A History of Derwent Rowing Club Written by John Partridge
Edited & Produced by Christine Walker
ROWING CLUBS ON THE RIVER
DIGNITARIES AND PERSONALITIES
OUR HISTORY 1957-1981
OUR HISTORY 1982-2007
THE DERWENT COXSWAIN
NOT JUST A ROWING CLUB
DERBY REGATTA AND CLUB WINS
OFFICERS OF DERWENT ROWING CLUB
INDIVIDUAL REGATTA AND HEAD WINS
The White Boathouse
I have been asked to write a short preface to the 150th Anniversary booklet, which I am delighted to do. I was present at the 125th dinner, and at that time had no idea I would be at the 150th. Over the years I have seen many members come and who for various reasons, went on to other places. Nevertheless it was a pleasure to see them all, and it is always amazing to me how many members keep in touch. The booklet itself tells the story of the club and its endeavours far better than I could ever do, and all I wish to do now is to say how pleased I was to welcome so many of you to our anniversary dinner, which I hope you enjoyed as well as meeting members with whom you rowed, even if a long time ago.
This book continues the story of the 150-year history of the Derwent Rowing Club from where the 1857-1957 Centenary booklet ended. The text has been written by John Partridge, third generation club member, Vice President, ex President, ARA Gold Award Coach, Umpire and keeper of the archives of the club. We are fortunate that John has an encyclopaedic knowledge of rowing and he has been meticulous over many years in keeping not just coaches’ logs on a daily basis but in recording events in multiple formats for future reference.
He is concerned that the events are told from his viewpoint and there will be errors and omissions but he has been enthusiastic in his endeavours, sharing his memories, opening up his coaching logs, notebooks and record books and finding photographs and slides to be reproduced in order to present this information to a wider audience. Many of these records are only available today because members and their families have presented the club with archive material that has greatly helped increase our knowledge of the history of the club. It is to be hoped that members will in future share information and that the club will continue to have such an earnest archivist as John to maintain these records for the years to come. Thank you John.
In 1857 Derby was much smaller than today and though expanding, had not grown much since it stretched from St Mary’s Bridge to Cuckold’s Alley (near Bradshaw Way). The River Derwent was a little deeper and slower flowing than today because of a weir just below St Mary’s Bridge. This was removed in the 1960s when Causey Bridge was built and further road works resulted in the disappearance of lower Bridge Gate, St Alkmund’s Church and churchyard, and several inns that feature in this history, including the Lamb Inn, the New Inn and the Fox and Owl.
The river was navigable by way of the Derby Canal. Access to the canal was just downstream to the south of St Mary’s Bridge, just above the weir, which itself was in two parts, split by an island. There was a lock at the junction of Nottingham Road and Stuart Street. The land to the west along Duke Street opposite the Bridge Inn was the site of mainly coal wharves and the Britannia Foundry and Engineering Works. It is known that by the 1860s the Bridge Inn, the Fox and Owl, and probably the Furnace Inn owned their own racing boats. The weaving firm of Thomas Bridgetts held annual races for their workers, normally each mill room raising a crew. On one occasion, workers from Haywood and Handyside joined them.
There are earlier references to clubs other than the Derwent Rowing Club, but no one such club can be identified, or a regatta earlier than the 1859 event run by the Derwent Rowing Club.
It is surprising to find out that more than one stretch of the Derbyshire Derwent has been used by rowing racing boats. In 1896, a regatta was held at Duffield that provided the first known regatta success for Derby Town Rowing Club. At early Derby Regattas, crews entered from Matlock and Matlock Bath and at a Festival of “Venetian Nights” held at Matlock Bath in 1953, the successful Derwent Rowing Club pair of Alec Middleton and Richard Eaton gave an exhibition row.
However, the sport of rowing has been mainly confined to the stretch of river from the Folley House to St Mary’s Bridge. In the club’s earliest days, this was the furthest a crew could row on the river without disembarking and was the limit imposed by the club rules. Permission from the committee was required to move a club boat outside this limitation. In the early history of the club there were many requests to take a boat via the canal system for trips to Barrow on Trent or Swarkestone.
The Folley House, off Haslams Lane near Darley Abbey, is a 17th century, three-storey farmhouse originally having three gables, facing downstream. One of these and part of the house has been demolished. There was also a low footbridge to the Darley Abbey side of the river, now demolished, leaving for some time a supported water supply pipe, known as the Bar, which has now been removed. If one is careful and avoids shallows and the remains of the pipe supports, it is possible to row upstream as far as the island at the foot of the Darley Abbey millrace and weir. Early regatta courses were a one-mile course downstream starting from “The Poplars” which was believed to be in the vicinity of the Folley House. In the 1950s a ferry operated between the Darley Abbey side and Folley House where cream teas could be obtained. Council operated hired rowing boats frequently availed themselves of this facility.
As photographs show, in the first hundred years of the club history, the river was mostly wider and deeper, with shallower banks than today. There was generally less flow making at times near still water. With the Inner Ring Road scheme and construction of the Causey Bridge just downstream of St Mary’s Bridge in the 1970s, a weir running from the Silk Mill to the junction with the old Derby Canal was removed. This dropped the river some 10ft that in times of low summer flow results in water weed growth opposite the Furnace Inn and alongside the tennis courts in Darley Fields. Obstructions at St Mary’s Bridge arches to prevent boats rowing downstream to the weir were removed allowing boats as far as Exeter Bridge flanked by the Police Station, Courts and Council House. Downstream of the Exeter Bridge are a concrete encasement for supply cables and a prominent weir making any further progress hazardous. Today, there is a clear 2,000 metres to be used for training, approximately 400 metres more than before.
Pre 1970 the Borough Council provided rowing boats for hire and recreation. Their boathouse, which was no more than a ticket hut and landing stage, was situated on the sharp bend on the river on the Darley Park side. At times a ferry to Darley Fields was provided. At the side of this landing stage was the exit to the river of the Markeaton Brook culvert, diverted after the 1930s town centre floods.
The river flows through Darley Park that had, before its bequest to the Borough Council, belonged to the Evans family, owners of the Boars Head Mill in Darley Abbey. During one period the club rules did not permit rowing on Sunday afternoons to allow the family some privacy. The park at one time ended at the flattened area and dip in ground level near the banks that was fenced and originally belonged to Lord Belper and the Strutt Estate. It was known to the club as the “Old Roman Road” since it was believed to be the crossing point from the original Roman Fort on the west bank now in Derwent Park, adjacent to Kingston Street, across the river to the Little Chester camp also known as Derventio. Opposite here stands what the club calls Well’s House, which has Roman foundations and is visible from the boathouse.
The boathouse was built in 1862 on land owned by Lord Belper and then acquired by the Great Northern Railway Company, later LNER. In the mid-1870s the Great Northern Railway Bridge (later renamed Handyside Bridge after its engineer) was constructed across the river. This disrupted rowing for two or three years and Derby Regatta was held over a much shorter course requiring crews to turn round buoys during the racing. The Derwent Captain was criticized by the local newspaper for refusing to enter to which a strong reply was made. Apparently, similar coastal style racing had been tried at this time at Leeds and Nottingham Regattas and was very unpopular with serious crews who feared injury or damage to equipment.
Derby Rowing Club (formerly Derby Town Rowing Club) is now situated adjoining the Derwent Rowing Club. Prior to 1964 it was sited on the opposite bank adjoining Parker’s Piece that was used for many years as a playing field for Derby School.
St Mary’s Bridge and the Bridge Inn had been as far as racing boats could go for most of our history. The west bank had in the nineteenth century, coal wharves serving the Duke Street area. There were several public houses but only the Furnace and Bridge Inns survive. Many of them owned boats, some having racing craft for hire. With the later series of joint regattas, the course has been upstream from the old boundary wall of the Bridge Inn to a finish in Darley Park, latterly of some 1,000 metres.
ROWING CLUBS ON THE RIVER
There is no formal list of clubs that have rowed on the Derwent, the following being gleaned from press reports, regatta programmes, the Rowing Almanac and personal knowledge. Some of the nineteenth century clubs may never have existed as bona fide clubs, but be scratch or semi-scratch crews using hired equipment.
The first crew to appear in the press as far as is known was a crew representing Derby in a match against Nottingham in the year 1846. The first race was held at Derby with a return match starting at Wilford, in Nottingham. Two of the Derby crew were eleven years later, founding members of the Derwent Rowing Club. No details are known of the mysterious Derby Boat Club which was an amateur club first appearing in press reports of 1858 when a Derby Boat Club crew impeded the start of the official re-match between Derwent Rowing Club and Leander Club, Burton at Burton-upon-Trent. They are recorded in one account as entering the 1860 Regatta but another account attributes that crew to the Derwent Club, and is possibly just another name for the latter club at that time.
Derwent Rowing Club 1857- Still active
Derby Boat Club1858-1860
Derby Arrow 1859 Professional crew
Derby Watermen 1861 Professional crew
Derby Artisans’ Rowing Club 1862-1863 Professional crew
Derby Grammar School Rowing Club 1862-1890
1931-1979 Attached to Derwent RC
Attached to Derby RC
St Mary’s Rowing Club 1866-1870 Commonality with Derwent RC
St Mary’s Bridge Rowing Club 1869 As above
Ariel Club, Derby1868
N. N. Rowing Club 1869 Commonality with Derwent RC
Matlock Rowing Club1878
Matlock Bath Rowing Club1878-1914
Butterley Rowing Club1875-1876
Derby Rowing Club 1876 Commonality with St Mary’s RC
Derby Town Rowing Club 1879-1906 Changed name to Derby RC
Derby Rowing Club 1906- Still active
Derby Ladies’ Rowing Club 1907-1908 Used Derwent RC equipment
Stanley College Rowing Club 1956-1965 Attached to Derwent RC
Trent College Rowing Club 1979- Attached to Derby RC
Derby University Rowing Club 1992-1995
1995- Attached to Derwent RC
Attached to Derby RC
Crane Foundry Rowing Club 1989 Veterans attached to Derby RC
A series of successful Bemrose Grammar School crews attached to Derwent Rowing Club in the 1950/60s were refused recognition by the school authorities. Repton School trained on the river Trent and produced no less than thirteen Boat Race Blues up to 1914 when rowing there appears to have ceased. They do not appear to have raced at local regattas.
In the nineteenth century crews made entries at Derby Regatta from Sawley Rowing Clubs who presumably trained on the river Trent, though there is also access to the Soar and canals close by.
The Derwent Rowing Club was founded in 1857 at the King’s Head Hotel in the Cornmarket. This was used for a short time as the club’s headquarters. It was a coaching inn dating from the mid-17th century and was used for annual regatta dinners up to and including 1866. The “Head” was depicted as Charles II. In 1867 the club moved to the Bell Hotel also known as the Old Bell Hotel, another late 17th century coaching inn.
In 1869 the headquarters moved to the Lamb Inn in St Alkmund’s churchyard, nearer to the boathouse. Described as a late medieval building with an 18th century front, it was once owned by Messrs Pountain’s, Captain Pountain being a member of the club. Although it was a small inn it hosted regatta and club dinners for several years. It was demolished in 1967 for the Derby Inner Ring Road Scheme. Possibly due to restricted space, club dinners in 1877 and 1878 were held at the Bell.
In the 1880s until 1893 dinners and meetings were held at the County Hotel, as the Kings Arms was then called, in St Mary’s Gate. The spring races draw and supper in 1890 was held at the Bull’s Head Hotel in Queen Street, another seventeenth century inn closed in 1939 for the widening of Full Street.
From 1895 onward the club’s dinners and meetings were held at the prestigious mid 19th century Royal Hotel in Victoria Street whilst the annual balls were held in the old Assembly Rooms in the Market Place. The latter are now demolished and the façade re-erected at the Tramway Museum in Crich.
The club’s headquarters was for many years, the Seven Stars Inn (sometimes called The Plough) in Duffield Road. Built in 1680 it was owned at one time by the Henry family, Phil Henry becoming a Vice President. It was one of Derby’s last inns serving home brewed ales when it was acquired by the Scottish and Newcastle Brewery in 1962. Club photographs adorned the walls of the “Men’s Only” bar until the club moved its headquarters to its boathouse after the improvements made in 1965. The planning permission given for these had required the exterior boathouse walls to be coloured brown and the roof green to “match the Park”! The Secretary arranged to meet the Borough’s Deputy Town Planner asking if we really needed to camouflage the boathouse as the war was over and it would look dreadful, and he agreed it was unnecessary. The boathouse became known from that time as ‘The White Boathouse’ due to the rendered external walls.
The First President, Benjamin Scott Currey (1857-1867)
Scott Currey was a solicitor with offices in the name of J. & F. Barber & Currey in Balguy’s House, St Michael’s Churchyard. On the 16th June 1859 he married Helen Heygate the daughter of a physician. They had lived in 1861 in Stafford Street near the town centre but by 1891 had moved to Eaton Hill, Little Eaton.
It would appear that he, like other founding members, was probably already an experienced oarsman. He stroked the winning crew in the match with Leander Club, Burton on 9th August 1858. In 1860, at the second Derby Regatta he won the Stewards’ Cup and in the following year stroked the crew to retain the trophy. In 1862 he won the Gold Sculls, the presentation prize for single sculls. After 1865 he appears to have retired from active racing, becoming an umpire.
At the 1866 Derby Regatta he is recorded as being the umpire together with his friend the redoubtable Henry Clasper, the inventor of the outrigger and internationally famous professional oarsman. He umpired at several successive regattas. His attendance at the opening of Denstone College, near Uttoxeter, Staffs., and in addition, at the Garden Party hosted by the Earl of Shrewsbury at Alton Towers, was reported in the Derby Mercury where he is described as a gentleman.
Seventh Earl of Harrington (Charles Wyndham Stanhope) (1868-1875)
Stanhope was born in 1809 and died in 1881 succeeding his cousin the 6th Earl in 1866. His predecessors had been soldiers or diplomats with interests in racing and hunting and with Irish and international interests. The seventh Earl was more parochial and a local benefactor. His personal hobby was playing the violin. He resided at the family seat of Elvaston Castle on the outskirts of Derby. Other properties included Gawsworth Hall in Macclesfield, Stanhope Lodge at Cowes on the Isle of Wight, Harrington House at Charing Cross, London, and his Town house in Harrington Street, Derby. He was the Deputy Lieutenant of Derbyshire and was known for the regular functions and dinners he held for the benefit of his estate workers, as reported in the Derby Mercury.
He was a Patron of the 1867 Derby Regatta, having previously presented a silver cup, the Harrington Cup, to the regatta on 20th June 1866, valued at £10 10s 0d to be awarded for a sculling event. This trophy was competed for until the 1880 Regatta. The first winner of the cup was G. Ryan of London Rowing Club. In 1876 it was offered for four oared crews resident in Derbyshire. It is interesting to note that it was won by Butterley Rowing Club, possibly of Ripley, beating Leander Rowing Club, Burton-upon-Trent (then a Derbyshire town). In 1877 it was offered for Pair Oars and won by Matlock Bath Rowing Club.
The eighth Earl was more adventurous and abandoned Elvaston to indulge in horseracing, the club life of London and his Irish Estates.
Sir Thomas William Evans Bt., J.P., M.P. (1876-1880)
Evans was a mill owner and cotton spinner who owned the Boars Head Mill at Darley Abbey, now a World Heritage site. A Member of Parliament and Mayor of Derby in 1869, he was also a landowner with his principal residence at Allestree Hall, Allestree, now on the outskirts of the city. Evans had originally rented the house that was built in 1806 by John Giradot, an Indian Nabob, but later bought the freehold together with some 6,790 acres.
His Town Residence was the famous Pickfords House, 40-41, Friargate, Derby, that he owned until 1879 and is now a museum. His City Residence was 2, Queen Anne’s Gate, Westminster. He also owned the well-known and late lamented Old Mayor’s Parlour at 15, Tennant Street, demolished by the Borough Council just after the Second World War.
There is little to connect him with active rowing. However, he did win a prize at the 1869 Regatta for his entry in the Flower Show that formed part of the festivities. He was a Steward at the very first Derby Regatta in 1859 and at most of the following regattas. In 1870 the Borough presented the Ladies’ Mace to him and the Sword of State both of which he presented to the Town Council and which now form part of Derby City Regalia.
Alderman Abraham Woodiwiss, Senior (1881)
Woodiwiss (1828-1884) was a factory owner in the Litchurch and Normanton areas that were outside the Borough of Derby at that time. His residence was Field House, Osmaston Road, Derby. He was Mayor of Derby in 1880-1881, again in 1881-1882 and was a prominent Freemason in days when it was eminently more fashionable to be so.
William Henry Worthington (1882-1894)
Worthington was a well known, second generation, brewer at Burton-upon-Trent. Worthington E was one of the great real ales that is now only brewed on special occasions. The brewery gained its reputation particularly in the production of bottled ales and Worthington White Shield bottle conditioned ale that is still a market leader in its class. The American giant firm of Coors now owns the brewery.
His principal residence was at Winshill, Burton though he also owned a Town House known as Derwent Bank House, Darley Grove that he bought from the executors of Miss Strutt in 1872. He later sold all but seven acres of the land to form the Belper Road estate. In 1871 he was living at Newton Park where his first child was born. He was President of Derby Regatta in 1888.
Sir Abraham Woodiwiss Junior (1895, 1900-1907)
Son of Abraham Woodiwiss he assumed his father’s role as President and factory owner. He was the first of only two second generation club Presidents. In 1891 his residence was 34 Loudon Street, Normanton, a more prestigious address in those days. Lord Duffield, (Ernest Hives), an active member in his youth, lived at Sale Street nearby.
He took an active part in club functions, but like his father was better known for his civic duties. He developed The Strand in the city centre and in 1887 he purchased the land on Ashbourne Road on which St Christopher’s Orphanage for railway employees’ orphans was built. He was Mayor of the Borough in 1888-1889 and again in 1901-1902.
He, like his father, was a prominent Freemason. His nephew Alderman William Blews Robotham J.P. was also to become Mayor and a club Vice-President, as was Ralph Robotham, his son, in turn in 1927. Abraham Woodiwiss was still a Regatta Patron in 1911 and W. B. Robotham a Patron in 1914.
Sir Charles Clement Bowring (1896-1899)
Bowring was a successful active oarsman in the early days of the club and possibly a founding member. He was a wine and spirit merchant joining the well-known local firm of Pountain’s in the Market Place, Derby. Captain J.T. Pountain was also a member of the club and for many years a Patron of the regatta. In 1876 Charles Clement Bowring lived at 5, Grove Terrace, Osmaston Road and in 1891 resided at The Grange, Duffield.
We only have records of his racing at Derby Regatta, his first win being the Ladies’ Plate at the 1862 Regatta rowing bow in the Derwent crew. He helped retain this trophy the following year and won the Derwent Challenge Cup. This magnificent trophy, which has the winning crews inscribed on it, is one of the club’s proudest possessions and available to the challenge by any club coxed four-oared crew willing to race the club Captain’s defending crew over the regatta course. It is restricted to members of the club.
In 1873 he became a regatta Patron and in 1884 an umpire. He supported the club all his life, dying just before the club’s Jubilee in 1907. He and the founding members, Edward Bemrose and W. Harvey Whiston and other grand old gentlemen of rowing were toasted at the Jubilee Dinner.
Alderman Robert Baker Chambers B.A., J.P. (1908-1929)
The longest serving President in the club’s history, Chambers does not appear to have raced for the club. However, he raced at the 1872 Regatta in the colours of the Sawley Rowing Club. The 1873 Sawley RC crew contained V. Meakin who was to become a Derwent stalwart and chief raconteur and it appears the two became, if not already members, members of the club shortly afterwards.
He was a solicitor by profession with offices in St Mary’s Gate where three other club Presidents have subsequently had professional offices. In 1906 he was Mayor of the Borough and for many years a Patron of the regatta.
William Fraser Dewsbury Norton (1930-1949)
His was the second longest tenure of office. Sometimes referred to as F. D. Norton, he was an industrialist and sales director with Longdon’s in Agard Street, Derby. He lived at Lonsdale Hill, Lonsdale Place, Derby. Frank Norton, as he was known, joined the club in 1895 and was Captain in 1905-1909, 1915 and again from 1917-1919. He was the Honorary Secretary from 1900-1904 and 1915-1919, Treasurer 1922-1929 and a Regatta Joint Honorary Secretary from its foundation as a joint regatta in 1903 until 1906. No other President has held those four offices, or even the three principal offices of the club.
He presented the Norton Trophy in 1908 for Coxed Pair racing in the club’s Closing Races. This was declared missing after the Second World War and so in 1948, Frank’s Jubilee year, a new trophy was purchased, presented to him and then presented to the club for annual competition. An illuminated address was presented to him, the artwork done by E.N. Dawson, Vice President, one of our most successful oarsmen at that time.
Frank was responsible with John Gretton for running the Derwent Football Team, a winter offshoot of the club in the 1900s, which was for a few years very successful.
John Gretton (1950-1957)
John Gretton was a solicitor with offices in St Mary’s Gate, in the practice of Holbrook, Gretton and Richardson. His residence was on Burton Road, Derby.
John won his Maidens as stroke at Burton Regatta in 1907, the club’s Jubilee year. He stroked a coxed pair at the 1911 and 1914 Derby Regattas losing in the final at the latter. It is interesting to note that one of the beaten pairs came from Matlock Bath. He last appears to have raced at the club’s 1922 Closing Races.
In 1909 he was Captain of the Derwent (RC) Football Club which reached the final of the Midlands Amateur Alliance Cup that year. The football club was reported later as having difficulties due to the sports of rugby and hockey having call on the same players. The club had strong connections with Derby Rugby Club and Derby Tigers RFC until the mid-1960s. John was club Captain in 1914, 1916 and again in 1920-1921 but is best remembered as one of the club’s most successful coaches.
He was the coach of the great 1920s coxed fours that started by winning Maiden Fours at the 1921 Burton Regatta with F. Levers (bow), J.F. Bryden, J.C.T. Pendock and G.S. Fisher. In 1922 with E.N. Dawson replacing Bryden they won five times, and in 1923 with Bryden replacing Levers, who was working in Paris, they won another five times including the Gold Vase at Nottingham and the West of England Challenge Vase. The 1924 ARA Almanac lists them as the most successful provincial crew of the previous season. It should be noted that Fisher who worked in a foundry would have been ineligible for Henley. Briefly, he was to seek fame and fortune in the United States, did neither, and returned to continue rowing. He was commissioned during the Second World War in the rank of Major. His squad’s success continued, winning the Bedford Senior Fours Trophy three years in succession, once with E. Horne (who had won his Maidens in 1899) stroking the boat and another year with Frank Levers stroking.
