Durham Amateur Rowing Club
Compiled with significant contributions by Barry Hudson
Foundation of the club
- An initial meeting was held at Ward's Waterloo Hotel on Wednesday 21st November 1860 by a few gentlemen interested in aquatic sports to ascertain the practicability of forming an amateur rowing club in this city. The meeting though not numerously attended was sufficiently large to give hopes that before long the club will be organized. Some draft rules which had been called by Mr. Brignall Junior from the London Rowing Club and the Tyne Rowing Club were read over and discussed when it was resolved that they should be circulated amongst those desirous of joining and so form a basis on which any suggested improvements may be grafted. After appointing Mr. Brignall Junior as Secretary pro tem the meeting adjourned on the understanding that they were to re-assemble in a fortnight (the 5th proxime) for the purpose of finally settling the rules by which time we trust there will be a considerable accession of strength. It has long been proved that outdoor amusements and in the main cricket and boating are the very best means of bringing out the bone and muscle of our English youth. As all therefore are equally interested in assisting to maintain our national sports we hope that those of our fellow citizens who are verging on or have passed the meridian of life will not forget that they can do good service in the formation of even a rowing club by becoming honorary members.
- A second meeting of the club was held at Mr. Ward's Waterloo Hotel on Wednesday evening 5th December 1860 when the rules proposal at the former meeting were with some additions approved and confirmed. (Thus the Durham Amateur Rowing Club was formally constituted). The meeting was adjourned for a fortnight when a committee will be appointed and the active operations commenced for raising the "ways and means" for purchasing boats and other necessary equipment.
- A third meeting of the club was held on 19th December 1860, again at Mr. Ward's Waterloo Hotel for the purpose of forming a committee. After reading the rules established at the last meeting and transacting some other business the following gentlemen were appointed to constitute the committee. Mr. J. Booth (Chairman), J. Hutchinson (Treasurer), W. Brignall Junior (Secretary), P. Forster, C. Rowlandson, W. Storey, J. Tiplady, W. Welsh.
- Durham Amateur Rowing Club won the Grand Challenge Cup at Durham Regatta for the first time. Crew: W.Brignall, W.H.Hedley, C.Rowlandson, Stroke: P.Forster, cox: E.Dykes
- Minute book for 1860 to 1878 is missing. It appears that from the earliest times through until the 1930’s it was the practice to hold an annual general meeting in late March after which the Boathouse was formally opened for the summer season. The boathouse was locked up for the winter after the scratch fours races in October each year.
- Early records of the club are recorded in “A History of Durham Rowing” by Captain A.A.MacFarlane–Grieve published in 1922. (later Colonel, he was active in Durham rowing until he retired as Durham Regatta Committee Chairman in 1954).He records that the club travelled to away regattas from earliest times winning Patrons Plate at Stockton Regatta 1864, Grand Challenge Cup at Sunderland Regatta 1867, 1876 and 1878, the Ironmasters Challenge Cup at Stockton in 1878 and the Londesborough Challenge Cup at York in 1879. In an appendix to the book he lists DARC first crews from 1860 to 1922.
- The Club rules were revised.
- Owing to the manner in which the boats were being injured a Lieutenant was appointed for the purpose of looking after the boats and seeing that no damage is done.
- Apparently the wooden Boathouse was then held on lease from University College. A new 10 year lease was agreed and permission granted to extend the boathouse so that the club could purchase an eight oar boat.
- New printed Rules of the River were agreed to by representatives of Durham Amateur Rowing Club, Durham University Boat Club, Hatfield College Boat Club and Durham School Boat Club.
- New boats were ordered from Wm. Swaddle of Newcastle and new oars and sculls from Mr. Colpitts of Durham. Clinker eight oar boat was named “Kit”, pair oared boat “Webb” and cutter “Dart”. Other boats in the club then included pleasure boat “The Swan”, strake four “Victoria” and four oar “Zephyr”.
- The club forwarded a vote of thanks to the Reverend W. Fearon MA “for his generosity in building the wall and forming the footpath below Hatfield Hall and connecting Elvet Waterside and that portion of the Banks called Bow Corner which will prove a boom to all rowing men”.
- The Club Regatta was cancelled in autumn 1883 as the water level of the river had to be kept much lower than normal during the building of the wall. (Presumably by opening the sluices on the weir ?)
- A supper was held (tickets two shillings and sixpence including wine) at the County Hotel in honour of the first crew winning the Wharton and Grand Challenge Cups and the second crew winning the Medals at Durham Regatta.
- New fine four named “Gordon” and a new foy four named “J.L.Wharton” purchased. (see 1899 minute – this seems to be recorded wrong – Wharton was the fine four).
- One pair of sculls for the cutter “Ethel” ordered from Messrs Aylings.
- Mr.Brown instructed to overhaul all the club’s boats and do such repairs as may be found necessary. (First mention of Browns)
- Club Rules revised and 100 copies printed. Boathouse and boats insured against fire in the sum of £200.
- Dean and Chapter agreed to grant a lease of a site and the club resolved to build a new boathouse. (The site appears to be the same site as that of the old wooden boathouse then rented from University College – presumably this was in very poor condition by 1891).
- AGM confirmed that plans had been drawn for the new boathouse on the existing site and the Architect was instructed to advertise for tenders. Fund raising to include collecting promised donations, a dance in the Masonic Hall and the issue of £150 worth of 4% Debenture Shares.
- AGM passed a motion : to express thanks to the School , University College and St. Cuthberts Boat Clubs for their kindness in allowing the Club to house the boats during the erection of the new boathouse for DARC.
- New Boathouse completed at a cost of £296 of which £181 had been met. (Presumably the rest was borrowed on debentures) Further fundraising efforts planned. A sinking fund was set up to pay £5 a year off the loans.
- £10 paid off the boathouse debt. Agreed to erect a shower bath at the boathouse and complete the work. (note that this is 7 years on from the decision in 1891 to build a new boathouse)
- New fine four built by Clasper of Newcastle named “F.A.Bulman”
- Two foy strake four boats purchased from Mr.Brown for £55 - “Tyne” and “Wear” These were then regularly loaned to Durham Regatta Committee for the Junior Amateur Races. Fine four “J.L.Wharton” sold to Dunston Rowing Club for £10.
