WHILE the country has basked in glorious sunshine this summer, a 100-year-old sailing club is hoping for rain – as it has been a sailing club without water for the last year.

Barnt Green Sailing Club has been based on Upper Bittell Reservoir for 100 years, but saw the lake drained in September due to essential works.

The Canal and Rivers Trust, who own the reservoir, carried out the works to replace a main valve on the waterbed, completing their project in early June.

But since then the lake has been left dry due to soaring summer temperatures and a lack of rainfall.

Members have had to find alternative ways to sail instead, but are hoping the club’s 100th birthday present – plenty of rain – will fall sooner rather than later.

Sailing member Rob Lennox said: “I've been a keen member of the sailing club for 50 years, so it's ironic that the 100th year for the club should be the one without water!

“I've taken the opportunity to help with the maintenance tasks that can only be done when the water is low, and I've helped organise the programme of celebration events, in particular the visit from current Olympic team member Ali Young.

“The break from club sailing will mean we'll come back with renewed enthusiasm.”

Some members have taken advantage of other local clubs to get their sailing fix, while one member, Bob Suggitt, has even sailed as far as Norfolk and Devon.

Hugh Dyer, a family sailing member, added: “Although members have been offered the option to sail at alternative lakes, it isn’t so enjoyable without the community and surroundings of Barnt Green Sailing Club.

“We have walked around the dry lake to enjoy the surroundings, however as a family we are keen to get back on the water once the lake is full again.”

Bartley Green Sailing Club has also shared their facilities during their 'dry season'.

The club has continued to have social events in the absence of water, including centenary themed events such as a '100' theme quiz, a games tournament, and presentations.

The club is also hosting a centenary dinner on Saturday, September 22, at the Chateau Impney Hotel in Droitwich.

Anyone interesting in sponsoring can contact Rose Padmore on 01562 731 788.