John was a coach of the English Orthodox School and assisted many members over some thirty years on the riverbank. In 1956 he took charge of a Stanley College schoolboy crew. Their (3) moved away from Derby and Richard Smith, a club oarsman took that seat. They became the only Derwent crew to progress from Maidens through Juniors and Junior-Senior to Senior status without any change in personnel, rowing order, or cox. The stroke, Reg Hibbert proved to be an excellent sculler and in a different age would surely have represented GBR as a lightweight.
He was the club’s ARA representative from 1937-1956, a function fulfilled by subsequent Presidents. This was at a time when the meetings were in the form of a Birmingham Conference and not a local regional meeting, at Nottingham. He was a bachelor and to old age used to walk from home to his office.
Arthur Leslie Frost Partridge (1958-1971)
Leslie Partridge (known in HM Forces as Alf) was a second-generation member, his father, Arthur Coltman Partridge having joined the club in 1895 and raced in the 1900 Opening Races.
Leslie was educated at Derby School and Denstone College. He then joined the family business of J. & W. Heathcote, Auctioneers and Estate Agents in Exchange Street, Derby. His father was senior partner, as had his grandfather Edwin been before him. The latter appears in a 19th century club address book but is not otherwise known to have been a member.
During the Second World War, he volunteered and was commissioned into the Royal Artillery. He served firstly in Ack Ack at Pembray in Wales on field guns in India and Burma. He also spent time at SEAC Headquarters in Ceylon and on requisition valuation work throughout India. He was a Major at the time of demobilisation.
He married Doris Brownsword in 1936 and lived firstly at 188, Derby Road, Shelton Lock and later at 275 Uttoxeter Road, Mickleover. It is as a sportsman that he is best remembered. He played rugby football for Derby Tigers RFC and upon amalgamation, with Derby RFC. In his playing days he was a fly half or centre, moving to the pack after the War. He captained the Tigers and became Chairman and later President of Derby RFC.
His rowing career was no less impressive. He won his Maidens at Burton Regatta in 1933 followed by three Junior wins at Boston, at Derby the Derwent Rowing Club Challenge Vase and at Nottingham the magnificent shield now on display at Holme Pierrepont, the latter two magnificent trophies to be later won by his grandson.
The following year he had four Senior wins at Boston, Burton, Derby and Shrewsbury. He was club Captain in 1935-1936 and Joint Regatta Secretary from 1946-1949 and from 1957-1966. He was an umpire officiating at Derby and local regattas. His sister Beryl and daughter Ann raced in the club’s Ladies’ Day Mixed Pairs in the days when ladies were not eligible for membership. His son and grandson appear elsewhere in the club’s history.
William Charles Marshall (1972-1983)
Although our previous two Presidents were well known in the rowing fraternity, Bill Marshall was the first to be known nationally if not worldwide. He was an engineer and patternmaker, whose career at Ley’s Malleable Castings (Sir Francis Ley had been a founder member) was cut short by ill health although he happily celebrated his eightieth birthday at the club.
Bill married Margaret (who was later to succeed him in office) in the 1950s and formed one of the sport’s best known and loved rowing partnerships. In particular, they were known for their work at Holme Pierrepont National Water Sports’ Centre in Nottingham. There they ran the Marshals’ Hut (not as popularly thought, named after them) at nearly all the regattas held at that venue including two World Rowing Championships (1975 and 1986). They both enjoyed membership of the RSPB and the Derbyshire Wildlife Trust.
Bill won his Maiden Fours at Stratford Regatta in 1938 and the following year he won Juniors at Hereford. The Second World War curtailed his career but as he was in a reserved occupation he was able to keep the club active, though of course, there were no regattas during the period of hostilities. He was to win again in 1954, the magnificent Wirral Challenge Vase for Junior-Senior Coxed Fours at Chester Regatta. In the club’s Annual Races he was to win the Java Bowl for the championship of the club in single sculls on three occasions.
Bill was Vice-Captain in 1940-1941, and again in 1947; Captain in 1941-1945 and in 1956-1958; Honorary Secretary 1959-1961; Assistant Secretary 1962-1966, and Treasurer with help from Margaret in 1954-1955. He was also an umpire and was one of the earliest ARA qualified coaches taking the first Bronze Award instigated by Bob Janousek the Chief National Coach. He had coached, on and off, over many years and belonged pre-1960 to the Fairburn School of Rowing, which was a little contentious in a predominantly Orthodox orientated club. However, he had good allies in Jim Stockley and Mike Seale. With the coming of Karl Adam and modern methods the arguments became history and of no importance.
Being a pattern maker by profession, Bill employed his skills for the benefit of the club for over two decades by becoming our specialist boat repairer. He carried out quality repairs to the broken ribs and cracks to shell and clinker construction boats which were all too common at that time. He also helped the boatman in re-leathering oars and buttons in the days before plastic sleeves and buttons.
A little known talent to the current generation was that belying his small stature, Bill was possessed of a strong voice. A good singing voice, coupled with a booming, clear capability often resulted in his being selected to be the Toastmaster at functions. He was an accomplished after-dinner speaker and had a fund of jokes, odes and some prose or poetry to enliven proceedings.
John Keith Partridge (1984-1990)
John Partridge, son of A.L.F. Partridge and grandson of A.C. Partridge was also a fourth generation surveyor, a line that was started by his great grandfather in 1872. After Articles in Nottingham he joined his father’s firm in Derby and went into partnership in 1967 in St Mary’s Gate, in the style of Partridge & Son FRICS.
He was educated at Ashgate School, Stainsby House, Smalley, and Denstone College, Uttoxeter, Staffs. where a lifetime interest in all sports was kindled. His first serious sports were Rugby Football, Rugby Fives and 0.303 Rifle Target Shooting. He managed to compete representatively in one way or another in fourteen different sports. He played for twenty years for Derby Rugby Football Club and was carded for the Derbyshire Under 19 XV. John, at college, played on the wing but played most of his club rugby at centre or fly half where he won the Endeavour Trophy, offered annually for meritorious service. He served on the Selection Committee and Executive Committee of DRFC for several seasons. With Vice-President, Adrian May, he was a founder member of the Derby Mercian Rugby Fives Club and also represented the Jesters Club.
John joined the Derwent Rowing Club whilst still at Denstone in 1954 but did not actively row until 1956, losing in the final of the Maiden Fours at Derby Regatta, his only event that year. He was fortunate enough to win his Maidens at Derby Regatta in the club’s centenary year. Until c.1965 regatta entry fees were paid for by the club and only selected crews or scullers were allowed to compete. Subsequently, only the Captain’s permission was required with members being responsible for their own costs and expenses. John eventually recorded twenty-nine regatta wins racing in all the types of boat available at the club during his active career. These included winning the Wirral Challenge Vase three times and losing the final one year by a one-foot verdict. He also won thirty-four times in club races and still holds the record in Mixed Pairs by astute selection of his rowing partners. He won three times with his wife Lesly and when racing boats were introduced, once with Kath Hill, and five times with Vice President, Christine Walker with whom he also completed the Boston Marathon, a timed race of thirty-four miles.
John was Vice Captain in 1961, Captain 1962-1964, Honorary Secretary 1965-1983, and Joint Honorary Regatta Secretary from 1970-1975, 1987-1990 and 1992-1994. He became an umpire in 1973 and a multi lane endorsed umpire in 1982. To date he has officiated at all but two National Championships, all but one Nottinghamshire International FISA Regattas, one World Championship and other FISA regattas held at Holme Pierrepont and at many local regattas through the years. He was an active coach, gaining the ARA Silver Award in 1973 and the ARA Gold Award in 1986. Some two hundred and twenty club regatta and head wins received coaching from him and seventeen individuals achieved some form of national or international representation, mostly starting from novice or senior C status.
Margaret I. Marshall (1991 - date)
Margaret is the club’s first Lady President as she had been the first Lady Honorary Secretary and Treasurer. Apart from the club’s Ladies’ Day races, when mixed racing in tub pairs was offered, Margaret has not rowed but off the water has made more than just a splash. The sports of her youth had been running and swimming and Margaret says that she wandered down to the river to watch her brother rowing at Derby School, a sport he chose because he could partake in it from a sedentary position. It was also an opportunity to reconnoitre the talent and it was here she met Bill Marshall. She comes from hardy stock, her father played at scrum half for Warrington Rugby League Club and showed his continuing resilience when Margaret was astounded to find him up a ladder painting his first floor windows when aged over ninety. Margaret is endowed with the same restless energy in a multitude of endeavours that time has not slowed.
For one who did not row, Margaret has had as full a life in the sport as could be imagined. A stalwart of the Derwent Club in all its activities and also extensively in the larger rowing world, she was awarded the ARA Medal of Honour at the 1990 Derby Regatta by Neil Thomas, President of the ARA, in recognition of her services to rowing. She also jointly received with Bill, her husband, on 25th May 1995 the Derby City Council’s Civic Award for services to the Sport of Rowing. Both reflected on her work at the National Water Sports Centre at Holme Pierrepont and for Nottinghamshire County Rowing Association, the ARA National Championships and other committees as well as the home club.
Margaret was Ladies’ Captain in 1980, Honorary Secretary 1990-1995 and 2001-2005, Assistant Honorary Secretary 1988-1991 and 1996-2000, and Treasurer 1973-1980. She took and passed the ARA Instructors’ Award Course at Holme Pierrepont run by Mark Lees, the NCRA coach. Margaret remains in office and a more complete account awaits.
DIGNITARIES, PERSONALITIES AND MEMBERS OF NOTE
Throughout the club’s history there have been members who fall into the above categories, whose accomplishments are not recorded elsewhere in this work, but form part of the rich tapestry that is the history of the Derwent Rowing Club
LORD HIVES OF DUFFIELD
Ernest W. Hives was probably our most distinguished member and his achievements are of international fame. He joined the club in 1911, his application form being dated 23rd March 1911. His address then was 34 Sale Street, Derby, his profession engineer and his proposer was our late President, John Gretton.
E.W. Hives came to Derby from Reading where he had been a cycle mechanic who had repaired the car of the Hon. Rolls and impressed him so much that he was recruited to join the new Rolls-Royce factory at Nightingale Road, Derby. He raced in the club races of 1912 and 1913 and served on the committee from 1912-1919. It is believed he still attended the occasional meeting in the 1930s.
He was to become possibly the most outstanding engineering administrator of the twentieth century, with his chairmanship of Messrs Rolls-Royce, manufacturers of the world’s leading luxury car and its most powerful aircraft engines. The nation’s gratitude for the latter should be unbounded for during his far-sighted leadership, it was with Derby-built Rolls-Royce Merlin engines that the Supermarine Spitfire, Hawker Hurricane and Boulton Paul Defiant fought the Battle of Britain. Incidentally it is not often mentioned, but the first prototype Messerschmitt BF-109 first flew with a Rolls-Royce engine as later did the first Mig-15. Later the Avro Lancaster and De Havilland Mosquito received Merlin engines and the first jet-powered aircraft to be declared officially operational in the Second World War, the Gloster Meteor was powered by a Rolls-Royce Welland and later Derwent centrifugal flow, jet engine. He initially refused a knighthood as he felt it had been a cooperative effort. Later he accepted the title of Lord Hives of Duffield, residing at the magnificent Duffield mansion retained by his firm for official entertaining. He was known affectionately as “H”.
SIR C. CLEMENT BOWRING
Clement Bowring was one of the club’s founding members. He won the Ladies’ Plate at the 1862 Regatta and raced in the first crew to win the Derwent Challenge Cup in 1863. He served as President from 1895 to 1899.
SIR FRANCIS LEY
Francis Ley came to Derby from Leek in Staffordshire and was a founder member of the club. He won the Trial Fours in 1865 and subsequently the Visitors’ Cup at that year’s Derby Regatta. He travelled to the United States of America and on his return founded the firm of Ley’s Malleable Castings, Colombo Street, Derby. He became a club Vice President and President of the new Derby Town Rowing Club (now known as the Derby Rowing Club) in 1881.
KNIGHTS OF THE REALM
Apart from the above, several other members had been or were to be knighted. Sir Henry H. Bemrose M.P. Kt was a Vice President and the Bemrose Grammar School was named after him. Sir E.T. Ann and Sir Thomas Roe were to become Mayors of the Borough and both had raced at club races and regattas.
Several Mayors were elected Vice Presidents whilst some active members attained that office in later life. The following members held the office of Mayor of Derby: John Gilbert Crompton 1857, Sir Henry Howe Bemrose 1877 and 1909, Sir Abraham Woodiwiss Senior 1880 and 1881, Charles Leech 1885, James William Newbold 1887, Abraham Woodiwiss Junior 1888 and 1901, Henry Boam 1895, Sir Thomas Roe 1896, Sir Edwin Ann 1898 and 1905, Thomas Fletcher 1899, Edgar Horne 1900, Cornelius Boam 1903, Robert Baker Chambers 1906, A. Simpson 1907, and William Blews Robotham 1908 and 1918.
Of the above, Edwin Ann, James Newbold, Thomas Roe, Charles Leech and Henry Boam are known to have been active members and raced at regattas or in the club races. Robert Chambers raced at Derby Regatta for Sawley Rowing Club and was probably an active member.
W.H. Worthington, who like A. Woodiwiss Senior and Junior, and R.B. Chambers had been President of the Derwent Rowing Club, was the first Mayor of the new Borough of Burton-upon-Trent.
William Heathcote, Mayor in 1898, was patron of two annual balls and the business partner of Edwin Partridge whose son, grandson, great-grandson and great-great-grandson were to be active members of the club. Another annual ball patron was Sir Alfred Seale Haslam, Mayor in 1908.
MEMBERS OF PARLIAMENT
Several Members of Parliament were to become Vice Presidents; Sir Henry Howe Bemrose, G. Drage, Col. Sir Henry Wilmot V.C. of Chaddesden Hall, Samuel Pimsoll of nautical engineering fame, Captain Arkwright, Michael Thomas Bass of brewing fame, and Sir Thomas William Evans, a club President for four years.
Parliamentary candidates included Captain Edward George Spencer Churchill, grandson of the 6th Duke of Marlborough who was a Vice President in 1906-1908 and a Conservative parliamentary candidate. Educated at Eton and Magdalene College, Oxford he served in the Boer and Great Wars, in the latter with the Grenadier Guards receiving the Croix de Guerre (avec palmes). He is best known for writing “a ground breaking illustrated book”, published in 1905/6 entitled “Tarpon Fishing in Mexico and Florida”. Copies of this are rare and still much sought after in the USA in the early twenty first century. He was High Sheriff of Worcestershire in 1924 an office held previously by his father. He died in 1964 and was unmarried. Another more recent ex-active member to stand for Parliament was Mark Reynolds.
JUSTICES OF THE PEACE
Apart from those above a few other members became Justices of the Peace. G.H. Strutt, Col. G. Gascoyne, VD. (Volunteer Decoration), W.G. Wilkins and J.J. Jenkins (photograph alongside).
The Bishop of Derby was a club Vice President in 1900.
Sir Henry Wilmot was a Vice President from its earliest days and became President of the new Derby Town Rowing Club 1881-1890 whilst maintaining his Derwent subscription. He was awarded the Victoria Cross for acts of bravery during the Indian Mutiny. C.H. Slater who raced at (3) in Bennett’s 1908 successful Junior Four won the Military Cross serving with the Irish Rifles during the Great War.
Pride of place must go to Lord Hives, Sir Francis Ley, and Abraham Woodiwiss Senior and Junior. However, several other members were to be successful in this field including: W. Walkerdine, steel manufacturer and stock holder; G.G. and W. Eggleston, trading as Eggleston Bros & Beatson, the business carried on by their nephew, Joseph “Seph” Burrows; Frank Levers who founded the firm, Flowery Pekoe Tips importing tea and coffee; Michael Seale who founded Derwent Packaging and took into partnership David Bevan later managing director; John Thomas who founded Shelton Engineering; and David Seale, inventor and man of all trades.
One of the founding members was F. Crump whose firm Thos. Crump of Friargate, Derby was a plumbers’ merchant. The firm applied for the patent for a wash down closet awarded to the more famous F. Crapper. Hence, the use of their family name in lavatorial jokes was narrowly averted.
There have been members of the legal profession amongst the club members from its foundation. B. Scott Currey, E. Bemrose, and W. Harvey Whiston, all founder members, were solicitors by profession. Subsequently E.J. Gadsby, J.H. Richardson, J. Gretton, B. Rowbottom, H.A.S. Duff, R.A.S. Wood, and M.L.J. Partridge have also become practising solicitors.
Auctioneers, surveyors and estate agents have also been well represented: W.W. Popplewell was a founder member of the Derbyshire and Staffordshire Branch of the then Chartered Surveyors’ Institute (now Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors). F. Brailsford was Estate Manager at Kedleston Hall and like Popplewell had been a captain of the club. A.C. and A.L.F. Partridge were chairmen of the Auctioneers and Estate Agents Institute Midland Counties Branch as had been E. Partridge. Great-grandson, J.K. Partridge became a chartered surveyor like his father. Frank Innes was to be founder of England’s largest chain of estate agents prior to its acquisition by Black Horse Agencies (Lloyds Bank); Michael J. McIntyre who worked in their Nottingham Office before taking a partnership in Leicester; F.S. Linnell of Richardson & Linnell, one of the town’s most respected agencies for much of the twentieth century; Trevor Raybould of Raybould & Son; J. Michael Warwick who founded a chain of offices in the Alfreton and Ripley areas; Phillip Bradley of Bradley & Co. and Philstan Properties; Stephen Boxall of Boxall, Brown & Jones are all previous active members.
Accountants also feature in the club’s history including, John J. Nicholson of Nicholson & Plant, Randy Goodwin, J.A.B. Nichols, A. Warren, Anthony Adams, John Foulds, Hedley Hunter, Richard Feasey, and Michael J. Seale who founded Derwent Packaging after having worked in South America for Standard Oil and in Belper for Silkolene.
PATRONS OF THE EARLY REGATTAS
Prior to 1903, the club ran Derby Regatta, sometimes with the assistance of Derby Corporation. This was often held on weekdays including Monday, Wednesday and Thursday and in these cases a Public Holiday was declared. Many distinguished members of the aristocracy and local and county dignitaries became patrons. Several also gave subscriptions to the club and attended official dinners and functions. These included: His Grace the Duke of Devonshire, His Grace the Duke of Portland, the Viscount Petersham, Lord Vernon, Lord Scarsdale, Lord Stanhope of Bretby, Lord Belper, at one time Landlord, Sir John Harpur Crewe, Sir Lionel Smith, Right Hon. Sir H. Wilmott V.C., Bt M.P., Sir J. Paxton, the Hon. G.N. Curzon, the Hon. & Rev. F. Curzon, the Hon. & Rev. A.L. Powys, the Hon. W.M. Jervis, and several High Sheriffs of the county including, W. Jessop, Col. Newdigate, G. Meynell, F.N. Mundy, G. Crompton and C.R. Colville.
It is pleasing to note that throughout the club’s history family connections are frequently seen, showing continuity and loyalty of which we are proud. The club archives in the earliest years give insufficient information to ascertain the actual relationship in some cases, be it father and son, brothers or even cousins. We must be cautious as commonality of name is not necessarily a sign of relationship and assumptions can be incorrect. Later we have husband and wife, fathers or mothers and daughters, brother and sister and sisters, but our founding members included two brothers which is where we start.
The club’s first Captain was F.G. Goodwin whilst his brother, G.H. Goodwin, was the first Honorary Secretary. The next apparent family racing connections were as early as the 1862 Derby Regatta when W.N. Adams rowed at three with C. Adams as cox, and at two in the same boat was E.J. Gadsby, brother of W. Gadsby. An H.F. Gadsby is listed as a member of a crew in 1871.
In 1869 the Derwent Rowing Club won the Drakelowe Cup for Senior Pairs at Burton Regatta. The crew was S. Le Blanc Smith and S. Le Blanc Smith, and the same name is shown as winning the Steers Cup for single sculls at Derby Regatta. Stuart Le Blanc Smith had won the Stewards’ at Henley Royal Regatta in 1868 rowing at bow in London Rowing Club’s four. Subsequently rowing for LRC, whose Captain he later became, he won the Grand Challenge Cup four times and added a further six wins in the Stewards’ and won in the Goblets.
H. Sherwin, who was captain from 1880-1881 was followed by his twin sons, W.R. “Bill” Sherwin, Captain from 1922-1925, and H.C. “Hal” Sherwin, Captain from 1926-1927, all eventful years for the Derwent Rowing Club. J.H. Richardson, Secretary from 1875-1877, was followed by his son H.S. Richardson who held that office from 1912-1913.
During the 19th century one family was to stand out. It started with E. Walley racing for the Silver Sculls at the 1860 Derby Regatta followed by three coxes, H. Walley in 1873, and then Arthur and Alfred who won the club’s Trials’ Fours at a later date. An A. Walley is shown as a cox in 1871; a J. Walley rowed in 1872; another J. Walley coxed the following year, as did an E. Walley; an H. Walley coxed in the Opening Races of 1888 and F. Walley raced. In fact at Leeds Regatta, Derwent entered a coxed four crewed by Walley (bow), Walley, Walley, Walley and Walley (cox), but they did not win. By any statistics that is a lot of Walleys!
In 1872 a crew list includes W.F. and G.H. Blaxter. In 1874 the famous Melbourne name of Earp appears with F. Earp winning at bow at Derby Regatta. In 1875 he won the Derwent Challenge Cup with E. Earp as cox. In the 1920s, R.S.A. Earp progressed from Maidens to Seniors rowing at two in Charles Broughton’s crew. Another local Derbyshire name of Morley first appears in 1872 with W. Morley stroking a Junior Four. E.J.W. Morley raced at three in Broughton’s crew and his son P.S. Morley was a successful Senior oarsman and Captain in 1961.