- AGM agreed to pay £25 off boathouse debt leaving £35 still owing. Agreed to buy two new cutters from Mr.J.Brown at cost of £10.
- Agreed to buy DUBC second fine four for £5 and to accept tender of £3-10-7 from J.Smurthwaite to paint the outside of the boathouse.
- Agreed that the “Old Ship” would be decorated and entered in the Illuminated Boat Procession at the Coronation Festivities.
- July- special committee meeting held to discuss damage done to club property by Mr.E.J.L.Kendle when he took a tub pair above Shincliffe Bridge , kept it out from 10-30am until 4pm, took two ladies in the boat and broke an oar and a scull !- thus breaking three club rules and two bye-laws. Agreed to fine him five shillings for breaking the oar and scull, further five shillings for taking the boat above Shincliffe Bridge and to ask for payment for damage to the boat. December – no reply had been received from Mr. Kendle and so committee agreed to take County Court proceedings for recovery of debt. Mr.Kendle was expelled at the 1903 AGM !
- New tub pair built by Mr.Joseph Brown for £20 .
- Committee formed to run an “At Home” regatta to celebrate the Jubilee of the club. The Durham Regatta Committee left the Racecourse enclosure in place and this was a very successful miniature regatta. This event then seems to have been held annually up until the Great War – the course then being from Bow Lane (Kingsgate) to the Long Course finish. (1905 – 1910 appears to have been a quiet period for the Club with few regatta entries and problems forming a quorum at meetings etc – a win in Lady Herschell Plate in 1910 by J.W.Wood’s crew seems to be only significant success).
- Club rules amended to include a Vice-Captain. Prior to this the Captain was at liberty to appoint a lieutenant to assist him. Agreed that St.John’s Hall Boat Club would share the club’s facilities as long as four students joined the club and paid full subscription.
- Agreed that Messrs Gibson and Son carry out alteration work to the dressing room at cost of £13-15-0.
- The club purchased a punt from Messrs. Salter & Co of Putney.
- Decided that the club would not join the new Northern Rowing Council owing to the close relation with Durham Regatta.
- After a long discussion and a vote, a proposal to change the club colours from dark blue and gold to blue and white was defeated.
- Two ladies , Miss Keiller and Miss Tilbrook wrote to the club expressing a desire to form a ladies rowing club – secretary told to write telling them that “the accommodation was not permissible of such steps being taken”
- New fine four ordered from Browns (probably the J.A.Ornsby).
1914 until April 1919
- The club was closed for the duration of World War One. Seems to be no record of members who served or died in the war.
Between the Wars (1919 to 1939)
- The official opening day was fixed for March 24th. (thus the practice of locking the club for the winter and opening at the end of March continued).
- Club rules fully revised. Agreed to paint the club colours on the blades – dark blue blade with gold band. (presumably they had been plain varnished previously)
- The President, J.G.Burrell presented a challenge cup to be rowed for each year at the club’s scratch fours races. (The fine four named “J.G.Burrell must have been built by Brown’s around this time).
- The Club received a donation of £5 used to purchase a trophy for the annual single sculls race – “The Cutter Cup”.
- Maintenance of the boathouse had been neglected and work was put in hand to replace spouting, fit grills over the windows, repair inside and boat racks and repairs and adjustments to doors.
- The Club agreed to be members of a Northern Amateur Rowing Council.
- The insurance of “the property etc” was increased to £750.
- Opening of the Boathouse to take place on 5th April (the practice of locking the Boathouse and closing the Club for the winter and opening up at Easter continues).
- St. Mary’s College had been keeping a boat in the boathouse for several years – they were asked to leave as the Club needed the space.
- Set of fours oars purchased from Aylings for £10 .12. 0
- The Club produced the best crew for many years which won all the major events at the northern regattas. This crew comprised: R.R.Powney, J.W.Walton, J.Hopper, stroke R.Powney, cox W.E.Coldicott. The President, J.G.Burrell and Secretary, H.M.Coyne organised a subscription list of past and present members and local businessmen and raised the cost of a new fine four for them. Built by Browns it was named “1928”. This boat could be seen stored in the rafters of the old Newcastle RGS Boathouse until quite recent times.
- The fine four G.R.Mackay, which was the first four boat until 1962, was built by Brown’s in the 1930’s.
- The Club also purchased three sets of four box loom oars from Aylings for £10 per set. At this time first crew oars were dark blue with two 2” gold bands, second crew were light blue with two 2” gold bands and third crew were light blue with one 3” gold band. Rowing Zephyrs (shirts) were trimmed similarly.
- The Club paid a bill from J.Brown for £56-18-3 for overhauling all the boats.
- Executive Committee agreed that the Club fall in line with other Clubs and start using sliding seats for Maiden Oarsmen for future rowing. (Maidens were novice oarsmen. Presumably they had been rowing on fixed seats until they won their “Maidens”).
- Mr. J.G.Burrell resigned as President due to ill health and Mr. G.R.Mackay was elected.
- Two new clinker fours were ordered from Browns, cost £65 each with £10 allowance on the old boats and £2-10-0 discount. These were launched in April 1935. One named Martha after the wife of R.W.G. Mitham, the Club Captain and one Edith after the wife of H.M.Coyne the Club Secretary. (The Martha was still in service up until around 1970, the Edith having been sold to York City for £75 in 1955).
- Long serving Captain, R.W.G.Mitham (18 years) moved to Stalham, Norfolk and was replaced by J.F.H.Veitch. A dinner was held for him in the Three Tuns where he was presented with a gift of a bureau.
- Mr. H.M.Coyne retired after 16 years as secretary – replaced by W.M.Dwyer.
- The boathouse was formally opened for the season on 2nd April.
1939 - 1960
- Due to lack of members. the only crew selected for regattas was a maiden crew.
- The Boathouse was in poor repair and work was commissioned on re-slating the roof, new gutters and barge boards and external painting.
- In November it was agreed to keep the Club open for the duration of the War so that members on leave could use the facilities.
- Mr.J.R.Thurlow took charge of the club bicycle and flag for the duration.
- There seems to have been only very occasional use of boats 1939 - 1945.
