In the 1940s and 1950s, a club would meet every Sunday morning and another in the afternoon, an unwritten agreement between two clubs.
The clubs tended to die out in the 1960s as model yachts had to be kept in an adjacent hut which was often broken into and many people didn't have cars or transport.
The 1854 illustration above left had the original description:
"For sometime past, the young people of Hampstead and Highgate have been accustomed to enjoy a species of pastime by means which, considering the inland position of the "Slater Hills," it required more ingenuity to devise. A sailing match at Highgate sounds somewhat paradoxical; yet it has been accomplished upon a scale neither so small as the Model Tank at the Polytechnic Institution, nor so large as the estuary of the Thames. The idea was taken from the formation of the Prince Of Wales Model Yacht Club on the Serpentine. Within a year the Highgate youths produced twenty miniature vessels, the greater part of which were either entirely constructed or rigged by the owners. Prizes of a handsome silver cup and a gold seal were offered - the latter to be sailed for by vessels of the second class only, ie. those not exceeding three feet in length.
The course was twice up and down the reservoir of the Hampstead Waterworks, situated in the valley between Highgate and Hampstead. In some cases, the almost entire absence of wind gives but few of the Lilliputian craft an opportunity of showing their capabilities; but the beauties of the scenery and the bracing air attracted a gay company to witness the (mimic?) match; and the novel sport has continued to prosper.
On Friday, the 4th inst., inspite of the rain, which came down in torrents, the spirited members of this interesting Club held their annual Regatta on the principal lake between Highgate and Hampstead; and a more beautiful locality it is difficult to conceive. Many ladies graced the proceedings with their presence.
The number of yachts entered for the prizes was ten; the first prize being awarded to Augustus Gardiner, the owner of the Flying Cloud; and the second prize to Oliver Lodge, owner of the Mosquito.
The following is a list of the several yachts, their owners and their distinguishing colours:-
Yachts Owners Sailing Colours
MATCH 1 :- FOR A SILVER CUP
Black Eagle : C.P. Wilmer : Crimson and Black
Flying Cloud: A. Gardiner : Blue, with red and white cross
Athenium : C. Rivington: Blue
Lady Of The Lake: L. Vuillamy: Blue and White
Salamander: I.L. Vuillamy : Blue and red with white cross
Wildfire : H.P. Vuillamy : Blue, white and red
MATCH 2 :- FOR A GOLD SEAL
Titania : E. Atkinson : Blue, with white cross
Mosquito : O. Lodge : White
Swallow : A. Rivington : Green
Rover : R. Lodge : Pink