Another well known local family to feature in our history was the Horne family, with E. Horne winning pairs at stroke with L.H. King at Nottingham Regatta, and as H. Horne and E. Horne at Derby Regatta in 1903. At Worcester Regatta, the crew of S. Horne (bow), W. Horne, H. Horne, E. Horne and Westmorland (cox) beat a Nottingham Rowing Club crew containing G.W. King (bow), L.H. King and C.K. King. E. Horne is legendary because, after coaching successful crews, at the age of fifty he substituted in the club’s great 1920s four at stroke to win Senior Fours at Bedford Regatta.
Whilst there are many name commonalities in the 19th century, relationships cannot today be easily proved. More recently we have Arthur C. Partridge being a member in 1895, his father Edwin being listed in a club address book, and his son, A. Leslie F. Partridge becoming a senior oarsman of the club in the 1930s. Then his son John K. Partridge and grandson, Mark L. J. Partridge became club senior oarsmen. For a short period Mark’s sister Carolyn also rowed. G.N. May was an active member in the 1920s, followed by Adrian E. L. May and his son Paul May who rowed in a club novice crew in 1980. Robert M. Hood was followed by his brother Ian and daughter Janet.
Charles W. Broughton, a successful senior stroke in the 1920s, and his brother W.S. Broughton were followed by Charles’ son David who in 1954 won Maidens at Nottingham. Fellow crew member Michael J. Seale had two brothers, Robin and David, who became coxes. Both David and Michael became senior oarsmen. A contemporary coxswain of a very high order was Derek Vickers followed by his brother Barry Vickers and Derek’s talented son Mark. The former also became a senior oarsman and competent sculler, and Mark, too, raced successfully. A.H. (Tony) Baker won his Maidens in 1953 and was followed by his son Gary who was a successful cox and later a successful oarsman. Tony’s daughter, Lorraine, joined Derby Rowing Club’s women’s section at a time when Derwent did not admit the fairer sex, and raced for Great Britain in the double sculls. Tony went into business making boat parts and accessories and training sculling boats. A fleet of these was ordered for the National Water Sports Centre at Holme Pierrepont when it opened.
Ron Spencer, an active member in the 1930s and a Vice President in the 1950s had identical twin daughters, Anne and Janet, who regularly raced on Ladies’ Day in the late 1950s. They caused great hilarity at one Bewdley Regatta when escorted by Eddie Hilyer and Peter Morley with an unannounced girl friend swap.
Joining originally as a cox, Colin Bramwell became a successful oarsman and Captain. His family gave their full support with father Walter becoming bar manager and his mother Enid becoming the second lady Vice President in recognition of her service to the club. Following shortly behind was sister Pauline who had a successful rowing career to rival her brother’s. John Smith, Walter’s successor as bar manager was also to be elected a Vice President. He introduced his daughter Annette to the club and she was successful as a Junior, representing England in the Anglo-French Match and being part of the GBR Squad, but unable to continue due to the expense and geographical considerations. She had a very successful club career and was joined by her brother Paul who for a time was part of the club’s successful junior squad of 1983/4.
John Steer, who had earlier coxed at Derby Rowing Club, joined Derwent as a Maiden oarsman and his two brothers, Michael and Martin coxed Derwent crews at regattas. Another family of the 1970s included Michael Hill, an active member, followed by brothers Ian, a successful sculler and Robert, a successful junior oarsman. All were to be eclipsed by the success of Michael’s wife Kathleen Hill, the stroke of Derwent’s first successful women’s crew. They were followed by nephews, Matthew and Nicky Hill, firstly as coxes and then as oarsmen. Three brothers, Francis, David and Duncan Hales have coxed, the first two also being successful as oarsmen or scullers, and father John was elected a Vice President for services to the club. Another family involved with active rowing started with Adrian Bishop, powerful stroke of the 1973/4 successful four; his wife Maxine, bow of the successful women’s four above; her sister Joy Ruane and her husband Michael; and Maxine’s brother Paul Shorthose, a successful cox and junior oarsman.
To finish this chapter of family relationships, the following is a list showing the names of active family members where only one is generally remembered by many members. They are all brothers or sisters except where noted.
A.E. and L.W. Thurman Will and John Swain
Jeff and Clive Morgan Paul and Alan Roberts
Roger and Ian Swindall Nigel and Karen Jackson
Graham and Ian Radford Rose and David Jones
Michael and Ian McIntyre Michael and Mary-Louise Colville
Eddie Whitehead and cousins Peter and John Hilary and Alison Bailey
John and Bill Vickerman Paula and Helen Pearce
Robin and Alan Knott Sue and Sharon Sanghera
Peter and David Bevan Lee and Paul Davison
OUR HISTORY 1957 TO 1981
The first mention of the club is a short note which appeared in the Derby Mercury on the 25th November, 1857 under the heading ‘Derby Aquatics’ and stated: “We are happy to learn that an attempt is being made to revive a taste for rowing. A Club has been formed, and already upward of twenty members have joined, and expect before long to have four oared and other boats in use.” It also added that the Derby Rowing Club would represent the town at nearby regattas.
It is interesting that the newspaper calls it the Derby Rowing Club and a lifebelt thus marked appears on an early club photograph. The following year the paper calls it the Derbyshire Rowing Club. The foundation meeting was held at the Kings Head Hotel, once the town’s premier coaching inn, situated in the Cornmarket; not St Mary’s Gate as stated in our previous publication. The club’s headquarters, however, was the much closer, the Lamb Inn in St Alkmund’s churchyard. Both are now demolished due to road widening , the former in the 19th Century to make way for St James’s Street widening, and the latter some hundred years later for St Alkmund’s Way.
Below is one of the earliest club photographs pre-1865 showing several founder members.
This was the first full year of the club’s activities. The records and logbooks covering much of the 19th century have been lost, but it is known that a Challenge Race was held on Monday 9th August 1858 when a crew assembled at 6.00 p.m., representing the “new Derbyshire Rowing Club”, to race the Leander Club, of Burton-on-Trent. The crew comprised J. Wollaston (bow, 11st 7lbs), E. Calvert (11st 7lbs), G. Cox (12st), B. Scott Currey (stroke, 11st) and Fawkes (cox, 9st). The Burton crew was J. Brow (bow, 10st 6lb), G. Kendal (10st 5lb), F. Gretton (11st 7lb), J. Whitehurst (stroke, 9st),
Wright (cox, 9st 9lb). A weight advantage was not greatly regarded in the days of fixed seat boats and coaches tended to regard with suspicion oarsmen over 11st 7lb. The Derbyshire crew won the toss and chose the Darley Side. The course was over one mile from the Bar at Darley Abbey to St Mary’s Bridge. The Derby crew won by three lengths. A waterman’s race then took place and the proceedings were completed by a sumptuous meal at the Royal Hotel situated in Victoria Street. A return match was arranged for Tuesday 17th August and the Derby crew met at the Royal Hotel for carriage to Burton. Unfortunately Wollaston was ill, so a substitute, Mr Dolman, was found and this changed the betting odds significantly. The race started at 6.00p.m and this time the Burton crew won by three lengths. It was noted that the crowded riverbank was considerably more sporting than at Derby where there was a hooligan element. A dinner followed at the White Hart Hotel.
On 24th June under the name of Derby Aquatics, the club played a game of cricket against the Derbyshire County Cricket Club, though the current Derbyshire Cricket Club was not founded until 1870. The rowing club fielded twenty-two players and scored only ninety-two, whilst the cricket club playing with eleven men scored two hundred and thirty. The embarrassed oarsmen’s team comprised the first list of members known and were, E. Peach, G. Meynell, J.B. Helm, W. Hams, W. Copestake, Richardson, S. Levers, R.J. Boden, G. Cox, B. Scott Currey, G. Patmore, Rev. F. Fawke, Sisson, T. Geestham, A. Wilmot, W. Rowe, F. Borough, R. Storey, J. Johnson, J. Wollaston and J. Dolman. Some fifty years later the Derwent Rowing Club was to run an Association Football team quite successfully for a few years and in the early 1960s Derwent beat Derby Rowing Club in a Boxing Day rugby football match at the Derby Rugby Football Club ground at Kedleston Road.
The following year saw the founding, or some sources state the re–founding, of Derby Regatta by the Derwent Rowing Club but that history of the club is told in the “Centenary 1857-1957” book and we shall take up the story from where it left off fifty years ago.
1957 CENTENARY YEAR
The year started with enthusiasm and purpose with keenly contested club Opening Races and as was common at that time, the health of a club was measured in its Maiden (now Novice) wins. The club saw three crews win Maiden Fours. The four stroked by Reg Hibbert comprising three Stanley College schoolboys, Ian McIntyre, Peter Morley and Reg Hibbert with the addition of Dick Smith started the season well with a win at Burton and were thereafter very competitive at Junior level, reaching several finals and winning at Gloucester. A sculler of great promise, Jeff Morgan, (3) man in Tony Selby’s crew of Bemrose Grammar School boys the previous year and coached by club Captain Bill Marshall won his Maidens and Juniors. Jeff, who was 6ft 5in, later sculled for the Royal Air Force where he became an electronics officer and then a pilot on V bombers.
A Centenary Invitation Regatta was held on the 24th of August with sixteen crews racing in matched clinker fours. The winning crew representing Nottingham Britannia Rowing Club was M.C. Clay (bow), R.J. Nicholson, K. Simmons, R.W. Carr and J. Booth (cox), two of whom were future GB internationals beating the Derwent A crew of R.T. Smith (bow), P.S. Morley, J. Morgan, R.L. Hibbert and I. White (cox).
A Centenary Dinner was held on 4th May at the St James’ Restaurant. The principal speaker was G.O. “Gully” Nickalls, Chairman of the ARA. He was an Olympic silver medallist and had won the Grand Challenge Cup at Henley a record seven times. He said, “I have an idea that all through their history Derwent Rowing Club, in spite of minor disagreements, has been the happiest club, almost in the whole world.” Other speakers included W. R. Sherwin, W.C. Marshall (Captain), The Mayor of Derby, Councillor Christmas, A.L.F. Partridge, and the President, John Gretton.
In 1958 at the annual dinner at Ramsden’s Restaurant in the Cornmarket the new President Leslie Partridge presented the retiring President John Gretton with a sculling blade lamp stand with a club crest on its shade. John had been a member for fifty-two years, and was a much respected and successful coach. A practising Derby solicitor with offices in St Mary’s Gate, his professional partner J. Richardson, a club Vice President, was also present. On 9th March, two new clinker fours built by Roland Sims of Trentside in Nottingham were named in honour of our previous two presidents, “John Gretton” and “Frank Norton”.
1959 saw the first of sixteen sculling wins by Reg Hibbert, his boat being a twenty-first birthday present from his parents who kept the “Every Arms” at Eggington. They also threw a party for him to which most of the club was invited and this proved to be a memorable occasion for those who could remember it.
The senior crew, stroked by Bert Stafford with Dick Smith replacing Michael Seale, continued its winning ways when they returned from university for the vacation. Michael Seale had qualified as a Chartered Accountant and sought fame and/or fortune with the global oil companies in South America.
Two unsuccessful, but noteworthy Maiden Fours raced for the club and reached finals at several regattas. The first was stroked by Peter West, a member of Leander Club and winning stroke in the Oxford University Torpids bumping races. He had also stroked Balliol College to the final of the Ladies’ Plate at Henley and won on the Bosbaan in Holland. At (3) was Eddie Hilyer who had won the fine fours division of the Head of the Trent and at (2) was John Glaves who had been racing at junior level. Bow was Graham Radford who had experienced racing as a junior and during National Service in Germany. This was no ordinary crew, but Peter refused to rate above 28 at that stage of the crew’s development and displayed a length and style unusual at this level. However, with most entries for Maiden Fours amounting to between twenty and thirty, there were always one or two crews of experience who had sufficient technique, fitness, determination and more commitment to racing than this Derwent crew had. The other promising crew of three ex-Bemrose and one Derby School boy of John Ratcliffe (bow), John Kyle, John Foulds and Hedley Hunter were willing to rate as high as the race dictated but also just failed to win at several regattas. Hedley was a real character with a flamboyant temperament. On qualifying as a Chartered Accountant like Mike Seale before him, he sought a position overseas and went to Rhodesia.
The fleet increased after the purchase of a new fine four built by Roland Sims of Trentside, Nottingham. This was to replace or supplement the Salter boat purchased in 1932 which had a low freeboard, shallow and narrow hull and whilst considered fast had been difficult to sit. This was now losing stiffness and had several replaced ribs. The new boat, later named “The Sherwins”, after the twin brother Vice-Presidents, proved a somewhat sturdy but heavy boat.
In 1960 and 1961, Reg Hibbert continued to impress and received some coaching from A.L. Sulley, a Boat Race Blue, Olympic silver medallist and Commonwealth Games team manager who lived at Quarndon. Reg appeared on national television reaching the final of the Open Sculling event at the Serpentine Regatta. Today, he would be classed as a lightweight whereas most of his opposition were taller and heavier. The rowing world outside the USA was not yet ready for lightweight rowing. Unfortunately the promising oarsmen who had gone to university mainly followed careers away from Derby and Peter Morley, like Reg, also turned to sculling with some success but some neglect of new members and lesser oarsmen ensued.
In 1962, the new Captain placed great emphasis on recruitment and novice oarsmen. Frank Garratt and Charles Broughton assisted him as coaches. Though only three wins were recorded, the club managed to enter the remarkable number of five Maiden Fours at Derby Regatta. This brought some criticism of the Captain who was vindicated by later results when three of the winning Derwent crew reached eventual Senior A status, and so did three of the “E” crew. It was probable that if all these crews had not been allowed to race they would have been lost to the sport.
In 1963 two Maiden crews won, one containing two ex-coxes David Seale and Derek Vickers. Their cox John Brien was to win later at Senior A level with David. The other crew members were Graham Varney and Clive Morgan, brother of Jeff and 6ft 4ins tall. The second crew who contested several finals were club stalwarts Dick Carlier (bow), Mike Jenkins, Graham Radford and Adrian May.
Several Maiden and Junior Fours raced unsuccessfully in 1964 until late in the season a new Maiden Four was formed and coached by John Partridge, comprising Peter Rowbottom (bow), “Hodge” Taylor, Peter Watson, Ian White and T. Beckett (cox). They were to win twice at the end of that season. Following disagreement with the new Captain Michael Seale in 1965, the crew moved to Derby Rowing Club next door. They were the first crew coached at the club to reflect the new order in training and coaching flowing from the revolutionary teachings of Dr Karl Adam of the Ratzeburger Ruder Academy and the West German Federation. The ARA in light of this had appointed Jim Railton as Director of Training. The above crew used his weight circuit set for the GB silver medal Olympic coxless four, and embarked on timed interval rowing to great effect.
Previously most club crews had been coached from the bank, the coach usually stationary, stopping the crew from time to time to correct faults or emphasise some aspect of technique. Most training was steady state rows from Bridge to Bar and back - a distance of one mile. Some regatta course trials were carried out and start practice of up to forty strokes or so. The club had Opening Races in April and Closing Races in September after which little rowing was done until the spring. Many members played rugby football and some soccer during the close season. That was all to change, as was the having a pint before a race at regattas, though one or two afterwards continued.
Karl Adam, a schoolteacher at Ratzeburg initially, had coached a local sculler Von Ferson and in so doing developed several scientific aspects of competitive rowing. Whilst this took him into the realm of boat and oar blade design and rigging it was the biomechanical aspects of technique and training that quickly affected our sport. The new type of equipment that resulted was designed to be adjustable to suit the crew member and not the other way round. Training was now year round and other sports injuries would not be tolerated. Schedules used knowledge gleaned from middle distance athletics and were influenced by the Freiberg Pulse Rate Theory.
A principal object was to train the heart and this required maximal heart rate exertion followed by a short recovery period and then repeated. To achieve the necessary condition and power, out of the boat training was required, principally heavy resistance weight training. The principal lifts advised were the two-hand snatch, the power clean, the deep squat, the bench press and the bench pull. Other exercises such as the curl, dead lift, clean and jerk and one or two others could be included. Weights were lifted functionally with the barbell or bar not being returned to the floor during repetitions. The typical session was five sets of five repetitions for maximal strength gain and maximum tests carried out once a month. The Harvard Step Test was also introduced as part warm-up and condition indicator. The story continues but things have changed.
In 1965, Michael Seale who had returned to the UK took over as Captain and chief coach. Having become fully versed in the new methods and liaising with Cliff and Dennis Booth of Nottingham Britannia Rowing Club, the former having visited Ratzeburg, these were introduced to the active membership. Three Junior wins were recorded and a Maiden win which included two county rugby players in Chris Tomlinson and Andy Duff. This year was partly affected by the boathouse extension and improvements being carried out.
1966 saw the realisation of the hard work carried out the previous year. The first eight win since the 19th Century when M. Seale, D. Vickers, J.E. Steer, P.T. Whitehead, C. Morgan, J.P. Kyle, J.K. Partridge, D.I. Seale, I. Woodhouse (cox) won Junior Senior Eights at Leeds. The crew had trained at Nottingham with Nottingham Britannia, both coached by Cliff Booth, and raced intervals of 500 metres in the locks near Holme Pierrepont, the National Water Sports Centre being then a twinkle in Cliff’s eye. Some full head course rows took place usually resulting in a drubbing as only Britannia were aware of the schedule, distances and number of repetitions. However, when the crews raced at Peterborough Regatta, Derwent won comfortably to the surprise of the coach and his other crew. Maiden Fours were now known as Novice Fours as political correctness began to arrive. The club was to win three Novice Four events.
On 19th October 1966 Harold Ives East Midlands ARA representative and President of Nottingham and Union RC officially opened the boathouse extension. The club now had electricity, mains water showers and toilets, and a new bar. Ives said, “That Derwent Rowing Club had experienced its ups and downs, but as fitting for one of the oldest clubs in the country, they still have and always had, a good name for Sportsmanship.” The building works were carried out by Ken Partridge Ltd (no relation to the president) at a cost of £3,000. Present was Hal Sherwin aged 79 who joined the club with his twin brother in 1905 and also Henry Hockey of the same age who had joined in 1907.
On a wet Saturday in 1967, Mrs Doris Partridge christened the new coxed four “Leslie Partridge” in honour of the club President A.L.F. Partridge. It was a new design based on Thames Rowing Club’s Stampfli built boat, built by George Sims (Racing Boats) Ltd of Eel Pie Island. It featured a deep hull, with long bows and a short stern. The finish was impressive with a deep mahogany style hull and golden saxboards and beading, with mid-blue canvases. The riggers, made by club Vice-President A.H. Baker were of Reynolds’ 531 tube finished in metallic light blue and having patent blue plastic coated swivels. Peter Bevan’s junior crew first raced the boat at Derby Regatta. Several clubs took great interest in it and it proved a successful boat for the club.
Three very promising juniors, John Brien, David Harley and Austin Bagguley formed part of the squad, and the first two raced successfully at Kingston Head, St Neots, and Shrewsbury in a Junior-Senior four with David Seale (bow) and Peter Bevan with Charlie Broughton as coach. Unfortunately the full potential of this crew was not realised as Harley’s parents moved from Derby. In 1968 the club entered an eight in the Head of the River Race and continued to do so for a few years. The Captain Mike Seale started coaching a novice/junior four stroked by John Whelan an ex-Derby School oarsman with Terry Bonshor at bow or (3), David Bevan, brother of Peter at (2), and with either David Twells or John Thomas as the other crew member. This crew became the nucleus of the following year’s successful senior crew. Meanwhile David Seale with Peter Bevan won Senior Coxless Pairs at Burton, Chester and Merseyside and one round in the race for the Silver Goblets and Nickalls Challenge Cup at Henley. John Brien confusingly won two Junior Sculls events (an adult status) and one Cadet Sculls event (junior by age).
In 1969, the Junior-Senior crew of John Partridge (bow), David Bevan, Terry Bonshor, Len Hepton-Furniss, Paul Roberts (cox), coached by Mike Seale won three times and then won Senior Fours whilst doubling up at Bradford, where Ian Woodhouse substituted as cox. The crew was entered for the Britannia Cup at Henley and lost in an exciting close race in the preliminary races. Originally Twells had been selected but did not have the availability. The resulting crew would today be classed as lightweight and Len was prepared to race at rates of 40 or higher, winning several races from behind. Fitness levels reached new heights. Pre-outing “warm-ups” included 2-4 mile runs, intensive circuits, 6 x 400 metre sprints or Harvard Step TeSt Most outings were extensive intervals of up to 8 x 500 metres or repetition courses of up to 4 x 1,000 metres.
Peter Bevan won with David Seale and Keith Speed of Nottingham Britannia in pairs whilst rowing with Midlands Nautilus - the ARA elite squad. Andrew Duff won Novice Sculls and Juniors and missed another at Bradford when, cruising with some style over two lengths up on the eventual winner, he “steamed up the bank like an express train off the rails” according to the Derby Evening Telegraph. Duff was another talented athlete, a White City medallist in the 220-yard sprint as a schoolboy, he played for the first XV at Denstone, Derby RFC and Derbyshire.
In 1970, on Sunday 5th April a sponsored row was held. The event started with the senior four of Partridge, David Bevan, Bonshor and Hepton-Furniss at stroke. Single sculler David Seale started with the four that rowed for twenty-four miles. An eight with changing personnel rowed throughout the day. Amongst the crew were Charles Broughton aged over 70 and other veterans including Bill Marshall and John Nicholson. To the surprise of many, but not to themselves, Twells and May clocked the greatest mileage achieved that day, rowing for thirty miles each.
Andy Duff stroked three members who joined in the 1950s, Ken Buckley, Bob Hood and David Twells to win Juniors at Leeds but on two other occasions the crew was unfortunate to meet a good Balliol College, Oxford crew who narrowly beat them. A promising junior crew of Kevin Titterton, Kevin O’Donnell and Steve Allsop with Nick Pritchard at stroke won their Novices at Shrewsbury.
1971 saw the pair of Terry Bonshor and David Seale coached by Dennis Booth and Mike Seale win four times as Senior or Unclassified and entered at Henley Royal Regatta where they won their first heat. Booth also coached the coxed pair of John Partridge and Len Hepton-Furniss who lost in three finals. In one of these they lost by just one foot to Speed and Hubbard of Nottingham Britannia after four gruelling heats in a very high temperature.