- Throughout the period of the minute book 1923 – 1951, a recurring item is the issue of collecting overdue subscriptions and regatta entry fees from members! The main source of income appears to have been profit from the Regatta Ball each June and the New Year’s Eve Dance. A small group of members (J.F.H.Veitch, W.M.Dwyer, J.R.Thurlow, W.R.Martin, J.Hopper, W.Wright, H.M.Coyne) kept the Club going 1939 to 1945, holding an AGM and running the New Year’s Eve dance each year – this made substantial profit and meant the Club was in a healthy financial position when rowing resumed.
- A donation of £10 was made towards cost of repair being undertaking on the Museum (Old Fulling Mill) Dam – with the promise of another £10 when work was completed. This work was not completed until 1948 – total cost c£600. At the AGM, the Secretary read a list of eight members killed on active service in the War and the meeting stood in silence for one minute in remembrance of:
- A.R.Telford, RAF, 1940
- J.F.Edge, Lt. HM Army 1942
- Harry Mossop, Lt. HM Army 1944
- A.Raine, RAF, 1944
- Richard Longstaff, Royal Navy 1944
- Richard Beattie, Sub Lt. Royal Navy 1944
- Charles.A.Riley, Major HM Army 1945.
- Harold.Bailey, RAF.
- The Club operated all the year round from 1946 – possibly because less of the members were also playing members of the rugby club.
- Either shortly before the war, or immediately afterwards, the old rule on amateur status was changed. Originally any person who was a tradesman or artisan earning a living by working with his hands could not join an amateur club or compete in an amateur race. This was changed so that only professional boatmen were excluded. The Club’s membership for 1946 includes joiners, bricklayers, electricians, plumbers and coal miners.
- There was an influx of “upwards of 30 new members presenting themselves in the evenings” in early 1946. Captain John Veitch and Vice-Captain Jack Thurlow were assisted with coaching by C.Dent, J.Thompson, E.Coldicot and L.Shaw. In November the Club had 38 members who had won 8 trophies. A new fine four was ordered from Browns.
- Proposal to provide lighting in the Boathouse – to explore possible provision of electric or gas lighting or buy oil lamps if cost was prohibitive. (this proposal was not taken further as the old boathouse never did have gas or electric supplied).
- The fine four “Kit” was sold to St. Cuthberts for £20.
- The Club once again had an all conquering first four who were invited to compete in the Olympic Games final trials at Henley. Bow Ronnie Layfield (a colliery electrician), 2- Joe McGregor (City Council joiner), 3 Bill Golightly (legal executive), stroke Peter Mills (a plumber) and cox Bobby Brown. Only Bill Golightly would have qualified for membership of the club in earlier times.
- The President, L.H.Mackay donated £50 and three Durham Carpets from his factory towards the cost of £150 to send the crew and coaches to Henley. (the carpets were offered as prizes in a raffle which raised £162).
- The Club sent a letter to Henley Regatta in support of a letter from DUBC requesting Henley to consider including an event for coxed fours. (This was an ongoing campaign, Henley finally adding a coxed four to their programme in 1963).
- In view of the introduction of eights racing at Tyne Regatta, the Club started considering purchase of an eight. Browns reported that they could not fulfil the order for a fine four (possibly because J.Brown had died, and they did not have a master boat builder) and an order was placed with G.R.Sims of Hammersmith.
- The Hon. Sec. (W.M.Dwyer) reported that he was convening a meeting with DUBC, Durham School and South Shields with a view to forming a County Association. (The County Association existed from 1949 until the early 1970’s and competed in the County Eights event on the Tyne each year).
- The Executive considered a letter from the ARA regarding the amalgamation of the ARA with the National Rowing Association and Scottish ARA and decided to support this proposal. (The ARA clubs like DARC were traditional amateur clubs with predominately middle class membership and strict rules on amateur status. The National Association Clubs had allowed rowing for cash and other prizes and often used handicapping in races with a working class membership of dock workers, coal miners etc. NRA clubs in north east included Chester-le-Street, Cambois, Tyne United and Hexham. The merger with ARA and NRA finally took place in mid 1950’s).
- Repairs were carried out to the Boathouse roof and decoration inside and out. G.D.McPhee was paid £64. 15. 0 for painting and G.W. Blakey was paid £82. 18. 10 for roofing.
- Mr. Stan Turner, a master at the Johnston School, requested permission to use the club boats on one afternoon a week – initially this was refused as “any form of dual control in the Club was undesirable”, later in the year Johnston school boys started rowing at the Club.
- A clinker built eight was bought from Newcastle University for £50. New riggers were ordered for the old fine fours “Burrell”, “Ornsby” and “1928” of swivel pattern. (these boats must have still had fixed pin riggers at this date).
- New fine four named “L.H.Mackay”, which had been ordered in 1948, was delivered in April from G.R.Sims at a cost of £175. 15.0. Mr. MacKay, the club President donated £20 and two carpets, which were the main prizes in a prize draw which raised £145. This boat was not built as specified being flat bottomed and heavy and was never a success – the club’s first four preferring to use the pre-war “G.R.Mackay” right up until 1962 when it was replaced with a boat built by Browns of Durham – named “J.Eric Brown”.
- On 7th March a meeting of 17 northern clubs was held in the Royal County Hotel, Durham. It was agreed to formally constitute the new Division 7 of Group 111 of the Amateur Rowing Association. This was the first north east grouping of ARA clubs (previously the division for the whole of the north of England had operated from the Birmingham Conference) and later became the Northern Rowing Council.
- A fine eight boat was purchased from Kings College Cambridge for £60 – the boat had been used by Cambridge University in the 1931 Boat Race. This was named“J.F.H.Veitch” and it was probably the first fine eight owned by the club. The old clinker eight was sold to Durham School for £20.
- The Club sent the first four of M.Turner, A.Beecroft, H.Smith, stroke J.H.McGregor, cox B.Thompson to compete in the “Championship Race for Coxed Fours” at Henley Town Regatta. (there being no coxed four event at Henley Royal Regatta). The crew lost in the final to Thames Rowing club by 3 feet. This crew were unbeaten in 1953 in the North of England. Apparently there was an ongoing campaign to include this coxed fours event in the Henley Royal Regatta in which L.Shaw and W.M.Dwyer of DARC were involved along with other members of the Birmingham Conference. The coxed fours event at Henley Royal Regatta was not introduced until 1963.
