John Whittingdale attended the Royal Yachting Association “Push the Boat Out” event at the Blackwater Sailing Club’s Open Day at Heybridge Basin.

RYA Push the Boat Out is intended to give people the opportunity to get out on the water and to find out how easy it is to get involved in sailing and windsurfing. Hundreds of Sailing Clubs and training centres take part throughout the month of March, including Blackwater sailing Club, Royal Corinthian Yachting Club, South Woodham Ferrers Yacht Club and Marconi Sailing Club in the Maldon constituency.

Blackwater Sailing Club was established in 1899 and is one of the leading sailing clubs on the East Coast with more than 1,000 members. It has an active Cadet section and it offers both cruiser and dinghy sailing. The Open Day was the most successful ever with 295 visitors and over 30 new members signed up on the day. Over 500 tasters provided for our visitors including John who went out for a sail in a Quest on the large freshwater lake owned by the Club. 

Blackwater Sailing Club website

Picture 1: John is pictured with Rob Haigh, Deputy Cadet Skipper

Picture 2: John is pictured with Rear Commodore, Nigel Butler


John Whittingdale attended the service at St Lawrence Heritage Church to bless the new telescope and display boards which have been installed in the churchyard looking over the Blackwater estuary.

The blessing was conducted by the Dean of Chelmsford, the Very Revd Nicholas Henshall. John is a co-Patron of the Friends of St Lawrence Church, along with Rt Hon Hilary Benn MP whose family still own a house locally.

John is pictured with Cllr Penny Channer, Nicholas Henshall and his wife, Christine, and Chairman of Essex County Council John Aldridge and his wife, Christine.

John Whittingdale visited Lookers Ford in South Woodham Ferrers. Lookers is a member of the National Franchised Dealers Association which is represents the 5,100 franchise vehicle retail network. Lookers Ford has dealerships across the UK. In Essex, there are showrooms in Braintree, Chelmsford, Colchester, and South Woodham Ferrers.

John discussed concerns of the automotive industry about the arrangements after Britain has left the European Union as well as possible plans for the expansion of the South Woodham Ferrers showroom.

John is pictured with lookers Regional Director, Rob Dier.

John Whittingdale visited Woodville Primary School in South Woodham Ferrers.

John spoke to the School Assembly about his work in Parliament and the importance of democracy. He then met the School Council and answered questions on Brexit, Windrush and Migration, Syria, and a number of other topics raised by pupils.

Following his visit, the Head Boy, Ed, and Head Girl, Holly, wrote this report:

On the 27th of March, our local MP John Whittingdale (MP of Maldon) came and visited our school. He produced an interesting and political assembly about his job, and what democracy means. After the assembly, he visited the school council in Mrs Turner’s room and we discussed about the law and Brexit. Brexit means Brittan Exiting the EU.  Most of Britain and the members of parliament have voted and have decided to leave Europe. The main reason to leave was because of other bigger parliaments have been sending their rules ,but now our MPs can decide our rules. 

John Whittingdale visited Sandon School to talk to Sixth Formers on a range of political issues.

As well as having a tour, John discussed with students  a number of subjects which they wanted to raise including pollution and climate change, funding of the NHS, university admissions, global security and Brexit. John said: “it was a real pleasure to hear the views of a number of my younger constituents and to engage with them. I was greatly impressed by their knowledge and interest and was also very encouraged that a number said that they would like to get involved in politics in future”.