In 1972, Dennis Booth coached a new Senior A four of Partridge, Titterton, Limbert, and Hepton-Furniss who won four times and raced in several finals. After the first regatta bow and two changed seats but not sides, to even the power. Progress had resulted in training intensifying. Typically, a warm-up of 6 x 400 metre sprints at an average time of 1 minute 5 seconds with a rest between repetitions of 1 minute 30 seconds was required prior to water training. Sometimes a crew run of about two miles was done or if no water outing, a six mile timed run was done. At Chester, John Limbert started a great career by winning his Novices at Senior A level which was a considerable achievement.
1973 was to be a milestone year in the club’s history. Women were admitted to membership for the first time. The club initially referred to Ladies but the ARA was insistent that the former was the correct term. Applications quickly followed and our first Women’s Novice Four of Maxine Bishop (wife of Adrian), Kathleen Hill (wife of Michael), Lesley Rice (later Titterton), Eve Greensmith (stroke, later Stilwell) and Anne Baiks (cox, later Limbert) raced at Birmingham and Leicester Regattas. These were the trailblazers for soon women without a previous connection with the club would start to take up the sport.
In earlier years at the club’s Ladies’ Day races, club members could invite the lady of their choice to race in tub pairs or coxed pairs. Miss Lesly Corden (later Partridge) and Miss Marian Grief both won three times in these races. After 1973 these races were held in racing boats and the pair of John Partridge and Christine Walker was the most successful with five wins. Following the enlarged membership, the first two Lady Vice Presidents were elected in 1982, Margaret Marshall and Edith Bramwell.
Bow pair and stroke pair of the 1972 Senior A four successfully competed in pairs, the former of Partridge and Titterton in coxless and coxed, and the latter, Limbert and Hepton-Furniss in coxed boats coached by Booth. Later in the season joined by Bishop at stroke with Twells, they formed a Senior A four of great promise with an average weight of over 14 stone with Partridge as coach.
In 1974, the highlight of the year was to be the women with two successful crews. Kath Hill’s crew, with Bishop, Baiks and Rice won Novices at York Spring with the very experienced Mark Vickers at cox. Then, with cox Gary Baker at the helm, they won one Senior B and three Unclassified Four events - a feat unlikely to be achieved by a provincial male crew.
Whilst the promising 1973 Senior A four was handicapped by Twells being unavailable for most of the season through illness, a one off entry in Elite B Fours of Partridge, Titterton and Limbert with Neil Borthwick (a Senior C oarsman) at stroke, won at Northwich Sprint Regatta. They beat Birmingham twice (repechage system) and Northwich, both very successful crews at Senior A and Elite during the season.
Another new state of the art coxed four boat was acquired, named “Frank Levers” and christened this time in champagne by Levers himself. He joined the club in 1919 and was one of our most distinguished oarsmen. The boat was built by Salter Bros. Ltd and fitted with A.H. Baker riggers. Another deep hull boat but without saxboards it was initially very popular though some crews preferred the George Sims (Racing Boats) boat, “Leslie Partridge”, acquired in 1967.
Club President, Bill Marshall was a successful candidate on the first ARA Bronze Coaching Award Course that the new ARA Head Coach, Bob Janousek, had set up.
1975 saw the flowering of John Limbert as a single sculler. Having won Novices and a Senior C event the previous year, he added to his score another ten wins including three at Elite level at Derby, Leeds and Stourport Regattas. Also spectacular and noteworthy, Christine Walker, who like John Limbert had been coached by John Partridge, became the club’s first female winning sculler. She won her Novices Sculls at York Summer Regatta and won Senior A’s at Burton beating the previous year’s GBR women’s double sculler, Lorraine Baker of Derby RC, sister of Gary, a Derwent cox, and daughter of Tony, Vice President of Derwent Rowing Club. Christine won Novice Fours as stroke of the second women’s crew, won twice in Unclassified Fours and reached the National Championship Women’s Coxless Pairs final with Anne Limbert at stroke.
Coach John Partridge achieved the ARA Silver Coaching Award and subsequently held an ARA Instructors’ Award Course at the club. It was the largest course held that year attracting local club members as well those from clubs in neighbouring counties and physical training instructors in general education. The course formed part of a popular scheme to “coach the coaches”.
In 1976, only three wins occurred but both the men’s and women’s squads reached several finals. The club’s photograph album records what today would be politically incorrect, that at Stourport Regatta the Ladies’ Four was not the most successful but was the most attractive to have represented the club.
Christine Walker attended the women’s national selection trials just missing out in final selection. At that time there was no women’s international lightweight category. She competed in the Scullers Head of the River Race and reached the final of the Women’s Singles at the National Championships at Holme Pierrepont beating the other half of the 1974 International Double Sculls. Her training with coach John Partridge included outings on the Trent and use of the National Water Sports Centre at Holme Pierrepont. They finished the season rowing a Mixed Coxless Pair in the Boston Marathon.
John Partridge held a second ARA Instructors’ Course with a record thirty-eight attending. Derwent provided the youngest successful candidate, Colin Bramwell and the oldest, the already very experienced Dennis Booth. Two members, John Limbert and Christine Walker went on and gained the Bronze Award.
1977 was a consolidation year with only five successes but several competing crews. A notable event was the arrival of Vi Green from Derby Rowing Club, a charismatic motivator, competitor and coach for the young women’s squad. John Limbert, now a physical training instructor in the RAF could only represent the club twice although he raced for the RAF in fours and in the Thames Cup at Henley, soliciting the services of his old coach from the Derwent as one of the official RAF coaches. A veteran four of Foley, May, Partridge, Hood and Walker (cox) completed the Boston Marathon with stroke and two changing at Bardney.
1978 saw the contested election of the youthful Colin Bramwell. With considerable help from his parents, Wally and Enid, and support from sister Pauline a new feeling of optimism ensued resulting in thirty-two wins. Morale returned to great heights.
A very competent coaching squad of Dennis Booth, John Partridge, Len Hepton-Furniss, and Vi Green was assembled. The arrival the previous year of the actor and multinational oarsman Lewis Hancock, eligible to represent GBR, Canada, USA, England and Wales proved to be a breath of fresh air. John Partridge was still coaching John Limbert, now posted to RAF Newton, as the RAF sculler had been provided with a new Empacher boat to train at Holme Pierrepont. It was obvious that Hancock, a lightweight, had considerably more talent and watermanship than his status of Senior C would suggest and Partridge took him under his wing and coached and trained the two scullers together on the Derwent, Trent and at Holme Pierrepont. Both were entered for national trials and the Scullers Head. Limbert spent some of his time as the pace maker for GBR sculler Tim Crooks coached by John Pilgrim Morris at Thorpe Park. The effect on Hancock was startling, with twelve single and two double scull wins and a National Championship silver medal losing by less than a canvas to the GBR select lightweight double scull.
Another noteworthy newcomer was the club’s youngest competitor and fourth generation member Mark Partridge, aged 11. Coached by Dennis Booth, he raced in Under 14 Sculls at St Ives and represented the region in the Under 14 Relay at the National Championships.
The women’s squad was particularly successful with the return of Kathleen Hill and Lesley Titterton who with Pauline Bramwell at bow and Vi Green at stroke won one Unclassified Four and two Elite events. An interesting Novice Four comprising Mark Vickers (bow, son of Derek), Mark Reynolds (later to stand for Parliament), Gary Baker (son of Tony) and Alan Roberts (stroke, brother of Paul) coxed by Paul Baker, won at Evesham Sprint Regatta, one of four wins and three other finals that day.
A coxed four was purchased from the new firm Carbocraft, managed by the ex National Coach Bob Janousek. This was the first of the innovative composite material boats using carbon fibre recently invented for the aerospace industry. Coloured jet black, the one-piece hull had originally been produced in eight form, but not used, at the 1976 Olympic Games in Montreal. The boat was very stable and the new riggers were fully adjustable except for lateral pitch, which few had heard of in those days. The colour black proved a marketing but not user success for the heat soak on a hot day could scald or burn and produce distortion. The boat was recalled for repainting by the manufacturer. The boat was named “Seph Burrows” in memory of the popular Vice President.
In 1979, Colin Bramwell moved to Denmark where he worked as a disc jockey. Des Cook took over the Captaincy and another successful season ensued with nineteen wins. Noteworthy was the veteran four of Jim Giltrap (bow), Keith Bunyan, John Partridge, Terry Bonshor and Francis Hales (cox). Their first regatta was not worthy of note and so they decided to take things seriously by persuading Christine Walker to coach them. Despite Giltrap’s initial chauvinism, he was soon convinced and five wins and three closely lost finals followed including third place in the FISA Veterans’ Regatta held at Holme Pierrepont. At York they beat Birmingham RC’s very successful Elite four. An entry had been made in The Head of the River Race and the following crew rowed, going up 179 places - Giltrap (bow), Adams, Morson, Cook, Partridge, Bunyan, Bonshor, Bramwell and Walker (cox).
In 1980 Lewis Hancock was the most successful competitor. The club took delivery of a new eight, their first brand new eight since World War II. Named “J.J. Hollingworth” by the Vice President of the same name it was a Carbocraft boat and immediately popular. The club lost its way a little with amongst other problems, an involvement in Heavy Metal Rock Nights and some of the less popular associations with that genre leading to strong objections from several outside quarters.
In 1981 after an acrimonious election of officers Terry Bonshor was elected Captain and normality resumed. In the Veteran C Four win at Leicester the cox, A. Guest is not a pseudonym but Andy, who later became coach at the Kings School, Worcester and later Yarm School. The winning Veteran B Four coached by Booth and Walker contained three members of the 1969 senior crew.
A Senior C Eight of W. Steen (bow), J. Heathcote, A. Campion, A. Quentin, P. Jones, N. Jackson, V. McKee, C. Brundle and K. Jackson (cox) raced well at Stourport Regatta, losing in the final to Lea Rowing Club by half a length. The bow four then raced in Fine Boat Novice Coxed Fours at Oxford City Regatta winning two heats easily, but then losing by one length to Thames Tradesmen. On enquiry, their opposition, who broke the Senior B record, and appeared somewhat physically mature, turned out to be four members of a visiting New Zealand Rugby touring side showing their versatility.
The following years were to be a new era in the club’s sporting history.
OUR HISTORY 1982 to 2007
In 1982 Keith Bunyan became Captain and together with Len Hepton-Furniss started a recruitment drive. Many club members and associates assisted and noticeably a dozen or so juniors and novices joined the club. Amongst the U15 squad, several joined under the auspices of Peter Rowbottom and a football team. There was some potential here and when Lewis Hancock brought down Richard Williams with his school friend Robert Noble and John Partridge brought back his son Mark who had some experience, an outstanding crew was in prospect. John took two coxed fours to the ARA Easter Junior U16 Training Camp at Holme Pierrepont. Although they were U15 the first crew distinguished itself. Their first outing was a four mile Nottingham Head course time trial, turn round and repeat the other way. This was no easy weekend. The subsequent results are recorded elsewhere, but suffice to say, the first four have 165 individual wins in club colours. The coach placed great emphasis on small boat confidence, competition and technique as well as crew training. Land training was also exhaustive. Len Hepton-Furniss took charge of the second four. Meanwhile the club seniors comprising Steve Playdon, Steve Morson, Stan Boland, Graeme Hogg (who joined us from Cambois RC), Mike Colville and Bill Steen were also very promising and the future looked bright.
A Veteran C Eight raced at the North of England, Nottingham and London Heads comprising at London: Peter Watson (bow), Jolyan Smith, John Partridge, Terry Bonshor, Brian Cooper, Mike Dance, Mervyn Theaker, Phil Phillips and Christine Walker (cox).
For the club’s 125th year some celebrations to mark the year were planned. A dinner for male members and guests took place in March at the Ristorante La Gondola, Osmaston Road for which a special wine glass engraved with the club’s crest was commissioned. The principal speaker was Michael Sweeney, Cambridge University BC, Nottingham and Union RC, Leander, and later Chairman of Henley Royal Regatta. He proposed the Toast of Rowing, and said Derwent had always
been known as a happy club. The Response was made by Lewis Hancock and The Toast to the Club by Piers Dutton of Loughborough RC with a hilarious Response by Cedric Faulkner of Derwent Rowing Club who said the first thing he learned about rowing was his coach telling him never to go to a regatta without taking a toilet roll with him!
1983 was to be an excellent year. The Junior U16 crew of Tyndyk, Noble and Williams with Partridge at stroke won six times and represented England North in the annual France v England Match at Mantes-la-Jolie, France in a combined eight with Nottingham Britannia. This eight then raced at Derby Sprint Regatta as Senior C losing by a quarter length to Leeds University in the final.
Amongst the club’s twenty-one wins was a Novice win by a Women’s JU15 crew coached by Pauline Bramwell. Late in the season the senior squad was enhanced by the arrival of Andy Sinton from Talkin Tarn RC who was an England JU16 international, Valentine “Paddy” McKee from Imperial College, and John Schofield from Abingdon School, all of Senior C status but with elite potential. A Head of the River Eight of Tyndyk, Williams, Hogg, Noble, Boland, Playdon, Morson, M. Partridge and Walker (cox) competed at Nottingham and London.
On 2nd January the club’s fourth sponsored row took place when the Junior Under 16 four completed thirty-one miles. The greatest mileage ever recorded was forty miles by Alan Perry in 1976.
At the Opening Races in 1984, senior Vice President Frank Levers in his 65th year of membership christened the second boat named after him “Frank Levers II”. Made by Janousek Racing Boats Ltd, eight wins were recorded in its first six weeks. At the Closing Races seven fours competed for the Wells Cup and sixty-four individual entries were made which is probably a record.
There were thirty-one wins this year with pride of place being the Senior C four’s rise to Senior A with ten wins, a club four’s record. The Derby Evening Telegraph reported that for Derby Regatta it was an exceptional result for the Derwent junior crew, racing as Senior C against a very good Cheltenham College crew who were winners at the National Schools Regatta, to beat them in the semi-final in a time of 3mins 29secs. This was a new event record, faster than the record times for Elite B, Senior A, Senior B and only two seconds outside the Elite course record. The Derwent President, John Partridge, was reported as saying, “They knew they had to do something special against Cheltenham and they certainly did!” The crew comprised Sinton, Tyndyk, Williams and Partridge at stroke with Morson, McKee and Noble deputising for Sinton at three separate events.
A crew stroked by John Schofield progressed from Senior B to A with four wins. At Northwich Centenary Regatta with 337 entries no other Senior B crew had entered so Schofield’s four were elevated to the Senior A event. In their semi-final they dead heated with Tyne RC so a re-row took place resulting in a foul. Adjudged to be of equal blame a second re-row was called which Tyne won by 3ft, but exhausted, lost in the final then won the following day to advance to Elite status.
The club also boated an eight, which raced in the Head of The River Race, Nottingham Head of the Trent and won the Senior B pennant at Runcorn Guinness Head. Unfortunately, the eight was plagued by illness with six oarsmen being indisposed for training or for one race or another and did not reach its potential.
In 1985 the Senior A Eight raced in the Head of The River Race and at the Nottingham Trent Head where they were the fastest club Senior A crew. The services of Tyndyk and Williams were then lost fully as they joined the elite squad at NCRA in preparation for Junior National Trials. However, the Women’s Junior U16 crew won the Junior pennant.
Some thirty-five wins were recorded including a Senior C Eight at Loughborough. At Henley, the club entered the Thames Cup which had seventy-three entries, and did well to qualify. Tyndyk and Williams were entered in the Goblets and won their first heat beating a pair from Zimbabwe, but lost in the next round by 3/4 length to Scrivener and Hassan, two senior internationals. They had previously won silver at the National Schools Regatta and gold in the FISA Senior A II Coxless Pairs at Nottinghamshire International Regatta. Richard went on to represent Great Britain in the World Junior Championships at Brandenburg in East Germany.
Annette Smith raced in the England Women’s Junior Four at (2) in the England v France Match held at Le Creusot, France. Annette was in fact eligible for the U16 team. Meanwhile, Lewis Hancock won a gold medal in Double Sculls and silver in the Singles in the Canadian National Championships.
In 1986 the history of 1957 repeated itself with several key members going to university. The Head of the River eight, comprising Alistair Kennedy (bow), Steve Playdon, Paddy McKee, Joe Tyndyk, Terry Bonshor, Mark Thomas, Steve Morson, and Mark Partridge which started 117th finished 61st despite a serious clash which stopped the boat and lost 4-5 seconds. The club sadly lost the services of McKee and Thomas, and Morson through illness, which stopped all but his enthusiasm. However, an oarsman of class joined. Moved to Derby by his company, Steve Pearson, previously stroke of Monmouth School, NCRA and later of GBR, raced for part of the season achieving particularly commanding wins at Derby and Loughborough prior to his firm moving him to Coventry. Luckily there was a recovering Morson challenging for his place back.
During the season, Lisa Varley (nee Crofts) of Derby raced at (3) with Donna Warburton (bow), Mary Louise Colville and Annette Smith, Karen Cholerton (cox) coached by John Partridge, and won one Senior B and three Senior A Coxed Four events, with Christine Walker replacing Donna in the bow seat at Stratford where a quality entry included Oxford University BC. At the Nottinghamshire International FISA Regatta they raced in the Women’s Senior A II event coming third on the Saturday and second by half a length on the Sunday.
The President and club coach John Partridge gained the ARA Gold Coaching Award.
Lewis Hancock who stroked Rob Luke of Leander and Llandaff achieved the first Derwent Henley Royal Regatta final in the Double Sculls losing to the Charles River Rowing Association, the USA select lightweight double scull. Lewis represented Wales in the Commonwealth Games and came fifth in the Double Sculls final - there was no lightweight event. Part of their training for the event was done at Holme Pierrepont and John Partridge was appointed as coach for this phase.
Aptly achieving his first club win at Bedford Star Regatta was ex-Bedford RC and Thames Tradesmen oarsman Ian Woodland, who joined in 1987. Ian had reached the final of the Thames Cup, rowing at (7), with Thames Tradesmen. Like several other members, Richard Williams, Joe Tyndyk, Andy Sinton, Mark Partridge, Lewis Hancock, Steve Pearson and of course Margaret Marshall, he divided his career by also joining NCRA which whilst showing great credit for the club, handicapped our elite squad by comparison with most of our local sister clubs. This year, as recorded elsewhere, Richard Williams won the gold medal in the World U23 Championships whilst his mentor Lewis was winning two gold and one silver medal in Canada.
In 1988 Andy Sinton (below), stroke of Southampton University’s eight, and John Schofield stroke of Leeds University’s first boat, returned to the club. Andy became Treasurer and John, Secretary. Alan Perry (bow), Andy Sinton, Steve Morson and Mark Partridge gained four Senior 1 coxed four wins. Andy also coached the women’s open four that included new experienced members Jilly Perry from Derby RC and Ruth Thompson from London University. Jilly had four rowing and three sculling wins whilst husband Alan won four rowing and one sculling event. For the next decade, many off the water partnerships were to feature on the water and in the management of the club.
The 1989 Head of the Thames Eight comprised Steve Playdon (bow), Terry Bonshor, James Charlesworth, Andrew Kennedy, Andy Sinton, Alan Perry, Damien Cunningham, Steve Morson and Justin Hancock (cox). Amongst the wins were six single sculls by Jilly Perry and four each by Ian Woodland and Amanda Sharman whom Ian coached. Richard Williams reached the final in the GBR lightweight eight in the World Championships on Lake Bled. Lewis Hancock came second in the petite final stroking the Canadian entry in the Lightweight Quadruple Sculls, a new event at this regatta. The Senior Coxed Four won at Peterborough and then entered the Wyfolds at Henley but lost in the first round to Nautilus, (GBR lightweight squad), the crew being Perry (bow), Sinton, Morson and Cunningham. The club’s first entry in Men’s Quadruple Sculls was at Trent Head with Partridge (bow), Cunningham, Perry and Hancock followed by Kingston Head with Playdon replacing Cunningham.
An unfortunate accident occurred at a St Valentine’s Party held at the club, when four guests plummeted to the landing stage following boisterous behaviour on the front balcony. The injuries were surprisingly not life threatening but resultant police and fire brigade reports resulted in the club removing the two previously popular balconies and providing a new entrance door on the side of the main building. The scars to the facades are still evident.
The Head of the Trent Head crew for 1990 comprised Mark Partridge (bow), Andy Sinton, James Charlesworth, Alan Perry, Iain Starling, Ian Woodland, Steve Playdon and Lewis Hancock. In the Fours Head on the Tideway, Hancock (bow), Williams, Crowther and Woodland came tenth whilst Sinton stroked Molesey Boat Club to second place, and Mark Partridge stroked NCRA’s sixth crew to thirty-eighth place.
1990 saw a potentially great crew representing the club, with Hancock, Sinton, Crowther and Woodland winning open quads and coxless fours and another quad win with Perry substituting for Crowther. Alan Crowther was an elite sculler from Ancholme RC, later to race for Derby RC and Nottingham Boat Club but most well known for being stroke of the GBR gold medal winning World Championship Adaptive Mixed Coxed Four in 2005/6. Sinton and Hancock’s international careers are proudly noted elsewhere.
At the National Championships Williams won gold stroking Lea’s Open Coxed Pair, Pearson won gold stroking the Imperial College Coxless Four, Partridge won bronze stroking Kingston Lightweight Eight, and McGibbon won silver in Single Sculls for Clydesdale RC.
At Derby Regatta, President of the Amateur Rowing Association, Neil Thomas of Liverpool Victoria RC, and Leander, presented the ARA Medal of Honour to Margaret Marshall for services to rowing.
1991 was mainly a year of composite crews and singles setting a pattern for the next decade. At the National Championships the Women’s Composite Quad, in which Sharman raced at bow, won the bronze medal, Williams racing for University of London Tyrian RC won gold, and M. Partridge bronze in the NCRA Coxless Four. At Henley, both Sinton and Partridge lost in their finals, Sinton with Nautilus in the Queen Mother Cup and Partridge with NCRA in the Wyfolds. Sinton represented GBR in the Lightweight Quad Sculls in the World Championships in Vienna. Pearson, R.E. Etherington, and Mark B. Partridge (who raced in a composite four with Mark L.J. Partridge to win the Darley Abbey Challenge Vase at Derby Regatta) were in the GBR Lightweight Eight.