- Durham Regatta Committee organised a special Coronation Regatta during Coronation Week with events for Senior fours, Junior fours , Maiden fours and Ladies fours. A trophy named the “Queen Elizabeth 11 Cup” was presented by Mr.H.S.Wood (of Wood and Watson mineral water factory) to be won outright by the winning senior four. (this was won by Durham ARC first four and subsequently used as the senior fours trophy at the Wear Head, then Wear Regatta, then Durham City Regatta.)
- Mr.G.H.W.Coyne presented a silver challenge cup to the club in memory of his father Mr.H.M.Coyne who had been a member for 40 years and secretary for 15 years. This was first used for a club pairs race and later presented to the winner of the clinker fours at Wear Head.
- As the President , Mr.L.H.Mackay was desirous of continuing in an honorary capacity only, the AGM created the position of Chairman. The first Chairman was Mr.J.F.H.Veitch who was replaced as Captain by Mr.J.W.Golightly.
- Fine four “1928” sold to Newcastle Royal Grammar School for £25.
- Strake four “Edith” sold to York City ARC for £75. This was one of a pair of boats owned by the club – the other being the “Martha” which was in use until late 1960’s. Built by Browns in the 1930’s, these were wide open boats used by novice crews until replaced by “clinker fine” boats in the 1950’s.( In 1954 Durham Regatta Committee had bought four clinker fine boats for use at the regatta.).The club had only two sets of oars for swivel pin riggers and agreed to buy a third set from Aylings – (most of the boats would still have fixed pin rowlocks).
- The Committee reviewed the Club’s Insurance. The assets comprised two silver trophies – “Queen Elizabeth 11” and “H.M.Coyne” : one eight boat “J.F.H.Veitch”, four fine fours “L.H.Mackay”, “G.R.Mackay”, J.A.Ornsby, and “J.G.Burrell” , strake four “Martha”, two cutters (open clinker sculling boats) and a tub pair -- eight sets of oars and the Boathouse. The trophies were insured for £75 , the boats for £1000 and the building for £5000.
- 14th May first Wear Head of the River Race - course upstream from Counts House to the regatta start. Fine fours won by Durham ARC, clinker fours won by Hatfield College.
- Club Committee discussed an incident in Brampton following Talkin Tarn Regatta when a barbers pole had been removed from a shop by a club member. The barber had pressed charges and at the resulting hearing the member had been discharged by the Court on payment of costs. The Executive decided to take no further action !
- First Durham ARC entry in “The Head of the River Race” on the Thames. (A previous attempt to train a crew for 1953 race had been abandoned as several members of the crew were giving priority to rugby training). Crew comprised ; B.W.Fenner, J.A.Short, A.Ruddock, I.C.Shepherd, J.W.Golightly, J.Cook, F.Weatherley, stroke J.H.McGregor, cox J.Biglands, coach P.Burdess. Placed 103 out of 260 entries.
- The first four were again entered in the “Championship Race for Coxed Fours” at Henley Town Regatta – crew F.Weatherley, J.H.Thornton, I.C.Shepherd, stoke P.H.Mills, cox I.Curry . Apparently this was also a Trial for the European Games.
- November. New clinker fine four purchased from Banhams of Cambridge launched and named “W.M.Dwyer”. Cost £228 of this £51-18-6 was collected from members.
- The Hon.Secretary reported to the Committee that a number of ladies had approached him with a view to joining Durham ARC. He had suggested that the Durham Colleges Ladies BC should be approached !
- Second entry in The Head of the River Race – crew : C.Brooker, W.Petrie, B.W.Fenner, J.Dixon, D.Naylor, R.Smeaton, A.L.Ruddock, stroke W.T.Parker, cox Lance Hughes. Donation of £5-5-0 paid to Bede College for use of the College Gymnasium for training. (This is first mention of winter land training and most probably first time it had been done). These sessions were repeated on Wednesday evenings in 1959 with Bill Parker in charge.
- Club contributed £50 to the cost of a new landing stage constructed between University College and Durham ARC boathouses. The old landing stage near the weir at the far end of the College boathouse was filled in. The first four was sent to Henley in July for GB trials – crew : F.Weatherley, M.Turner, I.C.Shepherd, stoke H.Smith , cox K.Yates.- beaten by Molesey Boat Club.
1960 - 1970
- Following an accident during a training outing on the Wear when the County Eight collided with a canoe, the County Association had been sued and had paid out damages by levying all the Club’s in the County Association. Durham ARC therefore resolved to indemnify themselves against public liability by taking out an insurance policy. (It would appear that neither Durham ARC nor the County Rowing Association had been insured previously !)
- Centenary Year – a special Centenary Regatta was held on 28th May – events being senior fine fours , senior clinker fours, junior clinker fours and maiden fours all over the usual short course. This was the week after the Wear Head which was held on 21 May. There was a Centenary Dinner Dance for 100 members and guests held at the Red Hills Hotel on Wednesday 7th December – price one guinea (68 people attended). The usual New Year Ball was held in the Town Hall on 30 December finishing 2am and in addition a Centenary Dance was held on 31 December finishing at 11-30pm as New Year’s Day fell on a Sunday. There was also a members “Smoker” held in the Garden House Hotel.
- At a meeting on 12 September the Executive Committee resolved to seek a site for a new boathouse and to pursue the possibility of a site on land which would be spare between the new Leazes Road and the river once the road was built. ( In the event the line of the road was changed and the land left near the short course finish was too small for a boathouse). The sum of £25 was set aside to start a boathouse fund and premium bonds were purchased with this money.
- The Committee made a firm commitment to raise funds for a new boathouse by holding regular dances in the Town Hall on Saturday nights. Dancing to the Dave Lishman Orchestra. These were to continue for some four years and contributed much of the cost of the Club’s eventual move to Green Lane.
- The Committee wrote to the County Council asking to be informed if the site at the rear of the Public Baths , currently the site of the council canteen, should come on the market when the Council moved from the Old Shire Hall to the new County Hall.
- Mr.Charles Dowse , an architect employed by the County Council volunteered to help the club with the new boathouse project. He produced plans for a two storey building to go on the site beside the short course finish.
