History of Weybridge Rowing Club


Weybridge Rowing Club 1880s-1980s by Nigel Burton was published in November 2011 after more than 10 years of painstaking research.

The book tells the story of the Club's first 100 years or so, starting with its foundation in 1881. It contains an unexpected amount of detail about the early years, thanks to extensive coverage of the Club's affairs in the local newspapers. It then traces a story of fluctuating fortunes, through tragedy and hardship, but also a fair amount of rowing success. The points of interest include two world wars, the Golden Age of the 1920s, the Olympic Games, the Great Depression, and various periods when the Club punched well above its weight on the regatta circuit. The book includes the personal reminiscences of Vince Boveington (stroke of the Olympic four), Cyril Spreadbury (late 1930s), and George Kenyon (Second World War).

It is a hardback edition, with dust jacket, containing 194 pages and 60 photographs.

It costs 13, plus 4 for p&p if you would like it to be sent by post. Cheques should be made payable to Weybridge Rowing Club.

Copies are available from behind the bar, or from Nigel Burton at 60 Holme Chase, Weybridge, Surrey KT13 0BZ.
Nigel can also be contacted via:  book @ weybridgerowing.org.uk


Some notable dates and occasions are listed below:

1881

Foundation of Weybridge Rowing Club
Weybridge started life as a "tradesmens" club, as opposed to the "gentlemens" club which began life much later at Walton.
The foundation is often mis-quoted as being in 1880 when presumably the idea was first mooted; but the first meeting took place early in 1881.

1907

Resurrection
The club was resurrected, after a period of dormancy.

1910 Relocation
The club moved to its current site beside Thames Lock.

1919

First Women Members
After the 1914-18 war, when women enjoyed greater freedom and were made more welcome in many sports, WRC included a women's event in their "Peace" regatta and formed a women's section in 1920, captained by Amy Gentry

1921 NARA afflliation
The club joined the National Amateur Rowing Association (NARA) which was set up as a rival to the ARA which in those days did not permit manual workers to compete in its regattas.

1924

Weybridge Rowing Club crew represents Great Britain in the Paris Olympics
The WRC coxed four - V.J. Boveington (stroke), T.S. Monk, J.H. Townend, B.C. Croucher and cox H.L. Barnsley - narrowly lost the Olympic regatta repechage to Switzerland who went on to win the gold medal. They also won many regattas at home.

1926

Amy Gentry founds Weybridge Ladies Amateur Rowing Club
The women's section of WRC moves a few hundred metres down river to its own headquarters.

1933 Bankruptcy avoided
The club just survived the Great Depression.

1939-45

Weybridge Rowing Club survives the War
Weybridge was one of the few clubs on the Thames to remain open during the Second World War, though the regatta ceased to exist

1948 First appearance at Henley Royal Regatta
The club's eight reached the quarter-finals of the Thames Challenge Cup.

1956

Foundation of the Weybridge Silver Sculls
The oldest and best sculling head on the upper Thames, held in October each year. The famous trophy was handmade by the event's founder, "Dickie" Bird

1960 onwards

Success for Weybridge juniors
Successful juniors of the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s included J. Crozier, C Roberts, C Fuller, Peter Levy, Mike Webb, Ian Shore and Duncan Nicoll, all of whom represented Great Britain in international competition. Today almost one third of the active members are juniors.

1983

Re-emergence of women at WRC
Carol Adamson became the first woman captain in 1990. The women's first eight came 8th in the Women's Head of the River in 1993 and reached the finals of Club Eights at Women's Henley in 1992 and 1993.

1991

Foundation of Weybridge Veterans Head
Held annually in March, the event caters for eights and fours, and now includes events for juniors as well as veterans

2000

Foundation of Weyfarers
Weybridge's sister club, formed to encourage members who want to row for enjoyment and to keep fit, but who are not necessarily interested in racing.

2004

Weyfarers hosts FISA Recreational Rowing Tour on the Thames
95 participants from 15 countries rowed from Oxford to Putney in 18 boats, to raise the profile of touring rowing in the UK.

2004

Weybridge Rowing Club awarded "Clubmark" status
Sport England's quality certification confirms the club's excellent standard of care and coaching for juniors