April update

Dear Club Member

I am pleased to update you as follows on Club matters.

Temporary Site

By now many of you will have rowed from our temporary facilities at Hardwick. The key remaining item to complete is the pontoon, and the Committee has decided that we should build our own rather than commission one from a third party. The cost difference is significant – £1500 rather than five or six times this amount – and we should end up with something similar to what we regularly use at the Regatta.

The Committee would welcome your feedback and opinion on this and any other aspect of the new site. As I have indicated previously, we have tried to find a balance between providing adequate facilities and conserving funds for our permanent home. We cannot undo what has been done, but if members feel we could and should improve the current site in any way, the Committee would be pleased to consider your suggestions.


Permanent Site

The focus of the Committee will now turn to finding a permanent home for the Club. A key step towards this is the establishment of a Permanent Site Sub-Committee of five or six individuals who will drive forward the securing and development of a suitable site. We feel that this Sub-Committee should be made up from the Club as a whole, not just members of the main Committee. In particular, we would like to harness any experience or expertise amongst us that will be relevant to building a new boathouse. This would include planning, building design, surveying, construction, and finance.

If you possess relevant skills, or simply want to play a leading role in the process of developing our new home, please do consider volunteering to join the Sub-Committee and contact me by return.



Club Sessions are run every Thursday at 6pm and Sunday at 10am. In addition, we will be rowing at 9am on the following Saturdays – the 5th and 19th of May and the 2nd June (subsequent Saturdays leading up to the Regatta will be dedicated to training crews) . Further to my previous request, I have had two volunteers to be trained as Session Managers. My thanks to them – we rely on such volunteers to operate at all as a Club. If there is anyone else willing to step forward, please do not hesitate to contact me by return.



Jubilee Pageant

Many of you are keen to take part in this event, and we will be rowing a ladies octuple, a mixed eight, and a single scull up to Goring for the Pageant.

If you available on the morning of June 4th, but not currently taking part, perhaps you would consider helping out as a Marshall. This will involve supervising those watching from the river bank and assisting the boats if necessary. Please let me know if you can help.



Planning for the Regatta is well underway. Entries for crews will open at the beginning of May, so why not gather some friends or fellow members and take part?

Training for crews will start in mid-June. Based on personal experience, I know that assisting in these sessions is great fun and a fantastic way to improve your coxing skills. We will need as many of you as possible to get involved, either co-ordinating the crews as they arrive or encouraging them from the cox’s seat. If anyone would like to train up as a cox, or polish off their coxing skills, in advance of Regatta crew training, please let me know and we will arrange some relevant training sessions.


Leukaemia Research Charity event

Many thanks to the Geoff, Alastair, Heather and Peter for rowing a quad up to Goring for use by the charity crew – and to Dorothy for very kindly collecting them and driving them back to the boathouse. The organisers were very appreciative of our support, and I understand that their event went smoothly.

Membership renewal

By now you will all have received your invitation to renew your membership. I hope that you will choose to do so. Please take a minute to complete and return the form to Sue over the next few days. Alternatively, if you wish to save yourself a stamp, Sue will be at the Club Sessions on 29th April and 13th May and would be happy to collect your renewal in person.

With best regards



Site progress

Thanks to everyone who helped out over the recent weekend. Good progress was made and the site is taking shape. The new scaffolding boat racks are complete, and already supporting the larger boats. The pavilion/shed has walls and a roof – needs a door and some felt on the roof, but that’s a detail!

So what remains to be done? Well we have to complete the movement of boats, complete the pavilion, including racking for blades, and move equipment from the Oratory’s boathouse, plus all the other stuff that I’ve forgotten.

 Hardwick - The new shed and boat racks


Progress on the Hardwick site

Hardwick site – where the scaffolding and boats will go

Those of you who have been down to row recently will have see the changes next to the Boathouse:

We have marked out the Hardwick site for the scaffolding which will eventually comprise the racking for our boats.

The equipment hut base has been laid with hardcore and levelled, the central area where the hut sits to within an astonishing 1 inch all over (Andy used a laser).

The right hand side (the entrance) and the left hand side (the toilet) may be finished off with levelling sand and paving stones later  if there is enough budget in the current estimate.

Hardwick site – entrance to new boat area

The base of the equipment hut has been made and laid and is currently in place, levelled off and ready to receive the sides and roof that will turn it into a hut.

Hardwick site – the base where the pavilion will go

The locations for the scaffolding racks have been laid out by Roger and are clearly able to contain all the boats we had hoped for during our residence here.

Volunteers needed this weekend – 17/18 March

Dear Club Member

Those who rowed last Saturday or Sunday will have seen that our new facilities are beginning to take shape. This weekend, we plan to erect the new racking for our boats and start to move them across. This requires many hands – particularly moving the larger boats. If you can spare the club a couple of hours over the weekend, therefore, this would be really helpful.

We will be running Working Parties on Saturday starting at 9am and Sunday starting at 10am. These will run into the afternoon so, even if you have other commitments in the morning, please consider coming down after lunch.

We will also be running our normal Club rowing session at 10am on Sunday to which all are welcome. Perhaps, if you are rowing, you could stay on for an hour or so afterwards and help out!

With best regards