- Club Rule book brought up to date with various amendments since 1948 and approved by AGM. Boathouse Fund stood at £486.
- Having been given an assurance by the City Engineer that construction work on the new Baths Bridge would be completed in time , the Wear Head was fixed for 26 May.
- A falling tree damaged the Boathouse roof and also the old fine four “J.A.Ornsby”. The Insurers paid out £35 to pay Thomas Blakey to repair the roof and a further £80 to repair the four – agreed to put this £80 in a fund towards a new four. Mr.J.Eric Brown had concentrated on boat repairs and his pleasure boat business since World War 2 and had refused to build new boats. As there was to be a coxed four event at Henley Royal Regatta for the first time in 1963 he agreed to build a new four for the club to be raced at this event. The first crew were still using the “G.R.Mackay” which was approx. 30 years old. There was also an agreed need for a second clinker fine four due to an increase in membership – the club were able to arrange a long term loan of one of the Regatta Committee boats, “Durham City” (which was eventually bought by the club) which together with the old strake four “Martha” sufficed for the new novices.
- Boathouse Fund had reached £1425 mainly the profit from the weekly Saturday dances in the Town Hall and also the continuing traditional events of New Year Ball in the Town Hall and Regatta Ball in the Three Tuns Hotel. A site for the new Boathouse was identified at the top of the Racecourse and agreement reached to buy approx. one acre of land from Mr.T.Turnbull , coal merchant of Hatfield View , Durham. (This is the site of the present City Boathouse – see 1968 notes below - a further area of land was bought later to make up the present area of approx two and a quarter acres.)
- The new four completed by Browns , cost £280 was named “J.Eric Brown” and launched by his wife Margaret on 28 April , the launch crew comprising the 1948 Olympic Trials crew. The boat won its first race , the Wear Head on 25 May. Crew W.T.Parker, D.Fawcett, I.C.Shepherd, stoke H.Smith, cox A.Pinder. This crew won the “Grand” at Durham Regatta – the thirteenth win since the War. (The Club were to win the Grand only three more times in the 20th Century 1969, 1980 and 1992). Unfortunately the President J.F.H.Veitch became ill at the boat launch and died on 10 May. Jack Veitch had been a member since 1919, first crew coach since 1926, and had served from 1936 as Captain , then Chairman , then President. (There was no entry made in the new coxed fours event at Henley).
- AGM - Boathouse Fund now £2734. Outline Planning Permission had been obtained and consent obtained from the River Board for a landing stage and septic tank. Mr.Charles Dowse was revising the plans. Total cost anticipated to be £10,000. An approach was to be made to the Ministry of Education for a grant.
- March – the Town Hall dances which had been the main fund raiser since 1961 were running at a loss and were discontinued. The Town Hall had started to attract the wrong kind of patrons and ensuing trouble had stopped others attending. The traditional New Years Eve dance was continued up to 1968 and then ceased for similar reasons. There was £3500 in the boathouse fund and this changed very little up until work started in 1968.
- A nearly new coxless pair built by Sims of London was purchased for £140. The pair was named L.Shaw and W.J.Teasdale after the two members who had raced successfully in pairs in the 1930’s.
- Planning Approval was obtained for a two storey boat house building and the lowest tender was £19,000 for the whole scheme. Agreement had been reached to transfer the ground lease of the old boathouse from the Dean and Chapter to the County Council and sell the Council the building for £1100. Added to the funds raised of £3650 this gave capital available of £4750. It was proposed to develop in two phases building the ground floor only first. It was hoped that this could be done for £9000 and a grant application had been submitted for the other half. Purchase of the site was completed by setting up a real property trust with A.E.Pratt, C.H.M.Gray and J.W.Golightly as the first trustees. Mr.Allan E.Pratt, the Club Chairman who was a Civil Engineer assisted by Duncan Lomas worked up an alternative plan for a single storey building to include all the proposed elements of Boatstore , Changing Room and Gymnasium/function room with ladies and gentlemen’s toilets. They also checked proposed floor levels having regard to the flood levels in winter 1965/1966 and started to design the landing stage. Mr.C.Dowse, architect then worked up detailed drawings for the single storey building. The Club was still waiting to hear from the Ministry about a grant.
- Boys from Consett Grammar School were using the club’s facilities under the direction of Mr.W.T.Parker on payment of a donation of £5-5-0.
- AGM approved a change in club strip from white , pale blue or dark blue zephyrs depending on status to a uniform strip of dark blue sleeveless singlets. A very successful racing season resulted in the Club winning the “Page Pennant” awarded to the top club in the Northern Division ARA League for the first time. An old strake four “Kate” was purchased from St.Chads College to assist with coaching a new influx of novices.
- A tender for the new boathouse in the sum of £17,420 was received from Messrs. Nelson - the Committee considered that £5000 could be saved by members doing some of the work. A further meeting was to be held with the Ministry representatives about a grant on this basis. Allan Pratt later costed out the whole project and proposed that the work could be done for £7489 if most of the labour etc. was done voluntary by members.
- February. The Department of Education and Science awarded a grant of £3795 being 50% of the cost of the Boathouse based on Allan Pratt’s scheme. Agreed to accept this offer and that a sub-committee of Allan Pratt , John Burns, Bill Golightly and Duncan Lomas would get work under way. Work on digging the trench for the water supply and digging the foundations started in March. The floor level of the building was raised having regard to the floods in November 1967 and March 1968. ( Note that this is 8 years on from the decision made in 1960 to move to a new boathouse - and it was to be nearly four more years before the building was fully complete and the bar first licensed in December 1971.)