In 1992, Mike Colville returned after periods with Peterborough RC and Eton Excelsior, and won three times in quad sculls with members from a six-man squad. The squad comprised Playdon and Perry who were settled members, Starling, Stowell and Noble, another returning member. They raced well without having any of the stars of the previous year available and entered at Henley. Unfortunately, Noble was refused leave of absence from a new job and could not take part. He was returning to form and had four sculling wins this year. Two sculling wins to members not fully available to the club included Hancock and Partridge. An interesting new member was Danny Lyne from Killarney RC, Eire winning his Novice Sculls at Derby and then building his own single in the top boathouse. With the Veteran D Coxed Four win, John Partridge became the first club member to record wins in five separate decades. A new coxless pair/double scull was purchased with grant aid from Eton Racing Boats and the name chosen by raffle setting a new but debatable precedent.
At Henley, Pearson stroked the winning NCRA Wyfold Coxless Four and at the National Championships, Pearson and Partridge won the gold medal in the NCRA Lightweight Eight. In the same race, Williams won silver in the London University Eight and silver in their Lightweight Coxless Four. Sinton won gold in the ARA National Squad Lightweight Quad and bronze in the Open Quads. Proudly, we can show that three of these members were to race in club colours again.
Sinton was bow in the GBR Lightweight Quad that finished fifth in the World Championships at Montreal. A photograph was required to separate fourth and fifth place.
In 1993 five wins were secured by the Women’s Senior 2/Open Coxed Four of Louise Johnson or S. Barnsley (bow), Katie Hatfield, Sharon Fletcher, Jilly Perry, Kate Riley (cox) and Alan Perry (coach). Their win at Derby broke the record, as did Steve Playdon’s Senior 1 Sculling win. The club went to Eire, the first foreign tour since 1954. Here the club enjoyed traditional hospitality at Danny Lyne’s Club at Killarney and won Women’s Senior 2 Fours at their regatta. During the season other winners were Danny Lyne in coxed pairs, double and single sculls; Iain Starling twice at Senior 2 and once at Senior 1 in singles; and Steve Playdon and Mark Partridge in Open Double Sculls at Burton.
A new coxless four was delivered from Janousek Racing Boats and following the precedent made in naming the pair, the honour of naming the boat was put up for raffle. The winner selected the name “Tart of the Derwent”, amusing some and losing some goodwill from others.
An interesting appearance on the water was Jan Winsloe from Germany who studying at Loughborough and joining Loughborough BC was coached at a regional training weekend at Holme Pierrepont by John Partridge. Racing as Derwent or Loughborough in 1993/4, he competed in club double or quad sculls, winning with Danny Lyne in the Nottingham Small Boats Head. Jan had won a bronze medal with the FDR FISA Match des Seniors (U23) Lightweight Squad and after returning to Germany appeared at the next two Henley Royal Regattas in Ladies’ Plate or Thames Cup Eights. A promising quad coached by John Partridge trained on the Derwent and Trent with Playdon (bow), Crowther, Partridge and Winsloe with stroke pair changing seats sometimes. Crowther and Partridge won in Double Sculls at Ancholme Head later in the year. At the National Championships Pearson won gold in NCRA’s Coxless Four and Williams gold in Thames RC’s Lightweight Quad. At the National Schools Regatta, Robson won a gold medal in the bow seat of Royal Shrewsbury Schools Colt Coxless Pair. He had been part of the club’s sculling squad and bought a boat built by Danny Lyne. Sinton rowed at bow in the GBR lightweight quad at the World Championships in Roudnice.
In 1994, apart from one win by the Women’s Senior 2 Coxed Four of 1993, all wins were in double or single sculls. A definite policy swing away from rowing in favour of sculling was noticeable with only a veteran four regularly boating. The veteran squad included Terry Bonshor, John Partridge, Peter Whitehead, John Steer, Bob Hood, all Vice Presidents, and Stan Foley and David Twells, usually coached by Dennis Booth. Four wins were recorded by Alan Perry and five by Sharon Fletcher. Alan won Senior 1 and 2 Double Sculls with Iain Starling; Steve Playdon won Open Double Sculls with Jan Winsloe, and Mike Colville and Ewan Robson won Senior 3 Double Sculls. There was no club entry at Henley but Andy Sinton raced in the NCRA/Kingston Double Sculls, Richard Williams in the University of London Tyrian Visitors Four, Steve Pearson in the London RC Eight and Ewan Robson in the Royal Shrewsbury School Eight. At the World Rowing Championships in Indianapolis, USA, Andy Sinton stroked the GBR Lightweight Double Scull in the final.
Landau Forte School, Derby, had formed a rowing section attached to the club and in 1995 their Novice Coxed Four won with S. Creswell (bow), C. Evans, S. Pycett, Adam Caller, their school master at stroke, and C. Walker (cox). In addition to this crew, two under fourteen girls raced a couple of times but the school did not continue to pursue the sport. Other wins recorded for 1995 were a mixed double scull and six single wins - Sinton in Open Sculls at Nottingham Small Boats Head; Robson Senior 2 and 3 Sculls, Fletcher, Campbell and Perry.
In 1996 there were twenty-two wins though only one in the rowing discipline. This was a Women’s Novice Coxed Four win at Stourport by Fiona Newbold (bow), J. Fogg, Amanda Whittingham, Kay Hislop and Iain Starling (cox). Five sculling wins were achieved by Gillian Campbell, three by Jilly Perry and Sharon Fletcher, two by Alan Perry, and one each by Mark Partridge, Mike Colville and Novice Sculls by David Longstone (above). Gillian Campbell won in two composite quads at Nottingham with Sharon Fletcher and Jilly Perry stroked by Shauna McGibbon.
In the Olympic Games at Lake Lanier, Atlanta, USA, Sinton stroked the GBR Lightweight Double.
In 1997, there were thirty wins. These included three Women’s Novice Four wins by the same crew, two of which were in Heads which coupled with their 1996 Head win made a club record for individual novice wins (somewhat controversial but within the Rules of Racing). Some of the sculling wins fell into the same category with three wins each for Longstone and Newbold. Richard Williams and Ian Woodland returned to win two Open Double Scull events. Ian also won Mixed Fours with Jilly Perry and Sharon Fletcher, the latter in their turn winning Women’s Open Double Sculls twice. In singles, Ian won twice, Jilly four times and Fiona Newbold three. David Longstone had eight sculling wins and Ewan Robson racing with Trinity College, Dublin, won Senior Sculls.
1998 produced wins only from the women’s section and one was a composite. Gillian Campbell (now Mrs Williams, bow), Kathrin Sommers, Sharon Fletcher and Jilly Perry coached by Richard Williams won Senior 1 Quad Sculls at Bedford Small Boats Head, Newbold and Sommers Women’s Senior 3 Double Sculls and Sommers Novice Sculls. The composite win was in Women’s Veteran A Sculls at the National Veterans’ Regatta with ex-member Amanda Sharman and Gillian Campbell at stroke. Ewan Robson raced at Henley for Trinity College Dublin.
In 1999, in addition to a silver medal won by Jilly Perry at the National Veterans’ Championships there were five women’s composite wins, the most outstanding being G. Campbell and A. Sharman in a Veteran A Eight at the National Veterans’ Regatta and the Women’s Henley Regatta. They also won in Quad Sculls at the Veterans’ Championships and at Northwich.
In the year 2000, Steve Playdon took up the Captaincy again having first held the office fourteen years previously. The men’s section appeared on the winning list again with Steve winning three Senior 3 Double Sculls with Steve Oliver at bow, and Senior 1 Sculls at Leicester. Steve Oliver won two Senior 2 Sculls and an Open Sculls event at the Derby Rowing Club Invitation Darley Park Splash, where the Captain’s wife, Judy Playdon won Women’s Novice Sculls. Jilly Perry won in a composite Open Double Scull and joined by Gillian Campbell, in a Quad Scull at Nottingham City.
Apart from Steve Oliver winning Senior 1 Sculls, all 2001 wins involved composite crews. Steve won in two Senior 2 Coxed Fours; Gillian Campbell in Women’s Senior 2 Double Sculls; Women’s Novice Fours by J. Playdon and C. Biston in a composite; and Women’s Senior 2 and Senior 4 Eights where Playdon and Biston were joined by N. Cholerton in a composite with Derby RC.
A new coxed four/coxed quad was delivered yet unnamed, from Ray Sims Racing Boats Limited, from their “Genesis” Range. The boats in this range are short in length and broad of beam to provide stability. Potential new members used new short, stable, taster sculls provided on loan by the ARA. In these days of “Health and Safety” they would appear essential equipment but the adherents of the Karl Adam and DDR schools of thought advocated the earliest introduction to racing craft to instil balance and confidence.
In 2002, a fifteen-year-old schoolgirl Rosie Hallam began her career with a win in Women’s Junior Under 16 Sculls. The only other win was by Gillian Campbell in a composite Double Scull.
2003 produced two wins by the men. The first was a Senior 2 Coxless Pair win at Peterborough Summer Regatta by Alun Richards-Jones and Richard Williams. Alun was at this time and the next three years doing part of his training at the club whilst an active member of NCRA racing at Henley and the National Championships. The second was a win by Alun - Novice Sculls at Burton Regatta.
In 2004, Richard Williams (bow) and Alun Richards-Jones won Senior Double Sculls at Newark and Alun also won Senior 4 Sculls there, probably raising a few eyebrows. A new combination of Jilly Perry (bow) and Fiona Newbold won three times at Women’s Senior 3 Double Sculls.
Contact was made with the club by A. Lucas-Smith, a great grandson of George Goodwin, a founder member of the club in 1857. He presented the club with two magnificent cups won by his great grandfather who had wins at Derby Regatta in 1859, 1861, 1863 and 1865. He had been secretary of the club from its foundation in 1857 until 1864 and was Captain in 1868. His brother, F. Goodwin was Captain from 1857 until 1864. Their father had been Mayor of Derby in the 1840s.
In 2005 the Richard Williams/Alun Richards-Jones double (above) won at Newark Head and Alun won the Senior 1 Scull event. A Senior 2 Coxless Four of Richard Williams (bow), Giles Monnickendam, Alex Skelton and Alun Richards-Jones also won at Newark with Alex Skelton winning the sculling division. There was a win for the Women’s Senior 2 Coxed Fours at Loughborough with J. Bacon (bow), F. Newbold, E. Crump and J. Perry. Three wins were recorded by the Perry/Newbold Women’s Double Scull and Jilly Perry and Fran Lane competed in Double Sculls at the FISA Veterans’ Regatta. Fran also won Senior 1 Sculls at Hollingworth Lake and at Chester Long Distance Sculls. Five Derwent scullers took part in the Nottingham Scullers Head, Richards-Jones, Williams, Padget, Lane and J. Perry.
To promote Inner City Rowing in 2006, four new Concept 2 ergometers were purchased and taster sessions held under the auspices of Richard Williams, Chairman of the club, a relatively new office. The timber steps of the landing stage were replaced with a strong metal open mesh construction having non-slip qualities and allowing drainage. Lewis Hancock’s contribution to this is acknowledged by the affixing of a plaque.
Richard Williams and Alun Richards-Jones won Senior 3 Double Sculls at Nottingham Small Boats Head. Richard won the Veteran B Sculls events at Chester and Peterborough City. Women’s Veteran C Double Sculls was won at York Small Boats Head but pride of place must go to Frances Lane who won four Women’s Veteran B Sculls and one Senior 2 Sculls event including Nottingham City and Peterborough Regattas. She was also a finalist at the Women’s Henley Regatta. Jilly Perry won two Women’s Veteran C Sculls at Head of the River events.
Therefore, we have reached our 150th year and probably could not complete this section better than to refer to the concluding paragraph in our Centenary Book published in 1957:
“History shows that on several occasions, a single crew of enthusiasts has by its success taken the club into the limelight, and attracted increased membership, such as to ensure prosperous years. Thus the future hope of all associated with our club in many past years of success is that there shall be full endeavour from all concerned, not for individual prowess but for the true team spirit so essential to this sport, which makes for success and what is more, enjoyment of rowing.”
The lists of wins are the bare bones of the rowing careers of our successful members but tell little of the character or personality, or trials and tribulations encountered in their achievement. Here we try to add flesh to some of the bones without too much repetition. The character and personalities of the nineteenth century members is generally little known and our emphasis is directed particularly to the last fifty years with some reference to the inter war period.
REGINALD L. HIBBERT
Reg Hibbert joined the club with the school contingent from Stanley College, Duffield Road and was initially coached by our very successful coach and President, John Gretton. Gretton, for few called him John to his face, was a coach of the old style, steeped in Orthodoxy with technique and uniformity paramount. Reg was selected by temperament to stroke a promising school maiden coxed four. When the (3) man’s parents left the area the new captain, Bill Marshall allocated Richard (Dick) Smith to replace him forming the first maiden four to win in our Centenary year, 1957, racing as Derwent at Burton Regatta. The other members of the crew were Ian McIntyre, later to join the Metropolitan Police, Peter Morley, a second generation member and coxswain Ian White, son of the Vicar of Allestree and later a successful oarsman in his own right. They became the first club crew to progress through all the statuses without any change in personnel.
Reg was another of that narrow breed of natural strokes, quick into the water, possessed of rhythm and length and an awareness of his crew and his opponents’ capabilities. His parents kept the then well known inn, the Every Arms situated on the A38 on the outskirts of Eggington that is southwest of Derby. This was some seven or eight miles from the clubhouse and for his first three years of membership, Reg cycled to and from the club for every outing. Training in the 1950s mainly comprised steady state rows from bridge to bar and back stopping frequently to receive comments from the coach stationed on the bank, usually in Darley Park. Occasionally a full regatta course would be rowed, or even a series of the same and sometimes, a ‘Bridges’ (St Mary’s Bridge to Handyside Bridge) though not always timed.
With National Service and university at this time, there was more wastage of promising oarsmen and Hibbert and Morley learned to scull with odd outings as a pair or double. However, the only boat available was reputed to be John Clasper’s last boat, and at some fifty years of age, beautifully built as it was, it was no longer competitive. Hibbert was bought a new fine sculling boat for his 21st birthday and he was outstanding in the provinces. In his second year he won seven senior sculls events and six in his third year. One of his coaches was Arthur L. Sulley, an Olympic silver medallist, who had him doing starts and pieces with his feet out of the straps. This was at a time when few clubs had trailers and regattas were held only on Saturdays and Bank Holiday Mondays. Club policy was for representative crews or scullers to be selected by the captain or selection committee and the fee funded by the club.
Hibbert had a lithe physique, and was relatively tall for a lightweight at a time when neither FISA nor the ARA was offering lightweight events. He only lost on a few occasions, generally where he was conceding weight and height, illustrated by the televised final of the multi-lane Serpentine Regatta where he acquitted himself well. He had an infectious smile and dry sense of humour, but was no politician, being too full of common sense and honesty. He became a brewery engineer at Bass, Worthington and Gretton and represented Burton Leander briefly but retired from rowing when transferred by the brewery to a new position in Wales.
JOHN J. LIMBERT
John was a young semi professional musician with his own group who was spotted by Vice President Jim Jenkins whilst playing in a public house. He played the piano with jazz leanings and was influenced by Teddy Wilson amongst others. Noticing his age and physique Jenkins suggested he might succeed on the water. Joining the club as a junior and novice, John soon showed that he had great strength and athleticism. During squad training which required heavy resistance weight lifting, warm-up running, circuit training, step tests as well as water work, he seemed to be one of those naturals that appears from time to time.
The Captain, Len Hepton-Furniss was quick to note his potential and John was selected to row at (3) in the elite coxed four together with Len at stroke, Terry Bonshor at (2) and John Partridge at bow. Unfortunately, Len’s father died suddenly during the week of Derby Regatta and he was in no mood for racing. Terry then became unavailable for domestic reasons and was replaced by Kevin Titterton, another junior, and so John won his novices at Senior 1 level.
In training, John set and still holds most of the club weight training maximum lift records. When not rowing with, he was usually coached by his friend John Partridge including the time he was rowing or sculling for the RAF. As a sculler, John, who raced at just over 14 stone, had genuine pace and was selected by John Pilgrim Morris to be a pacing sculler for the GBR sculler Tim Crooks whilst training on Thorpe Park Lake. On the Derwent he did many set piece training outings pacing whilst being paced by Lewis Hancock. These were intense sessions coached from bicycle or launch and frequently timed. They included Head, Over distance, Alternate, Extensive and Intensive Interval work. John won most of the timed pieces but was always extended by Lewis. He lacked the latter’s pace judgement and change of pace, relying on his power and early speed in these interesting exchanges. Unfortunately, John also lacked Lewis’s watermanship and was more affected by rough water.
John had worked with his father in his uncle’s factory before joining his coach in estate agency and then joining the RAF as a physical training instructor. He raced at Henley for the RAF in the eight, as a single sculler and also as stroke of a Combined Services Coxless Four. He has raced with the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club and represented the Crown Colony at Rugby Union. The girlfriend of his youth, later his wife, Anne Baiks became a member of the first women’s crew.
Lewis is one of those characters, once met, never forgotten, of cheerful countenance and ebullient manner as befits an actor by profession. He possesses an acute intellect, one who listens as well as hears. Born in Toronto, Canada and educated in New York he stroked his school eight at Henley.
He arrived in Derby in 1977 to take a part at Derby Playhouse, wandered down to the river and having looked at both clubs chose Derwent. He had Senior C status in rowing and sculling and formed a long association with ARA Silver Award coach John Partridge. In the single scull, John instantly realised the potential in Lewis, for whilst a somewhat aggressive sculler of the “hack and bash” calling, he was otherwise very much a waterman. He persuaded Lewis, despite his lack of experience to enter the National Selection Trials as a lightweight sculler and set his sights on Henley Royal Regatta and the National Championships at an early date. He joined John Limbert, a heavyweight sculler, in outings on the Derwent, Trent and at NWSC. Use of video and slides improved and smoothed his technique.
Lewis was unique in being eligible for selection for Wales, England, Great Britain, Canada and we believe USA! His father hailed from Llanelli and had rowed at London Rowing Club. After narrowly losing a GB selection trial in double sculls with Colin Barratt, he represented Wales with Rob Luke in the Commonwealth Games at Strathclyde and raced in several World Rowing Championships for Canada. During this period he won many medals at the Canadian National Championships. At the Derby Playhouse he met Gillian Williams, went to live at her home in Kirk Ireton, near Wirksworth and introduced her young son Richard then aged fourteen to the club. Richard later was to compete as a lightweight for Great Britain at the same World Championships in which Lewis was representing Canada.
As a sculler or stroke, Lewis possessed good pace judgement and was not flustered about being led during the early part of a race. He, like all good strokes, could sense the moment to spurt or challenge for the lead. He raced later with Derby RC in a pair with another ex-Derwent member, Kevin Titterton partially due to the quality of boat available. He also raced with NCRA but retained his membership of the club and is now a Vice President. Lewis is an accomplished after dinner speaker.
ANDREW M. SINTON
Andy, who had been sculling at his father’s club at Talkin Tarn, first met the Derwent Juniors on the France v England Match expedition to Mantes-la-Jolie near Paris in July 1983. He was a single sculler and Richard Williams, Joe Tyndyk, Robert Noble and Mark Partridge were part of a joint eight with Nottingham Britannia with John Partridge and Frank Cox as coaches.
The following year Andy took up a position at Messrs Rolls-Royce and decided to continue his rowing career prior to going up to university. Andy replaced Robert Noble, who had temporarily stepped down from the successful Junior crew due to family reasons. In 1984 he achieved seven wins with the crew starting at Senior C and finishing at Senior A. Training included timed road runs, Heavy Resistance Weight Training with free weights in the Ratzeburg manner, intensive circuit training, Harvard Step Tests, small boat training and confidence drills as well as outings in the four. All eventually made good scullers, but Andy was already accomplished and the following year won sculls twice at Senior A level as well as rowing at Southampton University. Andy was to win in club colours again in 1986, 88, 89, 90 and 95. At the same time he achieved a distinguished International career as a lightweight crew sculler for Great Britain culminating in the Olympic Games of 1996. In 1992-94, Andy reached World Championship finals and was in the team in 1995. In 1988 and 1989, he was the club Honorary Treasurer.
Andy possessed excellent watermanship with good technique. He preferred to lead out in his racing but had good pace judgement. A little known fact in Andy’s career is that his photograph was shown in the BBC’s ‘A Question of Sport’ and was recognised and answered correctly by Sir Steve Redgrave. Andy is now a club Vice President.
Jilly joined the club in 1988 from Derby RC where she had married Alan Perry who rejoined our club at the same time. Jilly was a Senior C oarswoman and sculler. She has been our most consistent performer over the last few years in both veteran and open categories either sculling or in crew boats and amassed a total of sixty-one wins at regattas and heads. She has also held virtually every officer position in the club and has been a real club stalwart.
Many members have contributed from time to time without actually taking coaching as a serious undertaking. The traditional coach was usually an experienced oarsman who would stand on the riverbank once or twice a week, and give technical advice to any crew or single that asked for assistance. Sometimes this would include coaching oarsmen in the tub pair. Noteworthy of the many members who have contributed for short periods in this way include: E.N. Dawson, Frank Levers, Charles Broughton, Bill Marshall, Frank Garratt, Richard Carlier, Les Pover, Graham Ross, Len Hepton-Furniss, Dennis Booth, Kevin Titterton and Terry Bonshor to mention but a few.
It is interesting to note that this type of coaching resulted in several successes and formed a more comfortable crew/coach relationship than the more modern complete form of coaching. The modern coach has to be a coach of conviction and definite opinions whilst retaining flexibility and needs to have a wide technical knowledge based on all facets of the sport. He or she will be exposed to criticism and judged on results sometimes out of their control.
The modern coach is expected to have a working knowledge of abuse, anatomy, biomechanics, boat and oar design, business administration, callisthenics, drug and doping regulations, hydrodynamics, nutrition, physiology, psychology, rigging principles, Rules of Racing, statistics, racing and training records, technique, training methods, water and training safety and weight training principles, for a start. For a few will come acclaim, for many the inner satisfaction of an achievement, sometimes unbridled joy, or disappointments, loneliness, and the testing of the courage of one’s convictions.
The Club’s Rules did not recognise the position of a coach, only that the Captain should see to the proper manning of boats and to the supervision of novices. Active members frequently have requested coaching, sometimes demanding it as a right of membership; others have refused coaching or a particular coach. There must be few clubs that guarantee as a right of membership the facility of continual individual coaching. However, examination of the early club records show that professional coaches had been employed by the club in the nineteenth century. Subsequently it has been dedicated amateurs, mainly ex-rowing members, who often at great expense have given their services freely, often without thanks or appreciation.
