. Until very recently I worked for the NHS in various London hospitals, including King's College Hospital, as a Radiographer and I now work for Siemens Healthcare.
I managed to be coerced into this position and to joining the club by Amie James after living with her for two years. But now find myself very much enjoying both the social, and sporting, Green Diamond Events. I hadn't been involved with water sports since school but forgot how much fun they can be. If you would like to join the club or know someone who would like to join then please drop me an e-mail at email@example.com.
Amie James (Special Events)
Hello, I'm Amie and my involvement started in the club from an early age. Each year I have been on several Green Diamond weekends, and now I am delighted to be part of the Committee as the Special Event Officer. In my day-to-day life, I work as the PA and Office Manager to the CEO of a Property Development company, and I live in South East London. I regularly play tennis and enjoy socialising, and ski when I can during the winter months. I look forward to being part of the future of the Club as it is such a great opportunity for all those involved.
Lottie James (Water skiing section leader)
Having been born into the Green Diamond Club, I have enjoyed many happy summer weekends water skiing, sailing and on the canal boat. I continue to have a love for water skiing and as a Water Ski and Wakeboard Instructor, I really enjoy introducing new people to the sport.
Now based in South-West London, I work in HR for a winter ski company and enjoy keeping busy by socialising, playing tennis and baking.
David Kavenagh (Canal Boat section leader)
Kav (David Kavanagh) has been a GD member since 1984 and ran the water ski section when it was based at Cosgrove. As a seasoned GD canal boat deck hand, bottle washer, cook, mechanic and latterly skipper, he feels he’s well placed to take over Tara’s stewardship and to make sure your trip on the GD flagship (some might say gin palace) is as enjoyable as possible.
Recently semi-retired, Kav spent 25 years selling complex software solutions to global financial institutions; technologies he readily admits he didn’t really understand. He still does a bit of sales consulting for tech companies and when he’s not working, he’s a got a share in a small aircraft and likes to go flying when the domestic jobs list doesn’t have ‘pto’ scrawled at the bottom of the piece of paper it’s been written on.
John Varian (Technical Officer)
I joined the club to go skiing at Crans Montana in the 1960’s and enjoyed many ski holidays with the club.
This led to reunion Sailing weekends and as a club qualified skipper teaching many people to sail.
My role is to give Technical support to the club boating activities like the canal boat.
Steven Morris (Website coordinator)
I was introduced to the club by Robbie Stringer & Chris James, via their school friend Ali Tate. My first experiences of GD activities were: cruising on Blackthorn with Robbie in charge, skiing as part of Liesl's chalet guests & sailing in Chichester Harbour with Robbie & Oliver. I was hooked, & I have now been an active member for years, mostly canal cruising. I am delighted to have been voted into my new role as web coordinator & all members are invited to contact me should you want something added to the site or to ask questions about the site.
In my day job I am a freelance photographer & videographer, based in London, but I work all over the world.
To contact me CLICK HERE to add website content or ask questions about functionality
The position is currently vacant. If anyone is interested in volunteering for the
role please contact Amanda James firstname.lastname@example.org