- April – AGM – Club rules had been fully revised , partly to conform with conditions imposed by the Ministry for the boathouse grant. The new rules included a rule that the Club could have Lady Members who would have no voting rights. Several ladies had started to learn to row during the winter and this formalised the position. A ladies crew competed for the club for the first time at Durham Regatta 1968. crew : Elaine West, Jennifer Middleton, Anne Warrender, Pat Stock, cox Marjorie Walker
- (Unfortunately all of the minutes for 1968 Executive Meetings and most of 1969 were mislaid by the then secretary. It is known that the Club completed the sale of the old boathouse to the County Council early in the year and moved out. Boats still to be used were housed in various College Boathouses and the bulk of the Club’s equipment was stored in an old foundry building in Margery Lane kindly made available by Mr. Norman Williamson. By the time of the March 1969 AGM the steel frame was up and most of the brick walls complete at the new site. In July 1968 the Club had purchased an additional area of land from Mr.T.Turnbull for £350 – this being the land between the original site and The Old Coal Yard – still occupied by Mr.Turnbull for his coal business at that time)
- Despite being homeless the club had a successful season with two senior (elite) fours winning including the Grand at Durham Regatta. The first four represented the club at Henley Royal Regatta for the first time - qualifying for the main draw of the Britannia Cup by beating Metropolitan Rowing Club in a qualifying race then losing to Kingston Rowing Club who went on to win the event. Crew – R.H.F.Metcalfe, R.G.Oates, R.A.Longhurst, stroke J.R.Appleby,cox A.G.Bailes. Work on the new boathouse was slow with only a determined hardcore of half a dozen volunteers turning up to make progress. At some point in mid 1969 boats were moved into the part completed boathouse – stood on trestles on the earth floor. The Club bought an “Eel Pie Island” Sims eight from Tideway Scullers for £400 and this was the first boat stored in the new boathouse (originally named David Lee Nicholson, renamed J.F.H.Veitch. In September Mr.J.A.Short took over as acting secretary and executive business was back to normal !
1970 - 1980
- AGM. March. Allan Pratt reported on progress on the boathouse. The boatstore was virtually complete but much work was still to do on the rest of the building including floor screeds, doors and windows, plastering , electrics, plumbing and other finishing work. He appealed for more members to volunteer to help progress the work. Mr.Pratt moved away to London in Autumn 1970. Duncan Lomas and John Burns continued to progress the work.
- The Wear Head was replaced by a full regatta held over the short course on 30 May with Barry Hudson and Jack Hill as joint secretaries. Initially known as Wear Regatta , later to be changed to Durham City Regatta. Mrs. Veitch presented a trophy for the senior eights, the club’s existing silver trophies , The Queen Elizabeth 2 (Coronation ) Challenge Cup and H.M.Coyne Challenge Cup to be used for senior fours and novice fours. Events offered were senior eights , senior, junior-senior , junior and novice coxed fours and sculls, cadet fours , ladies open fours, ladies novice fours and senior coxless pairs.
- A.G.M. January. Boathouse Fund balance remaining was £2100 with £600 still to claim on the Grant (this had to be cleared by May 1971). John Burns said that this was insufficient to complete the building without more voluntary help from members.
- First win by a ladies crew- Durham Regatta novice fours. Crew: Greta Thompson (Calver), Pat Stock, Ann Warrender, Renee Copeland, cox Elaine West. The Regatta date was moved from the traditional Tuesday and Wednesday to Friday and Saturday. (then to Saturday and Sunday from 1972 – although it was several years before the date was firmly fixed in mid-June).
- Licensing Justices for County Durham granted a Club Registration Certificate (equivalent of a bar license for a members club) on 29th November 1971 followed by a final push to complete decoration and other finishing work in time for a Christmas opening. The bar opened for business on Wednesday 22nd December at which date the building project was effectively completed. From February 1968 to December 1971 total expenditure on land and building was £9700. (the decision to start the project had been taken eleven year earlier at a meeting on 12th September 1960.)
- The senior men’s crews rowed a 24 hour sponsored row raising most of the £400 cost of a nearly new Eel Pie Sims coxed four from Oxford University. A boat for heavier crews. It was named “J.W.Golightly”. The club purchased its first boat trailer – cost £40 secondhand from DUBC. The Club’s boat fleet at this time comprised the “new” eight J.F.H.Veitch 2 and also the pre war J.F.H.Veitch which was still in storage in distressed condition and was later given to Mr.G.Clack to restore and use for Washington Comprehensive School. The fine fours J.Eric Brown, J.W.Golightly and L.H.Mackay and also three pre-war fine fours J.A.Ornsby , J.G.Burrell and G.R.Mackay , (the Burrell was never moved to the new boathouse but was sold to the developers of the Coach and Eight public house at the bottom of Crossgate who broke it up and used parts to decorate the bar. The G.R.Mackay and Ornsby were given to Beamish Museum but were lost in the fire at the museum. The Ornsby was unusual in that it was a light narrow fine boat but had staggered seats) - the coxless pair Shaw-Teasdale , the clinker fine J.W.Dwyer , the strake four Kate, two fairly new heavy fibreglass sculling boats, a couple of very old open cutter sculling boats and an ancient tub pair. There were also two old clinker fine fours Avon and Isbourne which had been bought from Evesham RC a couple of years earlier but these were heavy and uncomfortable and were sold to Chester-le-Street ARC for £20 each. The club still borrowed the clinker fine fours and sculling boats owned by Durham Regatta from time to time.
- Mrs Janet Metcalfe organised a committee of ladies willing to assist the club by voluntary efforts – regatta catering etc. (she was still doing so in 2010).
- The first National Championships was held on the new 2000 metre course at Holme Pierrepoint , Nottingham. Durham ARC entrants were very successful – Diane Preston silver in double sculls and bronze in single sculls , G.Potts and T.Bishop silver in double sculls, Joe James , Sean Wanless and Peter James silver in junior coxed pairs, J.R.Appleby and R.H.F.Metcalfe 5th in coxless pairs.
- Membership had increased in the new boathouse and additional equipment was needed. Two boats were purchased from St.Johns College at a cost of £240 being fine four “Bishop of Leicester” and a clinker four “Cicely” which matched the Dwyer. Set of ten oars purchased. Lead by Captain, Barry Hudson, the Club elected some 40 new members and recorded 50 regatta wins with 35 members recording a win and won the “Page” pennant again. An eight competed in the Head of the River Race for the first time since 1958 starting 255 and finishing 35th - crew : Kim Metcalfe, Tom Bishop, Mike Matthews, Fred Snowdon, Ian Shepherd, Bill Grant, Geof Potts , John Appleby , cox Andy Jaggard. Some further voluntary work was still ongoing on the boathouse including decoration, installation of oil fired heating system and external work on the access road, car park and grassed areas. At the AGM treasurer Jack Hill reported that the building had cost £9,189 to build and was valued at £28,500- an indication of the value of the volunteers.
