Chris Barrass was the owner of the Beehive Hotel in Newcastle and was a sponsor/backer of professional rowers/races in the region.
16th March 1878
Bell's Life reported:
On Thursday night, this promising north country sculler was entertained to dinner at the Reindeer Hotel, Newcastle, by Mr. J.J. Bell, and advantage was also taken of the opportunity by Mr. Chris Barrass of the Beehive Inn, to present him with a purse of gold, as a mark of his appreciation of his conduct in his recent match on the Tyne. Mr. Bell presided, and was faced by Mr. T. White as Vice-chairman. The Chairman gave the toast of the evening "The health of Mr. William Elliott of Pegswood" and spoke of his intelligence as a man, his strength and skill as a sculler, and his determination and stoutness of heart as an opponent. He was sure that in his forthcoming engagements on the Thames he had the best wished of Tynesiders for success and whatever the result of the Championship should be, the people of the north held firmly to the opinion in that in Elliott they had a man worthy of following in the footsteps of Chambers and Renforth. In conclusion, Mr. Bell handed over the purse on behalf of Mr. Barrass, and wished the Pegswood Sculler success, good health and a long life. Elliott in reply returned thanks and said he did not fear the issue of the two great matches on the Thames in which he was engaged. He knew the importance of both engagements and and no stone would be left upturned on his part to to get as thoroughly fit as nature and skill would allow him. He mentioned that he and Boyd had made an arrangement to row together as a pair at different regattas through the season and they would endeavour to uphold the honour of the Tyne, while, as to the sculling contest, he hoped to bring back the "cup" to Tyneside. The Chairman also gave "the health of James Taylor" who he said, deserved every credit for coaching and bringing such a good man as Elliott to the fore. He was a thoroughly careful, painstaking and skilful general and he had produced more men to battle for the north as than had anybody else. Taylor responded and that from what he knew of Elliott and his abilities, he could only say that the Championship of England Challenge Cup was likely to be brought back north. The healths of Mr. Barrass, John Robert Hymes and others were also given, and not the least pleasing incident of the proceedings was the handing over of a banknote to E. McGregor, Elliott's trainer, as a mark of their appreciation of his efforts.