The earliest reference to a coach followed the 1864 and 1865 regatta seasons when the club President Benjamin Scott Currey toasted the health of the club’s coach, John Clasper at the 1865 Regatta Dinner. The club’s successes were attributed to his coaching skill, winning five trophies at each of the 1864 and 1865 Derby Regattas. John Clasper had rowed at bow in the Newcastle Coxed Four stroked by his father Henry Clasper (the inventor of the outrigger) which had won the purse for forty sovereigns at the 1860 Regatta. Scott Currey said, “The members of the club are indebted for their improved style of rowing to Mr J. Clasper whose very name alone ought to stimulate each member to a thorough performance of his duties.”
The club was not to lose complete contact with Clasper who became a coach and boat builder to Oxford University Boat Club as the accounts show that we purchased a new fine four from him in 1876 and two fours in 1878. The club also commissioned Mr A. Clasper in 1873 as a paid trainer and to modernise and carry out repairs to the boats over a three week period, his fee being £17 6s 0d including his train fare. In 1872 a Mr H. Biffin was paid £15 10s 0d for four weeks’ coaching and in 1874 an amount of £1 2s 0d was paid to Mr Cheeseborough for coaching and a smaller amount to the same man the following year. The club records are by no means complete but it appears that the club could no longer afford highly paid professional coaches though their availability may have also diminished. However, for several seasons the club did employ the services, as a trainer, of “Boxer”, who appeared to have an ex-pugilist look about him on photographs of the time.
The first amateur successful coach appears to be the almost legendary E. Horne who won Open Pairs at Nottingham in 1899 and stroked the winning Senior Four at Bedford in 1924. He coached the club’s record breaking Junior Four stroked by W.H. Bennett in 1908 which won seven times that year, a record that was to stand for seventy years. The Annual Report for the 1908 season gives no credit to the coach but mentions that the club had several equal crews in training which it had not been thought justifiable to enter at regattas. How times have changed.
The next coach to have resounding success was John Gretton whose coaching spanned some forty years. He was the coach of the club’s most celebrated crew usually stroked by Bert Fisher with J.C.T. Pendock at (3) and E.N. Dawson at (2) which dominated the provincial Senior Fours scene for half a decade, starting with Maidens in 1921, Juniors in 1922 and Seniors in 1924. Others who made up the crew included, J.F. Bryden, F. Levers and E. Horne. The squad was to win twenty-two times including pair oared wins, the highlights being the Gold Vase at Nottingham, the West of England Challenge Vase and the Grand at Bedford regattas three years in succession.
In 1956, four schoolboys came down from Stanley College in Duffield Road, Derby, one of whom, Peter Morley, was the son of a former club senior oarsman, E.J.W. Morley. When the three man’s parents left the town, he was replaced by Richard “Dick” Smith, and under John’s direction in 1957/8 they became the only crew in the club’s history to progress from Maidens to Seniors step by step without any change in personnel and to produce in Reg Hibbert, their stroke, an outstanding provincial sculler.
In the 1930s a successful coach was H. Walker who coached Les Pover’s four, of initially M.R. Moorley (who later lost his life as a Spitfire pilot during the War), A.L.F. Partridge, S. Hilton and L.C. Pover in 1933, then with Partridge moving to bow and G.H. Dicken replacing Moorley in 1934, to win a total of eight times.
Les Pover was to coach thirteen Derwent Four oared wins in the mid 1950s, particularly Bert Stafford’s 1958 Junior Four that was undefeated with six regatta wins. Initially, the crew, recruited by Mike Seale from Bemrose School boys, had been coached by himself but with a change of bow side and Mike taking the bow seat, Les was asked to take the crew on. He instilled finesse and a particularly effective start and if it had not been for university careers he would have produced a great crew for they were again undefeated at Senior level the following year despite limited availability.
Michael Seale had, as noted above, already done some coaching, particularly another Bemrose School boy crew, for they received no recognition by the school itself. Stroked by Tony Selby the crew produced three wins in 1956. Mike, a Chartered Accountant, finished his Articles in 1959 and embarked on a short overseas career mainly with Standard Oil with time spent in South America. He returned in late 1964 and resumed his rowing and coaching careers. He became the first of the modern coaches before the ARA Coaching Award Schemes were introduced. He became Captain and for a decade was the club’s chief coach and some fifty-two racing wins were attributed to his skill. He never received the thanks and appreciation he richly deserved. Originally an adherent of the Fairburn School, in his resumed career he was to embrace wholly the teachings of Karl Adam, studying the transcripts of the Bisham Abbey and Scottish Conferences and regularly consulting Clifford Booth who regularly entered crews at Ratzeburg. Michael also devoted holiday time to attending European and World Championships. He was to become a state of the art coach, embracing weight training, land training and testing, water schedules, selection races, graphs, film and photographs, and coaching logs. Unfortunately he was a little introverted and not always the most approachable man. He fell out with some of the members including his brother and left to join Derby Rowing Club where he did a little bank coaching before retiring from the sport.
History, as is often the case, repeated itself with the next very successful coach being a crew member of the previous coaches’ crews. This was John Partridge, a third generation member who had started coaching as part of his duties as a Captain, but in particular, embraced the schedules of Jim Railton and teachings of Adam in his last six months of office whilst coaching Ian White’s crew. John resumed serious coaching in 1973 having coached one or two crews for short periods in the interim. Originally John was an adherent of the Orthodox or English style influenced by his coaches, Les Pover, John Gretton and Graham Ross, a 1949/51 Lady Margaret Boat Club oarsman, and then Karl Adam. John took the 1975 ARA Silver Coaching Award Course run by the charismatic chief National Coach Bob Janousek. Other Derwent coaches to take the ARA Bronze Coaching Awards were Bill Marshall, John Limbert and Christine Walker.
Later, many were to take the ARA Instructors’ Award Course. John was invited to take the 1986 ARA Gold Coaching Award Course under the auspices of the chief National Coach Penny Chuter who had been on the Silver Award Course with him. John took on board through study and examination the facets previously mentioned and partially introduced by Mike Seale. He added quite early the use of video, now available, having initially used photographic slides that could be processed between outings. Video was of great assistance and as soon as it could be arranged, another invaluable tool in the pursuit of excellence was introduced - a coaching launch. John was to be responsible for some 200+ Regatta and Head of the River Race wins. These included crews stroked by Adrian Bishop, Lewis Hancock, his son Mark Partridge, Steve Playdon and John Schofield; the scullers, John Limbert, Lewis Hancock, Andy Sinton and Christine Walker; and the women’s crews stroked by Anne Limbert. He was involved in coaching at ARA Women’s Training Weekends at Holme Pierrepont for several years and introduced Derwent crews to this and similar Junior courses. He was for one year a coach to the RAF and on the coaching team for the England Junior Anglo-French Match and Welsh Commonwealth Games Team.
The next coach to achieve multi wins was Christine Walker, who having achieved an ARA Bronze Award took on the daunting task of coaching some very experienced argumentative Veteran oarsmen. The crew comprised at bow the charismatic chauvinist, Jim Giltrap late of Southampton, Worcester where he was christened “Bolshie”, Keith Bunyan (a policeman), John Partridge and Terry Bonshor (both successful coaches). It was a daunting task, taken seriously but not without humour, resulting in seven wins and several other finals. Unfortunately, Jim moved to Zambia and Christine to Italy, both temporarily but this ended the sequence.
More recently coaching has been more in mutual assistance from sculling boats as the person coaching attends to their own training. The need for traditional style coaching has been regarded as unnecessary, though written training schedules have been posted on the club notice board as introduced by Mike Seale. They are now also on the Internet, though of course not every person has access to the latter, a fact often ignored by organisers. Coaching has been continued principally by Ian Woodland, Alan Perry, Jilly Perry and latterly Richard Williams, all very experienced competitors. The latter is not only an ex GBR International but is by profession a Community Sports Development Officer with the City Council, has organised School Taster Programmes in 2005/6 and has the potential to be a very successful coach.
THE DERWENT COXSWAIN
The cox is often overlooked in the awarding of credit. He, for it was a he in the early days, was not even listed with the names of some winning crews. Until the 1980s the cox did not have formally to join the club and was not subject to any subscription. The change was probably as much awareness of insurance implications as bureaucracy that also resulted in a change to the Rules of Racing.
Historically, particularly in the provinces, the majority of racing was in coxed boats. This was partially due to many old regatta courses being on relatively narrow, winding rivers. Today, with several multi lane courses available and new events including crew sculling events, coxless boats have largely replaced coxed boats particularly in pair oared racing and only in the eight is a cox essential.
Many regattas did not require a cox to be a member of the club to which the crew belonged and consequently it was not unknown for a crew to search the regatta field for a cox for their race. It was common to see even in the Rowing Almanac that a winning cox was named “A. Lad, A. Boy, or A. Guest” etc. However, to avoid confusion, the club has had a regatta win where the cox was actually named A. Guest, a member of Derby Rowing Club helping us out. Andy Guest went on to be the Master in charge of Rowing at the King’s School, Worcester, and later at Yarn School, York.
In our earliest years, coxes often became members of the committee or maintained an association with the club and these included T.W. Newbold, F. Battelle, E. Jukes, G. Gascoyne, and a host of Walley’s. Arthur, Alfred, H., J. and E. Walley were all to cox at regattas or club races and either Arthur or Alfred became a Vice President in the 1900s.
Similarly, the aptly named John, Michael and Martin Steer, Michael, David and Robin Seale, and Derek, Barry and Mark Vickers were from families who provided more than two coxes to the club. Of the latter, John Steer, Michael and David Seale, and Derek and Mark Vickers were to achieve regatta wins as oarsmen, as have several other coxes.
The most famous club cox was probably Bert Mozley who played football with Derby County, was capped by England after the War, and who coxed winning crews in 1938 and 1939. The highest number of regatta wins is nineteen, shared by A. Jones in the 1920s and Francis Hales in the 1970s. Other very successful coxes included Nicky Hill who coxed the 1980 Junior crews with seventeen wins, B. Cope, cox of the great 1930s pair with at least fourteen wins, and Ian Woodhouse, who later coxed at Broxbourne RC and Derby RC, with eleven wins.
Some coxes leave an indelible imprint on their crews’ memories, sometimes even awe and admiration and some even incredulity. Some coxes had a reputation for bringing victory from probable defeat by their craft and natural aptitude as exemplified by the father and son coxes, Derek and Mark Vickers. Another natural was Neville Wallis who would invariably be warned on river bends but never disqualified. His first port of call on arriving at a regatta was usually to visit the Trophies Tent and inspect his “pot”. He twice managed to persuade a Regatta Secretary that the winning cox deserved a pint pot like the crew and not the customary half pint. For him they would make an exception, should he be the successful cox! He was there later in the day, to the amusement of all, to receive his pint tankard with his crew.
Some of the incidents not usually recorded, and here anonymous are:
Hit the bank, on a row-over, against the clock.
Hit a bridge before the start.
Steered over the Fulham Flats in The Head of The River Race.
Cried all the way down the course in a race.
Easied the crew before the finish.
Called for a last desperate ten stroke final spurt about a quarter of a mile from the finish.
Twice steered off the course, when crews had commanding leads approaching the finish, resulting in “Not Rowed Out” verdicts.
Hit a crew rowing the other way towards the start during the race.
Rammed a punt during the race resulting in a woman requiring hospital treatment. The race was re-rowed and the crew eventually won the event after racing seven heats.
Kept the crew racing hard after passing the finish line.
Throughout the club’s history, coxes have often left the strings and taken to the oar. There are many examples of oarsmen or women and even coaches helping out by coxing a crew but this is about specialist coxes, coxes who have outgrown their seat, or with ambition, or who have had a successful rowing career. These include the ubiquitous A. Walley, J. Beaumont, and then C. Richardson in the 1920s. In more recent times, the aptly named Peter Rowbottom, Derek Vickers, David Seale, John Steer, Ian White, John Brien, Kevin Titterton, Andrew Duff, Paul Roberts, Colin Bramwell, Mark Vickers and Nigel Jackson are all ex-coxes who have won at regattas at higher than novice status.
Today the gender of the cox is not restricted except at events run by FISA. Several men’s crews since the early 1970s have had female coxes and vice versa. The club’s first female cox, Anne Baiks (later Limbert) was in fact a spare member for the women’s crew, and became a successful oarswoman the following season. Christine Walker was to cox several Head of The River Race crews and also the Boston Marathon, yet was an oarswoman, sculler and ARA Bronze Coaching Award holder so she was not just helping out. The club’s first dedicated female cox was Karen Cholerton who, from coxing the Women’s Junior U15 crew progressed to coxing crews at elite level and became one of the NCRA’s successful coxes. Another young successful cox was Kim Patrick, sister of Dave who had coxed club crews earlier. She also won a bronze medal for sculling at the National Championships.
NOT JUST A ROWING CLUB
Not all club members have been involved in only one sport. Up until the late 1950s the Opening Races in spring saw the resumption of rowing until the end of the season when the Closing Races in the autumn saw the close of the club’s water activities for that year. True, some recreational rows took place, usually on a Sunday morning. It was quite normal for members to have a winter sport.
As early in the club’s history as 1858, we find the club holding an official fixture with the Derbyshire County Cricket Club 1st XI, though the rowing club supplied twenty-two members to no avail, losing by 138 runs. In the 1970s we again ventured onto the cricket field, this time to lose to Redfern Athletic Football Club. It was known that several of our founding members also played some cricket and Edward Bemrose in particular was well known in local cricket circles of the time.
The club was evidently more successful at Association Football running its own offshoot Derwent Football Club. In 1909 it had sixteen playing members, with the Captain John Gretton, Vice Captain T. Bartlett, and H.H. Buckley as Secretary. Committee members included D. Campbell, A.S. Moore and H.J. Richardson. They reached the final of the Midland Amateur Alliance Cup and were top of their League one season. However, the Football Club does not appear to have survived the Great War.
Many members played Association Football, most noteworthy being Bert Mozley who played for Derby County and England just after the Second World War. Ray Thompson played as a semi-professional for Belper Town.
During the Christmas holidays of 1964 Derwent Rowing Club XV beat Derby Rowing Club XV at the Derby Rugby Football ground on Kedleston Road. A.L.F. Partridge was President of both the Rugby Club and Derwent Rowing Club. John Partridge, his son, captained the side which included Geoff Oldknow*, Chris Tomlinson*, John Partridge, Adrian May*, David Barrington*, John Robertson*, Michael Plant*, Eddie Hilyer, John Syson, John Barlow, a guest Rhodesian, Peter Watson, Hodge Taylor, Graham Radford and David Seale. Those marked * had played for the county whilst Geoff Oldknow and David Barrington had played for Staffordshire. Joining the club shortly afterwards was Andrew Duff, then a Denstone College 1st XV centre, but destined to be another county three-quarter. All the Derwent backs crossed for a try with Barrington being outstanding by scoring a hat trick. Many active club members played first team rugby at Kedleston Road. These included G.K.M. “Buck” Adams, W.R. Fletcher, J. Blackie and A. Avinall, all ex Committee members, Trevor Raybould Snr, A.L.F. Partridge, S. Hilton, L.C. Pover, J.A.B. Nichols, S.D. Thomas, F. Beard, S.C. Ransom, E.H. Hilyer, J.K. Partridge, A.E.L. May, R.M. Hood, C.P. Tomlinson, H.A.S. Duff, H. Taylor and P. Watson. Many others played on lower sides including R. Carlier, I.T.S. McIntyre, J. Ratcliffe, J.G. Radford, N. Swaby and D.I. Seale. Graham Ross who rowed for Lady Margaret Boat Club in 1949/51 and coached at the club was a long standing playing member for DRFC. Members who played for other Rugby Clubs include S.C. Ransom, A.M. Sinton and R. Stowell.
During the 1970s Adrian May and John Partridge became founder members of the Derby Mercia Rugby Fives Club and introduced the sport to the elite training squad. It was played once or twice a week between heavy resistance weight training sessions which were held on the Monday, Wednesday and Friday of each week. Permission to use the Denstone College Fives Courts, the swimming pool and running tracks was obtained, and for three years through much of the winter, land training took place there. The good work was partially undone by stopping at Messrs Marstons establishments on the homeward journey. However, Messrs Adrian May, John Partridge, Len Hepton-Furniss, John Limbert, Terry Bonshor, Andrew Duff and Cedric Faulkner all played in selected teams for matches against university and public school sides showing this was not idle recreation. Several others also played including the young Mark Partridge and Paul May. Other members of the Fives Club were mainly Old Denstonians and Old Uttoxeter Grammar School Eton Fives players.
Bob Hood was to become the European Tope Champion during one Welsh holiday and was for a short time an enthusiastic sea angler. Other enthusiastic anglers included Terry Bonshor and John Smith.
Golf has always attracted retired oarsmen with Frank Levers being a Captain and Chairman of the Chevin Golf Club at Duffield. John Nicholson and Peter Whitehead were members of Kedleston Golf Club, the latter often training in the boat after an early morning round.
Adrian May who was a second generation member, was one of the few gifted all round sportsmen. He was a National Championship finalist in Rugby Fives, and regularly played for the Jesters Club. He represented clubs at tennis, cricket being a fast bowler, was a Three Counties Cap and regular 1st XV player for Derby Rugby Football Club at full-back, centre or fly-half, and was a member of Duffield Squash Club. At Denstone he was in the running team and swimming team as a diver. He was also known on occasions to give demonstrations on roller skates and jiving on the dance floor being somewhat of an extrovert. His friend John Partridge had also played for the Jesters Club and Derby Rugby Club and was a marksman with the 303 rifle whilst at college.
Several members had turned to rowing when their earlier sports had nothing to offer. Unless they were gifted or exceptionally dedicated, they soon became disillusioned. These include the swimmers John Kyle and John Limbert, both to become powerful oarsmen, and cyclists Clive Morgan, Hedley Hunter, John Ratcliffe, Richard Williams and Robert Noble.
Another sport which suffers from its elitist nature is athletics and here we gained Andrew Duff who was a schoolboy White City medallist in the 220 yards as well as a county rugby player and Derby 1st XV centre three-quarter, and Tony Selby and Alan Perry both middle distance runners.
Whilst serving in the RAF as a Physical Training Instructor, John Limbert not only rowed for the Service and Combined Services but also represented the Crown Colony of Hong Kong in a Rugby International against Japan, Korea and the Philippines. He played fives as mentioned above and in the forces added squash and badminton.
During the National Women’s Rowing Squad trials, Christine Walker won the 1,500 metre run beating Beryl Mitchell (later Crockford) into second place. Beryl was to win the TV Women’s Superstars Competition which included a similar distance run in the Superstars Final. Apart from holding the Derwent training run records Christine did not otherwise compete as an athlete. Violet Green was competitive in the field of judo. Louise Johnson, who in her first rowing season won six times, had represented Great Britain as a swimmer in the World Student Games, her county and gained a triple Blue at Oxford University.
One noteworthy sporting career outside rowing was that of Peter J. Bevan who managed the family stables with his wife, was a race horse owner and noted trainer at Uttoxeter.
DERBY REGATTA AND CLUB WINS
These are the highlights of forty-eight known 19th century regatta wins. Note that Derby Regatta dominates the list of wins, as few reports of other regattas exiSt
1858 Coxed Four private challenge versus Leander Club of Burton at Derby with J. Wollaston (bow), E. Calvert, G. Cox and B. Scott Currey (stroke).
1859 First Derby Regatta - Silver Sculls G. Cox, Stewards Cup W. Thompson’s crew.
1863 Derby Regatta - six wins coach John H. Clasper.
1864 Derby Regatta - five wins coach John H. Clasper.
1865 Derby Regatta - five wins coach John H. Clasper.
1869 Derby Regatta - Steers Cup for sculling - S. Le Blanc Smith, Drakelow Cup for pairs at Burton Regatta, S. Le Blanc Smith (bow) and S. Le Blanc Smith.
1880 Derby Regatta - first Eights win. Further Eight oared win in 1884.
Amongst the above oarsmen note that Benjamin Scott Currey, a Derby solicitor by profession, was the club’s first President and had been rowing before the club was formed. Generally referred to as a gentleman in various press reports in the Derby Mercury he had befriended the great Henry (Harry) Clasper and these two were the umpires at Derby Regatta in 1866. John H. Clasper, who rowed bow in the boat stroked by his father Harry to win the prize of 40 sovereigns at the 1860 regatta, became the Derwent Rowing Club professional coach during the successful years above. Stuart Le Blanc Smith had a successful career on the Tideway and at Henley Royal Regatta, was an Amateur Rowing Association official and involved in the negotiations for the inauguration of the modern Olympic Games.
The general history of the club from the beginning of the 20th century until 1956 is covered in the first published history of the club “Derwent Rowing Club Centenary 1857-1957”.
The Centenary Year of 1957 was celebrated by an annual dinner at which the principal speaker was Mr G.O. Nickalls, President of the Amateur Rowing Association and Olympic oarsman. Invitation celebration races were also held with sister clubs of the Derwent, Trent and Soar rivers. The main prize was won by a crew from Nottingham Britannia Rowing Club. The Derby Regatta was particularly well supported that year by its membership and the Derwent Rowing Club Challenge Vase for Junior Fours was won by the crew of Robin Knott (bow), Derek Glew, Jeff Morgan and Tony Selby with Robin Seale (cox) coached by Mike Seale. The Derby RC Challenge Vase for Maiden Fours was won by Roger Swindall (bow), John Hurworth, John Partridge, Bob Hood, Peter Fearn (cox) and coach Les Pover. In 1957 wins were recorded with Maidens at Burton Regatta by Ian McIntyre (bow), Peter Morley, Richard Smith, Reg Hibbert, Ian White (cox) and coach John Gretton (President) and then Juniors at Gloucester Regatta. A crew stroked by Bert Stafford also won Maiden Fours at Ross Regatta.
1958 saw Hibbert’s crew continue their success winning Junior Senior Fours at Newark Regatta and Senior Fours at Bewdley Regatta. The crew of Mike Seale (bow), John Stanley, Barry Lees, Bert Stafford, John Vickerman (cox) and coach Les Pover, equalled Buggy Bennett’s 1908 record with six Junior Four wins including Derby Regatta. They added three Senior Four wins in 1959. Meanwhile Hibbert who stroked a win in the Head of the Trent Fine Fours division won a further three events, a Maiden and two Junior. Then in 1960 he won six times at Senior level and one at Junior Senior and in 1961 gained a further six wins.