- Diana Preston (later Bishop) became the club’s first international , competing for GB at the European Women’s Championships in East Germany. She had been appointed as representative of the club’s ladies rowing members and to the Womens Amateur Rowing Association – but lady members were still classed as associates with no voting rights at Durham ARC !
- Only races 1000 metres or longer were termed qualifying races for the new ARA status rules. Durham Regatta arranged to dredge the river upstream so that races could start at the top of Pelaw Wood making the short course 1000 metres. Wear Regatta was the first regatta held over this course. (after a few years this was abandoned due to problems moving crews upstream and marshalling at the start and races again started from the original start line and 800 metre course. In 1973 all Durham Regatta races were held over the short course due to construction work on the new Elvet Road Bridge).
- The club colours were changed to a gold singlet edged with blue and black shorts.
- Chris Kenyon appointed as first club press officer.
- With 50% grant aid from the Sports Council two new restricted coxed fours were purchased from B & H Racing Boats of Cambridge to be named “G.H.W.Coyne” and “J.W.Walton” cost £1000.
- For the past two years the AGM had been held in January instead of the end of March date used since earliest times. From 1973 it was moved to September, considered to be the natural start of the club year and vice captains were increased to two to reflect the increased load caused by increased membership – also various other revisions to the rule book.
- The Northern Universities Regatta was run from the Club in November – this event was to continue annually until 1997.
- Fine four “L.H.Mackay” sold to Belmont Abbey School for £130.
- Old eight “Thunderer” in need of repair bought from Royal Navy BC Portsmouth for £70. Veteran fours added to Wear Regatta programme for first time – the regatta to be sponsored by Tuborg Lager. Executive agreed to consider proposals for an extension at the front of the clubhouse to provide ladies changing room and toilets and men’s toilets and a better access to the bar. A paid bar steward was appointed in September to replace the rota of volunteers which had operated since 1971. Geoff Potts became the club’s first male international – selected as lightweight single sculler at the World Championships in Lucerne. Coxless four of G.S.Graham, W.T.Parker, J.Hedley and J.C.Kenyon won the Boston Marathon outright.
- March – J.Erik Brown who was the third generation of his family at Browns Boathouse died. He had no immediate family and the building and business were put up for sale. Dennis Jones, architect prepared the necessary detailed plans for the extension of the clubhouse and work proceeded being completed in spring 1976 mainly by members voluntary efforts. New fine four was ordered from B and H Racing Boats of Cambridge , named J.A.Short.(delivered May 1976). A number of members raised £213 towards the cost of the boat from sponsorship at the Boston Marathon. This boat was not a success and soon became a general club boat. Clinker four Cecily sold to Newcastle Polytechnic Boat Club for £200.
- October – the AGM agreed that Lady Members should have full voting right. Joy Clark (later Granlund) joined the Executive as Lady’s Captain. (The Club had had Lady Members from 1968 – but they were classed as associate members with no voting rights until 1975 – thus DARC became the first northern club to make ladies full members).
- The President W.M.Dwyer paid for the manufacture and decoration of three large honours boards recording past Presidents , Captains and Secretaries. The practice of holding an annual club dinner in the Boathouse commenced.
- A good year with a record 47 wins including 12 wins from Womens 4+ of Jill Foulger, Jane Valentine, Joy Clark, Eli Hedley , cox Janet Taylor who represented England at the Home International Regatta on the Serpentine.
- New double sculling boat named “Peter Burdess” and two wide glassfibre training sculling boats purchased from Cambridge Racing Boats (formerly B & H).
- Eric Whiteley , formerly an employee of Erik Brown and now a director of Browns Boathouse commenced building wooden boats (as well as continuing the repair work). He built the Club a traditional clinker built tub pair – cost £850 and named “Jack Hill”.
- The practice of allowing members to store private boats in the Boathouse on payment of a racking fee (£10) commenced.
- John Heavisides club treasurer arranged for the club to become involved in a Manpower Services Commission “Steps” scheme with a variety of maintenance and improvement work completed over 26 weeks for the cost of materials.
- A nearly new Carbocraft eight was purchased from the Amateur Rowing Association for £1800 – named “G.S.Graham”.
- The old wooden eight “Thunderer” was sold to Molesey Boat Club veterans for £250.
- An informal regatta involving other Durham sports clubs was held as part of Durham City 800 celebrations. This has continued to be held annually as the “Allcomers Regatta”.
1980 - 2000
- New fine four + “Aubrey Dunn” purchased from Carbocraft. The Club won the Grand at Durham Regatta – crew Andrew Duncan, Paul Rutter, Julian Ringer, David Turnbull, cox Tommy Maddison.
- The practice of providing “Committee” boats for novice events was discontinued at both Wear and Durham Regattas as was the use of Browns landing (which had been the base for the committee boats for very many years).
- The fine four Bishop of Leicester and the boat trailer were written off in a road accident.
- New purpose built trailer cost £943 from Durham Trailers.
- March – new fine four + “Michael Wardman B.E.M.” built by Eric Whiteley at Browns Boathouse cost £2200.
- Club Secretary Clive Hole purchased a wooden eight “Joanna” for use of the club to replace “J.F.H.Veitch” which was sold to St.Cuthberts Society BC for £250.
- The Captain , Geoff Graham reported a club record of 62 wins at open events many won by a strong junior squad who were mainly boys from Belmont Comprehensive School and the Club again won the Page Pennant.
- Members of Stavanger Rowing Club had visited the club in August.
- The Club President J.W.(Bill) Golightly was awarded a Centenary Medal by the Amateur Rowing Association.
- March - New carbon fibre coxed four “Durham ARC” purchased from Janousek Racing Boats cost £2750 (still in regular use in 2010 !). Fine four J.Eric Brown sold to St.Johns College, York for £150. July – new clinker built training “tub” four purchased from Browns for £2500 named “Old Elvet”. (later sold to Tynemouth RC).