Two Junior wins were recorded in 1966, John Steer (bow), Derek Vickers, Peter Whitehead, David Seale and Ian Woodhouse (cox) with Mike Seale (coach) and with John Partridge replacing Whitehead after the first regatta. The first eight win since 1884 was recorded in Junior Senior Eights at Leeds Regatta with M. Seale (bow), D. Vickers, J. Steer, P. Whitehead, C. Morgan, J. Kyle, J. Partridge, D. Seale and Ian Woodhouse (cox). Junior Senior Four wins were recorded at Chester and Bewdley and three Novice wins were recorded that year, one being an all Derwent final. In addition there were three Novice Scull wins, again including an all Derwent final.
In 1969 three Junior Senior Fours wins and one Senior Four win were recorded by a crew of J. Partridge (bow), D. Bevan, T. Bonshor, L. Hepton-Furniss, I. Woodhouse or P. Roberts (cox) and M. Seale (coach) and were rewarded with the first official club entry at Henley Royal Regatta.
1971 saw two wins in Senior Coxless Pairs and two wins at Non-status level by T. Bonshor (bow) and D. Seale with D. Booth and M. Seale sharing the coaching. Bonshor won Sculls at Derby and Burton at Junior level and Steve Allsop won Novice, Colt and two Cadet Sculling events at the age of fifteen.
In 1972 the crew of J. Partridge (bow), K. Titterton, J. Limbert, L. Hepton-Furniss, C. Bramwell and P. Shorthose (coxes), and D. Booth (coach) won four Senior A wins. Limbert and Hepton-Furniss also won Unclassified Pairs with Shorthose as cox. Steve Allsop had four sculling wins that year. The photograph overleaf shows the impressive style of the 1973 heavyweight four of K. Titterton (bow), D. Twells, J. Limbert, A. Bishop and G. Baker (cox). They turned out late in the season to win Senior B Fours at Burton and Senior A Fours at Leicester. This crew raced at the opening of the National Water Sports Centre at Holme Pierrepont and lost by two feet in the main event to the winning Henley Royal Regatta Wyfold crew. Illness compromised the crew’s entry at the national selection trials held the following year at Holme Pierrepont.
Quietly, in 1973, the first ladies’ crew to represent Derwent appeared at Leicester Regatta and then the following year the first fully active ladies’ crew of Maxine Bishop (bow), Anne Baiks, Lesley Rice, Kath Hill, Gary Baker (cox) and Kevin Titterton (coach) recorded five wins, three Unclassified, one Novice and one Senior B. A second Women’s Novice Four of Sylvia Bull (bow), Cheryl Williamson, Lyn Walters, Christine Walker and John Partridge (coach) won at Loughborough. John Limbert commenced a notable sculling career with a Novice win at Newark and Senior C Sculls at Loughborough and also won in Unclassified Pairs at Stourport with John Partridge (bow) and Mark Vickers (cox).
In 1975, John Limbert, coached by John Partridge, recorded eleven wins. The ladies’ crew of Sylvia Bull, Christine Walker, Lyn Walters, Anne Limbert (nee Baiks), Lee Davison (cox) and John Partridge (coach) recorded two Unclassified Women’s Four wins at Hollingworth and Stourport and lost in several finals of Unclassified and Women’s Elite events. Christine Walker and Anne Limbert went on to reach the final of the Women’s Coxless Pairs at the National Championships finishing fifth. Christine won Women’s Novice Sculls at York and Women’s Senior A Sculls at Burton. The latter race is noteworthy in that her opponent in the final was a member of the Great Britain double scull of the previous year. Another noteworthy win that season was Senior C Sculls at Leicester Regatta by Hans Bruchmeier, later to be in the National Coaching Team of the German Federal Republic in 1989-90.
In 1976 Christine Walker won the Unclassified Sculls at Derby Regatta and reached the final of the Women’s Single Sculls at the National Championships of Great Britain beating the other half of the Great Britain Double Sculls of 1974. Alan Perry stroked his crew to win two Senior C Fours events.
In 1977 John Limbert won Elite Sculls at Leicester Regatta beating Forbes of Loughborough in a heat and Bates of Peterborough in a thrilling final. As the race was being started the Fire Brigade, having been called out to tend a factory fire, lowered a wide metalled hose into the middle of the course leaving barely sufficient water on either side for the scullers. The race started and continued with both scullers at a high rate shooting the bridge with neither looking round or flinching. At the Inter Town Sports Festival Jubilee Regatta representing Amber Valley the crew of J. Hood (bow), K. Corden, S. Bullock, P. Bramwell, V. Green (coach) won the Women’s Junior Fours. However, the connection with Amber Valley is somewhat tenuous as all concerned lived in the City of Derby.
In 1978 a young captain was elected who with the full support of his family and friends transformed the club. Colin Bramwell had joined the club as a cox and progressed to National Junior Trials and this year with help from coaches Dennis Booth, John Partridge now holder of the ARA Silver Coaching Award and Len Hepton-Furniss in particular some thirty three wins were recorded.
Pride of place probably belongs to the arrival of a youthful Toronto born actor who had four national eligibilities, three of which he was later to utilise. Lewis Hancock had stroked his New York Public School crew at Henley Royal Regatta but was only Senior C status by ARA Rules of Racing. Coached by John Partridge for several seasons Lewis was a lightweight very intelligent and enthusiastic competitor of real talent if initially heavy handed technique. Progress was so fast that his coach persuaded him to enter the GB National Trials. He was to win twelve single scull events, two double sculls wins with Colin Barrett at bow and a silver medal at the National Championships losing by a canvas to the GB select double scull for 1978. It was an outstanding achievement. However, praise is also due his partner Colin who became a world champion in Lightweight Eights in 1979 and 1980.
A ladies’ crew of Pauline Bramwell (bow - Colin’s sister), Kath Hill, Lesley Titterton (nee Rice), Vi Green, Mick Hill (cox) won four Women’s Elite Coxed Four events and Vi was also to win Elite Coxed Pairs with Lesley, another Elite Four win in a combined crew from Civil Service and three Single Sculls at Senior C, A and Unclassified.
In 1979, though Colin Bramwell had emigrated to Denmark, the success continued under Des Cook’s captaincy and the same coaching team with nineteen wins. Lewis Hancock won three Elite and one Lightweight in singles, and two Double Sculls with Dave Miller of Nottingham & Union at bow. John Limbert, still racing for the RAF, represented the club at Burton winning the Elite Sculls.
Christine Walker, who had become a holder of the ARA Bronze Coaching Award, took charge of a crew of unsuccessful argumentative male veterans comprising Jim Giltrap (bow), Keith Bunyan, John Partridge, Terry Bonshor and Francis Hales (cox). Undaunted that she had control of experienced elder statesmen, three of whom were successful coaches in their own right, she set demanding land and water schedules, planned the racing programme and did not neglect their technique or lack of it. Five wins were achieved in Veteran A Coxed Fours and two close losing finals at Elite level. In 1980 Jim left for Zambia and various other places and was sadly missed as a character and competitor. Keith who was in the police force was transferred from his previous duty which had allowed training and regular competition at regattas. Peter Rowbottom and Mike Dance of Derby Rowing Club filled the Veteran Four bow seats to record two more wins.
In 1980, a total of eight wins was achieved under the captaincy of Mike St Clair who had joined the club from Nottingham Boat Club.
1981 saw two Veteran Coxed Four wins of J. Steer (bow), L. Hepton-Furniss, J. Partridge, T. Bonshor and P. Rowbottom (bow Derby RC), K. Bunyan and the same stroke pair, all of whom had won their Novices with Derwent.
In 1982 Keith Bunyan became Captain and it was his initiative with assistance from Len Hepton-Furniss that saw the start of a young junior squad, initially of eleven schoolboys aged around 13 and 14, that was to serve the club so well for the next decade and beyond. Extra coaching was given by Dennis Booth and John Partridge, the latter taking eight of the squad to the ARA Under 16 Training Weekend at the National Water Sports Centre where four distinguished themselves for ones so young.
During the season, the Novice four of Stan Boland (bow), Mick Colville, Bill Steen, Steve Playdon, Nick Hill (cox) won and then won again with Graeme Hogg and Steve Morson replacing 2 and 3 at the end of the season. The younger crew of Joe Tyndyk (bow), Robert Noble, Richard Williams, Mark Partridge, Francis Hales (cox) also did remarkably well by winning their Novice Fours at Newark Regatta and then four Junior Under 15 events and one Junior Under 16 event. Stroke Mark had been Derwent’s youngest competitor four years previously when, aged eleven, he raced at Under 14 level, coached by Dennis Booth. He was reintroduced to rowing by his father this year, fetched from the Derby rugby ground to make up a crew one Sunday. The other members were all new to the sport and three of the other juniors were to win in club colours.
In 1983, police duties again prevented Keith Bunyan from continuing in office and Len Hepton-Furniss returned for two more very successful years as Captain. Playdon’s four had early wins at York and Derby Sprints. However, it was Mark Partridge’s Junior Under 16 Four which stole the limelight with seven wins and one Senior C Four victory. A highlight was an exciting victory over Westminster School, then unbeaten with twenty-one wins, having beaten Abingdon School in a previous heat at Worcester Regatta. Further achievement for these young members accompanied by their coach John Partridge was selection to form part of the England eight in the England v France Junior Match at Mantes-la-Jolie near Paris. The crew was Andrew Start (bow-Nottingham Britannia), Colin Cox (NBRC), Richard Williams, Andrew Wagstaff (NBRC), Robert Noble, Martin Cragg (NBRC), Mark Partridge and Jonathon Cragg (cox-NHBRC), John Partridge and Frank Cox being the coaches.
Another honour was to be the guests of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge and to train and race with their first two eights during a memorable weekend. The Junior Under 16 eight comprised S. Jackson (bow), P. Watson, M. Hutchison, P. Marszal, R. Noble, J. Tyndyk, R. Williams, M. Partridge, N. Hill (cox). They came a commendable second in a four miles time trial on the Sunday.
A significant new crew of Sinton (bow), Colville, McKee, Schofield and F. Hales (cox) won Senior B Fours at York Small Boats Head
Three women’s fours were to win their Novices; that of Helen Pearce (bow), Carol Green, Donna Warburton, Annette Smith, Karen Cholerton (cox) coached by Pauline Bramwell was aged Under 15. Hancock won two single sculls events and two future Great Britain international oarsmen Williams and Sinton were to win Junior Sculls, Williams at Under 16 level. Morale this year was at its height.
In 1984 the season commenced where the previous season had left off, and there were thirty-one wins. Last year’s Junior Under 16 crew was joined by another outstanding junior Andrew Sinton racing at bow, with Tyndyk, Williams, Partridge and Hill (cox). They added nine wins at Birmingham, Burton, Bewdley, Sheffield Sprint (Morson replacing Sinton) and Bradford Autumn (McKee replacing Morson) at Senior A level; Derby Sprint and Nottingham City at Senior B level; and Evesham Sprint and Derby at Senior C level.
The season had started with a Senior B eight of Tyndyk (bow), Colville, Partridge, Sinton, McKee, Playdon, Williams, Schofield, Hill (cox) winning the Runcorn Guinness Eights. A second Senior A winning four of Colville (bow), Playdon, McKee, Schofield and D. Hales (cox) also coached by John Partridge won at Loughborough, Trentham, and Senior B Fours at Northwich and Birmingham Regattas. These were magnificent achievements considering that the club possessed only one suitable coxed four and no coxless four oared boats. The racing and training programmes had to accommodate this difficulty but high morale, respect for each other and “esprit de corps” were very evident.
Noble at (bow) rejoined the members of his Under 15 crew to win Junior Fours at Stourport Sprint Regatta beating an exceptional Monmouth School four, two of whom were later to become GB internationals. Late in the season a four of Morson (bow), Playdon, McKee, Partridge and Patrick (cox) won at York Small Boats Head.
A crew of Paul Marszal (bow), Mark Thomas, Alistair Kennedy, Francis Hales, David Hales (cox) coached by Len Hepton-Furniss were to win their Novice and Senior C Fours and were a combination of two juniors with two university graduates.
A Women’s Junior Four of S. Sanghera (bow), D. Warburton, H. Pearce, A. Smith, K. Cholerton (cox), coached by Terry Bonshor won Women’s Junior Under 15 Fours at Burton and Senior C Fours at Hollingworth Lake, Trentham and Sheffield Sprint. Hancock added three Senior A Sculls wins. Other wins included Tracy Reynolds with four wins in Women’s Senior C and B Fours in a combined crew and Sanghera won her Novices also in a combined crew.
1985 brought thirty-five wins with twenty-three club members sharing the glory. However, with the founding of the regional elite international aspirant club Nottinghamshire County Rowing Association at Holme Pierrepont, local clubs had difficulties in keeping promising crews together. Whilst the club was pleased to see members take advantage of the opportunity to further their careers, it was also tinged with sadness, as the club seemed on the threshold of notable success. Members who raced with the NCRA included Williams, Tyndyk, Hancock, Partridge, Sinton, Pearson, Cholerton and Woodland though most retained their Derwent membership and raced in our colours again.
Two Elite Four wins were achieved by crews of Thomas (bow), Bonshor, Williams, Partridge, Patrick (cox) and Williams (bow), Thomas, McKee, Playdon and D. Hales (cox). The latter crew with Sinton replacing Williams won Elite B Fours. There were ten Senior A wins, five stroked by Playdon and five by Partridge. The crews included McKee, Tyndyk, Williams, Thomas, Peter Johnston, Bonshor, Sinton, Morson and Hogg. At several regattas Derwent had two Senior A crews sharing the same boat with Patrick and Hales on duty as coxes. Frequently, in turn, one crew would enter the Elite, or, if there was one the Elite B event. By the end of the season, Derwent had two of the fastest Senior A crews in the country capable of beating Tideway opposition and very competitive at elite status.
A Senior C eight of Paul Marszal (bow), Paul Hill, Andy Stokes, Mark Vickers, Stan Boland, Simon Froud, Paul Watson, Peter Johnston and David Hales (cox) won at Loughborough. Stokes was 6ft 9 ins and Froud stood 6ft 8ins, both later joining the Police Force. The club also qualified out of an original entry of seventy for the Thames Cup at Henley Royal Regatta but lost in the first round.
Tyndyk and Williams won FISA Senior A II Coxless Pairs at Nottinghamshire International Regatta coached by Mark Lees, Elite Coxless Pairs at Derby Regatta, and Junior Coxless Pairs at Nottingham. Williams was selected for the Great Britain Junior team and raced at the World Championships at Brandenburg then in the German Democratic Republic in coxed pairs. Earlier Tyndyk and Williams had won the silver medal at the National Schools Regatta. This regatta had changed its rules to allow schoolboy club members from different unaffiliated schools to compete. This pair reached the second round of the Goblets losing by three quarters of a length to Scrivener and Hassan, two GB International oarsmen, a commendable performance for juniors.
Two Senior A sculling wins were recorded by Sinton, a Senior B and two Senior C Sculling wins by Williams, a Senior C and Novice sculling win by Partridge and further Novice sculling wins by Tyndyk, Playdon and Johnston.
Several combined wins in various categories were recorded by the following: A. Bailey, M.L. Colville, A. Smith, P.T. Pearce, H. Bailey, D. Warburton, S. Sanghera and H.G Pearce. Four were in coxed fours events, two of which included Shauna McGibbon of Derby Rowing Club. Annette Smith was selected to represent England in the Junior Coxed Four in the England v France Match at Le Creusot, France.
Hancock won a gold medal in the Double Sculls and silver medal in the Canadian National Championships in the Lightweight events.
In 1986 nineteen wins were recorded but the squad was depleted by the call of university and strains of equipment shortages. A Senior A Eight comprising Boland (bow), Johnston, Bonshor, Froud, Pearson, Tyndyk, Morson, Partridge and David Hales (cox) won easily at Loughborough Regatta. The Senior A Four of Bonshor (bow), Thomas, Morson, Partridge and Hales (cox) won at Stourport Head, then Pearson replaced Morson due to illness, Tyndyk replaced Thomas and the crew went on to win at Derby and Loughborough with style and some ease.
Two Senior B Four wins were gained at Derby Sprint and Trentham with Marszal (bow), Froud, Boland, Johnston, Cholerton (cox) at the first and with Boland leaving the area, P. Rawlins on vacation from Cambridge University substituted in the second. All the above crews were under the coaching of John Partridge, now holder of the ARA Gold Coaching Award.
Two elite sculling wins were achieved by Hancock, a Senior A win by Sinton and a National Championship bronze medal in Women’s Junior Under 14 Sculls was achieved by Patrick. She also won her Novice Sculls at Derby Regatta having been coached by Booth and Hepton-Furniss.
Four Women’s Senior A Fours were won by Donna Warburton (bow), Mary Louise Colville, Lisa Varley (nee Crofts of Derby RC), Annette Smith, Karen Cholerton (cox) with Christine Walker coming out of retirement, replacing the unavailable Donna, at Stratford. Here they beat an Oxford University women’s four in the final. Annette Smith raced at Ghent Regatta for Great Britain in Pairs and Coxed Fours at both Junior and Senior level but unfortunately lack of funding ended her hopes of appearing again in GB colours.
Williams won in composite regional crews in Quad Sculls at the National Schools Regatta, Elite Coxless Fours at Newark Regatta, and Elite Pairs at Derby Regatta with another junior international. At Stourport Regatta cox Cholerton combined in a Civil Service crew and won her Novices.
Hancock stroked a joint Derwent and Leander double scull to lose in the final of the Double Sculls at Henley Royal Regatta to the USA World Championship select double and representing Wales, reached the final of the Commonwealth Regatta.
1987 started with an Elite Four win of Bonshor (bow), Partridge, Morson, Thomas and Cholerton (cox). Ian Woodland, previously of Bedford Rowing Club, and Thames Tradesmen with whom he reached the final of the Thames Cup at Henley Royal Regatta, joined the club and won Senior C and B sculls. Partridge won Senior C Sculls at Derby Sprint Regatta. Five further wins were recorded most as part of composite crews, notably a FISA gold medal in the Veteran B Coxed Pairs by Bonshor.
Williams, who won for the club in a mixed four, was now at London University, whose four he stroked to the final of the Visitors’ Cup at Henley and represented Great Britain in the Match des Seniors (World Under 23 Championships), winning the gold medal. They also won a gold medal at the National Championships.
Hancock had a successful season in Canada including a gold medal in the Lightweight Double Sculls and Coxless Pairs, and a silver medal in the Quadruple Sculls at the Canadian National Championships. He represented Canada in the World Championships.
1988 saw a little more local representation by some of the club’s university undergraduates during their vacations. A Senior 1 Coxed Four of Perry (bow), Sinton, Morson, Partridge, Hancock (cox), coached as usual by John Partridge won at Burton, Bewdley, Stourport Sprint and Bristol. Williams, Partridge, Schofield and Perry recorded single sculling wins.
Women’s sculling wins included three by Jilly Perry (nee Robinson), three by Amanda Sharman, and one by Dr Shauna McGibbon now racing with Derwent.
A Women’s Open Four of J. Perry (bow), R. Thompson, S. McGibbon, S. Jaffe, J. Hancock (cox), coached by Sinton won at Stourport. Two Women’s Senior 1 Four wins were recorded by M. Colville (bow), Perry, Thompson, Smith, Cholerton (cox), coached by Playdon. A Mixed Four win with the bow pair of the Senior 1 crew, their coach and Bonshor was also recorded. The Senior 1 Four qualified for the televised final of the Power Sprint Regatta held at Peterborough. The club eight came 12th out of 24 but a distance of only half a length would have separated the 3rd to 21st place. In the semi-final of the Visitors’ Cup at Henley, Imperial College stroked by Pearson beat London University stroked by Williams but were the losing finalists. Hancock raced for Canada at the World Rowing Championships and returned to speak at the club’s annual dinner.
In 1989, twenty wins were achieved. A number of sculling wins with Woodland winning four, and Alan Perry and Starling one win each. Women’s sculling wins included six by Jilly Perry, one of which was at Open level at Burton, and five by Sharman. Jilly also achieved three wins in fours, two of which were in a combined crew with Derby RC. The Derwent women’s win comprised S. Timm (bow), R. Thompson, J. Perry, H. Start and J. Hancock (cox) with Sinton coaching.
Williams raced in the Great Britain Lightweight Eight in the World Championships at Bled. Hancock stroked the Canadian Lightweight Quad Sculls and then they returned to Kirk Ireton, Derbyshire and the Derwent Club.
In 1990 Woodland continued his success in sculling boats with five wins in singles and one in doubles with Alan Crowther of Derby RC who was a gold medallist in Adaptive Fours in the 2005 and 2006 World Championships. The club’s first Open Quad Scull wins were achieved by Sinton (bow), Woodland, Perry and Hancock at Bedford Small Boats Head, and Hancock (bow), Sinton, Crowther and Woodland in Small Boats Heads at Nottingham and Henley. Sharman won five sculling events, Jilly Perry one and together they won twice in composite crews.
The National Championships saw out of town members being successful. Williams won a gold medal stroking the Lea RC Coxed Pair; Pearson gold stroking the Imperial College Coxless Four; McGibbon silver in Singles Sculls for Clydesdale and Partridge a bronze medal stroking the Kingston Lightweight Eight.
In 1991 two Senior 3 Quad Scull wins were recorded by a crew comprising Playdon (bow), Starling, Morson and Perry, coached by Hancock who in turn, accompanied by Woodland, won Open Quads in a composite crew with Derby RC. Veteran D Fours was won by Whitehead (bow), J. Partridge, Bonshor and May all of whom had won their novices with Derwent. Hancock won three Veteran B sculling events and Woodland won Senior Sculls at Bedford Sprint Regatta. Starling won at Senior 3 level and Sharman won twice in Women’s Open Sculls and J. Perry once at Senior 1 level.
Several composite wins were recorded. The Darley Abbey Challenge Vase at Derby Regatta was won by a Derwent/NCRA crew comprising Dave Lemon (bow), M. Partridge, Etherington, M.B. Partridge, J. Hancock (cox) who beat a Derby Rowing Club crew which had on board three ex Derwent RC members. The verdict was ‘easily’ in the final in a very fast time. Perry and Sharman won Women’s Open Coxed Fours in the Head of the Trent in a composite with Derby RC. Woodland won Open and Mixed Double Sculls with Derby RC companions.
At Henley Royal Regatta, Sinton lost in the final of the Queen Mother Cup representing Nautilus (GB squad). M. Partridge lost in the final of the Wyfolds representing NCRA to the GB select and eventual World Championship gold medal Lightweight Coxless Four. At the National Championships of Great Britain, Sharman won a bronze medal in a composite Women’s Quad Scull and Partridge also won a bronze medal racing for NCRA in the Coxless Fours event. At the World Championships, Sinton raced in Lightweight Quad Sculls and Pearson was in the Lightweight Eights.
In 1992 eighteen wins were recorded. An Open Quad Scull of Playdon (bow), Colville, Starling and Perry won at Stourport Small Boats Head and at Senior 2 level at Boston and Bedford with Stowell replacing Starling. A further win was achieved with Starling and Noble replacing Colville and Stowell. Lyne and Stowell won Senior 3 Coxed Pairs with Riley as cox at Cambridge; Senior 2 Sculls were won at Derby in an all Derwent final by M. Partridge; three Senior 3 Sculls were won by Playdon; Noble won Novices and two Senior 3 sculls, and Stowell and Lyne also won Novice Sculls.
A Women’s Novice Four of Sarah Coles (bow), Kirsty Parsons, Sharon Fletcher, Katie Hatfield and Kate Riley (cox) won at York followed by a Nottingham Small Boats Senior 3 win with Jilly Perry at stroke and Katie Hatfield moving to (2).
At Henley Royal Regatta, Pearson rowing for NCRA at (2) won the Wyfolds. At the National Championships M. Partridge won a gold medal in the NCRA Lightweight Eight; Sinton won a gold in the ARA Lightweight Quad and silver in the Open Quads; and Pearson won gold in the NCRA Lightweight Eight with Partridge and another gold in the Open Coxless Fours. Two silver medals were won by Williams representing London in the Lightweight Eights and Coxless Fours. At the World Lightweight Rowing Championships in Montreal, Sinton was bow in the GB Lightweight Quad.
In 1993 seventeen wins were recorded. Open Double Sculls were won by Playdon (bow) and Partridge at Burton, and by Crowther (bow) and Partridge at Ancholme Head. Lyne (bow) and Stowell won a Senior 2 Coxed Pairs Head and then, Lyne (bow) and Winsloe - an Irishman and a German with an English coach, John Partridge - won Senior 3 Double Sculls at Nottingham Small Boats Head. Starling was to win one Senior 1 and two Senior 2 Sculls and Playdon Senior 1 Sculls at Derby breaking the event record time. Lyne also won at Derby in the Senior 3 event.
The women’s squad was also successful with Louise Johnson (bow), Kate Hatfield, Sharon Fletcher, Jilly Perry and Kate Riley (cox) coached by Alan Perry winning Women’s Open Fours at Burton and Killarney and Senior 2 Fours at Leicester, Derby (record time) and Stourport Head where S. Barnsley substituted for Johnson. Fletcher and Perry won Open Coxless Pairs at Bedford Small Boats Head. Women’s sculling wins included Open Sculls by Jilly Perry at Killarney and Novice Women’s Sculls by Johnson and Fletcher.
At Henley Sinton competed in the NCRA/Goldie Quad, Pearson in the NCRA Wyfold four and Williams in the London/Tyrian Coxless Pair. Robson won a gold medal at (bow) in Royal Shrewsbury School’s Colts Pair at the National Schools Regatta. At the National Championships held at Strathclyde, Williams won a gold medal in Thames Rowing Club’s Lightweight Quad and Pearson a gold medal in the NCRA Coxless Four. In the World Rowing Championships at Roudnice, Sinton was at bow in the Great Britain Lightweight Quad Scull, his second 5th place in a final.
In 1994 ten wins were recorded. At Bedford Small Boats Head Open Double Sculls was won by Playdon (bow) and Winsloe. Winsloe had previously won German Federal Republic National and World Match des Seniors Championship medals. They also raced with Crowther and Partridge in a quad with style but no success. Starling and Perry won twice in Senior 2 Double Sculls and Perry won twice at Senior 2 Sculling level.
A Women’s Senior 2 Coxed Four of Johnson (bow), Barnsley, Fletcher, Perry, Riley (cox) won at Cambridge and Fletcher won three Women’s Senior 3 Single Sculls events.
At Henley, Sinton competed in the Double Sculls as NCRA/Kingston, Pearson in the University of London Eight, and Robson in the Royal Shrewsbury School Eight. At the World Rowing Championships at Indianapolis, Sinton stroked the GB Lightweight Double which reached the final.
In 1995 eight wins are recorded: a Novice Four of S. Cresswell, C. Evans, S. Pykett, A. Caller with C. Walker (cox) and a Mixed Double Scull of Alan Perry and Sharon Fletcher at Cambridge; Sinton at Nottingham Small Boats Head and Robson Senior 2 and Senior 3 Sculls; and Fletcher, Campbell and Perry once at Veteran B.
In 1996 there were twenty-two wins, mainly in sculling boats. Senior 2 Double Sculls was won by Ewan Robson (bow) and Alan Perry at St Neots’ Regatta; Senior 1 Sculls at Cambridge and Veteran Sculls at Leicester by Perry; Senior 2 Sculls by Mark Partridge at Stourport; Senior 3 Sculls by Robson at Stourport and by Mick Colville at Leicester; and Dave Longstone won Novice Sculls at Stourport Small Boats Head.
Jilly Perry won five sculling events at Open, two at Senior 1, one at Veteran A and one at Veteran B level. Gillian Campbell won six sculling events, one at Open, three at Senior 2 and two at Senior 3 level. She also had two composite wins in Quads at head of the river races, one accompanied by Sharon Fletcher and Jilly Perry. Sharon Fletcher had three sculling wins, one at Senior 1 and two at Senior 2.
At the Olympic Games at Lake Lanier, Atlanta USA, Andy Sinton was stroke of the Great Britain Lightweight Double Sculls with Nick Strange at bow.
In 1997 thirty-one wins were achieved. Two Open Double Scull wins were gained by Richard Williams (bow) and Ian Woodland; Ewan Robson won Senior Sculls at Bradford Autumn Regatta; two Senior 2, three Senior 3 and three Novice events were won by Dave Longstone including heads. T. Horner also won his Novices and Woodland added two wins in singles at Veteran B level.
A crew of Women’s Novices comprising F. Newbold (bow), K. Hislop, A. Whittingham, J. Fogg, I. Starling (cox and coach) with assistance from Alan Perry and Richard Williams won Novices twice at Heads and at Chester Regatta. Women’s Senior Coxless Pairs was won by Sharon Fletcher (bow) and Jilly Perry who also added two wins in Open Double Sculls. A win in Women’s Senior 2 Double Sculls was the result of a row over. Jilly Perry added four Women’s Open Sculls to her impressive list and Fiona Newbold had three Novice wins including heads and non-qualifying events. A mixed four of J. Perry (bow), S. Fletcher, I. Woodland and R. Williams won at Leeds and a women’s composite four win included J. Fogg and J. Perry.
In 1998 only four wins were recorded, Women’s Senior Quad of G. Campbell (bow), K. Sommers, S. Fletcher, J. Perry; a Women’s Senior 2 Double Scull of Newbold and Sommers; the latter also won her Novice Sculls; and Sharman and Campbell won as a composite Veteran Double Scull.
In 1999 there were composite wins by Campbell and Sharman in two Veteran Eights and Quad Sculls with Nottingham & Union and then with Leicester. Jilly Perry won Veteran B Sculls with Leicester at the National Veterans’ Regatta and a silver medal in the Veteran B Sculls.
There was a small recovery of eleven wins in the year 2000, though three were composite wins and two at an invitation regatta. A Senior 3 Double Sculls event was won by S. Oliver (bow) and S. Playdon at Shrewsbury and Burton Regattas. Steve Playdon won Senior 1 Sculls at Leicester and Steve Oliver, Senior 2 Sculls at Shrewsbury Sprint, Burton and Derby Invitation Regattas. J. Playdon won Women’s Novice Sculls at the latter invitation event. J. Perry won Women’s Open Double Sculls and Women’s Quad Sculls accompanied by G. Campbell both in composites with Nottingham and Union RC.
The year 2001 saw only composite wins apart from Steve Oliver’s Senior 1 Scull win at Leicester. Steve won two Senior 2 Coxed Four wins with Derby RC.
In women’s events Gillian Williams won Senior 2 Double Sculls with NURC; J. Playdon, C. Biston and N.C. Cholerton won Women’s Senior 4 and Senior 2 Eights with Derby RC; and Playdon and Biston won Women’s Novice Fours also with Derby RC.
2002 saw a Novice sculling win by Chris Paget, a Women’s Junior U16 Sculling win by R. Hallam and a Women’s Senior 3 Double Scull win by G. Campbell with a sculler from Loughborough.
In 2003 a win in Senior 2 Coxless Pairs was achieved at Peterborough by Alun Richards-Jones (bow) and Richard Williams. Alun won his Novice Sculls at Burton Regatta and also competed at Henley and National Championships for NCRA. Chris Paget added two further wins in sculling events.
There were five wins in 2004 with Senior 2 Double Sculls at Newark with Richard Williams (bow) and Alun Richards-Jones. Alun also won Senior 4 Sculls at Newark. He was still competing with NCRA during the main part of the season. In women’s events Jilly Perry (bow) and Fiona Newbold won Women’s Senior 3 Double Sculls on three occasions at head races.
In 2005 there were ten wins including a Senior 2 Coxless Four of Richard Williams (bow), Giles Monnickendam, Alex Skelton and Alun Richards-Jones. Senior 1 Double Sculls of Williams and Richards-Jones won again at Newark Head to which Alun added a win in the Senior 1 Sculls. He was still racing with NCRA during the season. Alex Skelton, also of NCRA, won Senior 3 Single Sculls at Newark achieving the overall fastest time, Alun being second.
J. Baron (bow), F. Newbold, E.L. Crump, and J. Perry won Women’s Senior 2 Coxed Fours at Loughborough. Three Women’s Senior 2 Double Sculls head races were won by J. Perry (bow), and F. Newbold. Frances Lane, a talented newcomer, not only won two Women’s Senior 1 Sculling events but reached a final at Women’s Henley Regatta, the first time a female member has done so.
2006, the last year of this first 150 years of Derwent Rowing Club history, showed some promise. There were eleven wins. Williams and Richards-Jones added another Double Sculling win whilst Richards-Jones was still part of the NCRA squad and Williams won Veteran B Sculls at Peterborough and Chester.
Frances Lane achieved four Women’s Veteran B Single Sculls, including the gold medal at the National Veterans’ Championships and one Women’s Senior 2 win. Jilly Perry, who has probably been our most consistent competitor, won two Women’s Veteran C Single Sculling events and Women’s Veteran C Double Sculls at York Small Boats Head.
This book has its genesis in the club’s 1957 Centenary booklet produced by Vice President A.H. Hockey. The original logbooks and other material had been mislaid making his work difficult and I have been able to add to some of the earlier period in this work whilst concentrating on the last 50 years. The groundwork and research for this book was not carried out recently as a new project, but much of the basic information was painstakingly accumulated over many years. I started from the Centenary booklet, examined loose archives, minute books and cash books, and spent hours in the Local Studies Library reading nineteenth century Derby Mercury newspapers and other archive material. In 1959 Captain Reg Hibbert purchased a new log book and club regatta wins have been meticulously recorded ever since.
I am greatly indebted to the wisdom, patience and encouragement of the editor of this work, our first lady rowing Vice President, Christine Walker. Without her experience of printing, her enthusiasm and knowledge of the club and its history over a period of some 32 years, I would not have been able to produce anything as professional as this history. My thanks go to the President Margaret Marshall, the Chairman Richard Williams and his wife club Captain Gillian, and with regard to recent events Jilly Perry. I have had encouragement and help over much of the period from Terry Bonshor a racing colleague, friend and experienced oarsman and Vice President of the club. Thanks also to the oarsmen and oarswomen who raced and competed for the club and who, with the Officers, made my 57 years of membership so rewarding and fulfilling.
Special thanks go to my wife Lesly who has helped by spending hours at the computer where her skills are superior to mine. Also, to my ex secretary Lynda Barry who over a period of sixteen years gave me considerable help and encouragement in typing and researching much original material.
1857-67 B. Scott Currey 1900-07 Ald. A. Woodiwiss J.P.
1868-75 The Earl of Harrington 1908-29 Ald. A.B. Chambers J.P.
1876-80 T.W. Evans M.P. 1930-49 W.F.D. Norton
1881 A. Woodiwiss Snr 1950-57 J. Gretton
1882-94 W.H. Worthington 1958-71 A.L.F. Partridge
1895 A. Woodiwiss Snr & 1972-83 W.C. Marshall
Sir C.C. Bowring1984-90J.K. Partridge
1896-99 Sir C.C. Bowring 1991- Mrs M.I. Marshall
1857-64 F.G. Goodwin 1950-51 D.G. Pollard
1865 E. Bemrose 1952-53 J. Stockley
1866-67 W.W. Popplewell 1954 A.W. Middleton
1868 G.H. Goodwin 1955 R. Eaton
1869-75 E. Bemrose 1956-58 W.C. Marshall
1876-79 S. Abbott 1959-60 R.L. Hibbert
1880-81 H. Sherwin 1961 P.S. Morley
1882 J.M. MacMorran 1962-64 J.K. Partridge
1883-84 J. Cholerton 1965-66 M.J. Seale
1885 F. Campion 1967 J.P. Kyle
1886-90 R. Howard Marsh 1968-71 M.J. Seale
1891-94 F. Brailsford 1971 D.I. Seale
1895-97 T.W. Collinge 1972 L.J. Hepton-Furniss
1898-04 E. Payton 1973-75 J.J. Limbert
1905-09 W.F.D. Norton 1976-77 L.J. Hepton-Furniss
1910-11 E. Horne Jnr 1978 C.R. Bramwell
1912-13 C.H. Statham 1979 D. Cook
1914 J. Gretton 1980 M.P. St Clair
1915 W.F.D. Norton 1981 T. Bonshor
1916 J. Gretton 1982 K. Bunyan
1917-19 W.F.D. Norton 1983-84 L.J. Hepton-Furniss
1920-21 J. Gretton 1985 V. McKee
1922-25 W.R. Sherwin 1986-88 S.L. Playdon
1926-27 H.C. Sherwin 1989-90 A.J. Perry
1928-29 R.J. Case 1991 I. Woodland
1930-32 F. Levers 1992 S. Morson & A.J. Perry
1933 A.L. Scarlett 1993 A.J. Perry
1934 A.M. Battie 1994 S.L. Playdon
1935-36 A.L.F. Partridge 1995-97 A.J. Perry
1937 L.C. Pover 1998-99 Mrs J. Perry
1938 A.T. Bird & L.C. Pover 2000-01 S.L. Playdon
1939-40 J. Mitchell 2002-03 S. Oliver
1941-45 W.C. Marshall 2004 Miss F. Newbold
1946-47 H.W. Jackson 2005-06 Mrs J. Perry
LIST OF INDIVIDUAL REGATTA AND HEAD WINS – MALE MEMBERS (as recorded in club log books)
Williams R.M.* 59
Partridge M.L.J.* 51
Hancock L.* 42
Bonshor T. 39
Playdon S.L., Tyndyk J.M.* 37
Limbert J.J.* 30
Partridge J.K. 29
Perry A.J.* 28
Morson S.*, Sinton A.M.* 27
Woodland I.* 25
Hibbert R.L.* 23
Seale D.I.* 22
Pendock J.C.T. 20
Walker A.H. 19
Bryden J.F., Dicken G.H., Noble R. 18
Hepton-Furniss L.J., McKee V. 15
Fisher G.S. 14
Bevan P.J.*, Colville M.D.*, Dawson E.N., Levers F., Thomas M.S.*, Titterton K.* 12
Bunyan K., Starling I. 11
Stafford A.F., Stanley J. 10
Allsop S.*, Gordon I., Lees B.*, Longstone D.*, Morley P.S., Oliver S., Seale M.J., Twells D.J.* 9
Bennett W.H., Boland S., Hilton S., Kelley E.J.M., Mattinson W.H., Partridge A.L.F., Pover L.C., Richards-Jones A.*, Sims J.H., Slater C.H., Smith R.T., Vickers D. 8
Bevan D.W., Bramwell C.R., Brien J.P., Broughton C.W., Morley E.J.W., O’Regan W., Schofield C.J.V.* 7
Eaton R., Froud S., Gadsby E.P., Middleton A.W., Robson E.*, Steer J.E.* 6
Bishop A.*, Cook D., Earp R.S.A., Giltrap J.*, Goodwin G.H., Harley D., Hogg G.*, Lyne D.*, Marszal P., Mitchell J., Morgan J.A., Rowbottom P.*, Stowell R.*, Swain W.A. 5
Bowring Sir C.C., Brundle C., Currey B.S., Duff H.A.S., Jackson N.*, McIntyre I.T.S., Moorley M.R., Morgan C., Roe Sir C.F., Whitehead P.T.* 4
Adams W.N., Barrett C., Cox G.*, Faulkner C.J., Glew D., Horne E.*, Johnston P.T.*, Johnston P.M., Knott R., Maguire D., Marshall W.C., Paget C., Pearson S.*, Roberts P.J.*, Selby A., St Clair M.P.*, Whelan J.*, White I. 3
Baker G., Beck T.J., Buckley K., Calvert E., Charlesworth D., Draper T.G., Duncan R.M., Foley S., Hales F.J., Hill I., Hill P., Hill T.C., Hood R.M., Hutchison M.*, Jones P., Kennedy A., Kyle J.P., Le Blanc Smith S.*, May A.E.L., Meakin V., Morton R.J., Newbold T.W., Nicholson J.J., Peat J., Redhead J.A., Sherwin H., Sherwin H.C., Skelton A., Sims A., Tarry H., Taylor H., Thomas J.S., Vickers M., Walley A., Watson Paul, Watson Peter*, Whiston W.H., Winsloe J.* 2
Andrews K., Bagguley A., Baker A.H., Barker J., Barrington T.F., Bartlett T., Beaumont J., Beck A.S., Bemrose E., Bennett R.C., Birks K.W., Blaxter G.H., Blaxter W.F., Blount G., Bolns G., Boorman A.W., Borthwick N.*, Brailsford H., Broughton D.W., Bruchmeier H.*, Buckley K., Bunton J.A., Burrows J.E., Caller A., Campbell D., Campbell J.W., Campion F., Campion W., Carlier R., Cholerton T., Clapham J.N., Clarke A.W., Clifton E., Cooper A., Cox C., Cox W., Creswell S., Cross A., Crowther A., Crump F., Cubley G.A., Cummings H., Cunningham D.*, Deque J., Draper A., Drew A.W., Drew T., Driver E., Duncan A.M., Earp F., Eggleston G.C.H., Ellis N., Etchells A., Evans C., Evans M.R., Ferry S., Fletcher W.R., Foster, Frost W., Fry T., Fuller T.A., Gadsby E.J., Gamble A., Gilbert A.S., Glaves J.J.T.H., Gollin M., Gretton J., Hamilton R., Heald H., Hefford G., Hewitt W.A.L., Hill M., Hill R., Hill W., Hilyer E.H., Hodges F., Holland T., Horne H., Horner T.*, Humphrey W.B., Hurden J.C., Hurworth J., James C., Jenkins M.J., Johnson C., Johnson C.J., Johnson G.S., Johnson K., Jones D., Keeling P., Kilkelly P., King L.H., Kirby C.F., Kirlew C.J., Kirton J.B., Knight P., Knowles E., Lambourne E.J., Le Blanc Smith S., Leech C., Lewis G., Ley Sir F., Linfoot F.D., Linnell G.E., Loftus J., Marsh F.H.H., Mathews M.H., Meakin W.F., Mill F.A., Monnickendam G.*, Morley W., Needham R.T., Nichols J.A.B., Norman G.A., O’Donnell K., Oliver J., Palling S.J., Parrott R., Parsons C.E., Peet J., Pike B.W., Pike C.S., Pollard D.G., Popplewell W.W., Pritchard N.*, Pykett S., Radford J.G., Rawlins P., Reid B.B., Reynolds M., Rice R., Richardson C., Richardson H.S., Richardson J.H., Richardson R.H., Richardson R.J., Rickman E.G., Roberts A., Robinson C., Robinson E.T., Robinson W.T., Sherwin W.R., Shorthose P.*, Simpson H.H., Sims E.R., Smith F.H., Smith J.K., Smith S.P., Smith W., Statham C.H., Steen W.*, Stern T.H., Stilwell P.J., Stokes A.J., Swindall R.L., Taft T.D.C., Taylor H., Thompson R., Thompson W., Thurman A.E., Tomlinson C.P., Varney G., Walker H., Walker J., Walley Alfred, Ward R.S., Warner J.R., Wheeldon T., Whymper R., Wigley H., Willows R.*, Wollaston J., Wood R.A.S., Wood R.S., Woodham C.M., Wylie J.H. 1
*Denotes has known wins with other clubs, schools or universities.
WOMEN MEMBERS (as recorded in club log books)
Perry J.* 61
Fletcher S., Sharman A.* 25
Campbell (Williams) G.* 18
Newbold F., Smith A.J. 15
Colville M.L. 12
Green V.F.*, Rice (Titterton, Fox) L.* 10
Hill K. 09
Warburton D.M. 08
Baiks (Limbert) A., Bramwell (Jackson) P., Hatfield K., Lane F., Pearce H.J., Walker C.* 07
Johnson L., Sanghera (Noble) S. 06
Bishop M. 05
Bailey A., Fogg J., Hislop K., Playdon J., Reynolds T., Sommers K., Thompson (Schofield) R., Whittingham A. 04
Bailey H., Biston C., Bull (Twells) S., Hood J., Pearce P.T., Walters L. 03
Barnsley S., Bullock (Cook) S., Cholerton N.C., Corden K., McGibbon S.*, Neale L., Patrick K.* 02
Akers (Boland) R., Atkinson J., Bacon J., Cholerton K., Coles S., Crump E.L., Green C., Hallam R., Jackson K., Jaffe S.M.*, Merriman P., Nash (Hill) V., Parsons K., Pegg D., Robinson J., Seal R., Start H.*, Timm S., Williamson C. 01
Subsequent married name where known during rowing career is shown in brackets.