- Another record year with 72 wins , again aided by a strong junior contingent mostly from Belmont School. Victor Ludorum wins at Clyde and Wear Regattas , Page Pennant retained. The junior boys eight (Graeme Wilson, Drew Robertson, Martin Stewart, Mark Turner, Kevin Robinson, Peter Johnson, Ken Close, Paul Sowerby , cox Steven Collingwood) and the ladies coxed four both represented England at the Home Countries International in Glasgow. The ladies 4+ had an outstanding season their eleven wins included gold medals at Nottingham International and Glasgow International and a silver National Championship medal- crew - A.Lund, A.Page, C.Fraser, A.Dawson, cox Tommy Maddison , coach Geoff Graham.
- Wear Regatta was renamed Durham City Regatta as this was deemed to be more likely to attract sponsorship.
- The Club purchased its first ergometer machine – cost £400.
- Mrs. Angela Lund competed as lightweight sculler at the World Championships , Montreal Canada and the J16 boys coxed four represented England in the Anglo-French Match.
- 125th year of Durham ARC. New restricted four built by Browns, named “The 125”. A Celebration Dinner was held in the Three Tuns Hotel on 21st September.
- The club held the first Durham Small Boats Head in February.
- Mr.W.M.Dwyer who had been a mainstay of the Club from the 1930’s to the 1970’s serving as Secretary, then Chairman, then President died in July. A tarmac surface was laid on the access track at a cost of £4000.
- Old clinker fours Durham City and W.M.Dwyer sold to South Hylton RC for £100 the pair (without seats).
- In 1985 John Heavisides, a former club treasurer collapsed and died rowing in a veteran 8 near Counts House – the club bought an Ayling carbon-fibre pair from two Castle students and named it “John Heavisides”. (this was a heavy club boat and was not very successful).
- Durham City Regatta expanded to a two day event to include the “DAF Power Sprints” – one of a series of events held across the country televised on Channel 4 with Steve Redgave in attendance.
- New wooden fine four built by Browns named “British Gas 2” using a carbon fibre re-inforced structure. The hull had an outer veneer fixed to an already formed 2-ply - the outer skin then fixed with the grain running diagonally. The results were very competitive at the the time as well as proving to be almost indestructible. This replaced the “J.A.Short” which was sold to Runcorn RC for £600.
- A nearly-new Ayling carbon eight was purchased from Radley College named “British Gas 1” ( later shortened to “The Gas 8”).
- An appeal was launched to raise funds to refurbish the clubhouse and extend the kitchen and build new boat storage (this scheme was completed in 1993).
- Durham High School for Girls commenced rowing from Durham ARC.
- The 1st Durham Veterans Regatta was held, (to continue as Durham Veterans and Juniors Regatta until changed to Durham Primary Regatta in 2007).
- Durham Johnston Comprehensive School re-commenced rowing from Durham ARC.
- The idea of building a new detached boat store was abandoned and planning permission obtained for additional boat bays to the side and rear of the existing boathouse and a kitchen extension. Estimated cost £15000 to £17000. The Club purchased 2x/2- for £3150 (Tom Wilson) and the Johnston School purchased a coxed four for £4400 (Johnstonian) from Hi-Tech Racing Boats. At Durham Regatta the Club was host to a party of three oarsmen with their coaches from Leningrad. A successful season with Captain, Angela Lund reporting 64 wins at open events and the Page Pennant re-gained.
- Two secondhand Ayling “bow loader” coxed fours purchased from Durham University Womens BC for £3200 the two – “Amazon” and “Madonna” (these were never popular due to being bow coxed and were sold on a few years later). To accommodate a growing active junior membership, two damaged boats were bought as unfinished hulls from Hi-Tech and completed by members John Lund and Geoff Clack – coxed quad named “A.N.Gibson” and single scull named “Bernard Robertson”. Final plans were produced and work started on the building project in October with Ivan Brooker as project manager. The cost estimate was revised to £28000. Of this £10000 was available from Club Funds and a £10000 grant was awarded from the Sports Council who also offered up to £10000 interest free loan. Skilled workmen were to be employed as required with much labour being done by volunteer members. The Club Rules were fully revised and approved at the AGM with further minor amendments in 1992. Club Captain , Angela Lund reported on a record 128 open wins including Victor Ludorum at Clyde and Northwich Regattas, first Gold at National Schools (Joanne Stoker and Jane Dulling J15 2x) and a first entry at Womens Henley. Agreed to revert to the old traditional club kit of Oxford Blue main colour with gold trimming. (The colours had been reversed since 1973 – gold trimmed oxford blue).
- First twelve carbon fibre Dreissigacker oars purchased - cost £2100. Graduate Society Boat Club arranged to boat from DARC. Angela Lund, Captain reported on a most successful season with 141 wins including the Grand Challenge Cup at Durham Regatta (crew ; Graeme Wilson, Kevin Oates, Richard Bodsworth, Michael Terry, cox Toni Spoors, coach David Turnbull) and three gold medals at National Championships – Chris Hugill J14 scull, Jayne Dulling and Joanne Stokoe girls J16 2x and David Stevens and Christian Steel boys J16 2x – the two doubles then represented England in the Anglo-French match at Henley. Older veterans purchased an old wooden Raymond Sims eight “Durham Light Infantry” from Durham School. In November ,in view of poor bar trading profits the paid bar staff were replaced by club volunteers. (this volunteer rota was to run until the old clubhouse was demolished in Autumn 2006). Nearly new Raymond Sims coxless four “Bondgate” purchased and quad riggers ordered. – cost £3700 plus £500 for riggers.
- Durham Small Boats Head increased from two to four divisions. The Club registered with the Caravan Club as a certificated location allowing up to five touring caravans to rent space on the club site each day. Durham City Regatta had record entry (168 Saturday , 120 Sunday) but was cancelled due to high river level. The Club was awarded a Grant of £32,200 from the Foundation for Sport and the Arts which was used to purchase new eight “City of Durham” and three new coxed fours “Prebends”, “Pelaw” and “Kingsgate” from Raymond Sims of Nottingham, a new tub pair from Browns “John Short” and a secondhand wooden Empacher eight “Mary-Louise” from University College Oxford – also 16 hatchet oars and four pairs of hatchet sculls. (One of the Sims fours was then used by the crew that won Gold in MJ 4+ at National Championships. Philip Wright, David Stevens, Alex Metcalfe, John Hadfield, cox Sarah Dulling). Work was finally completed on the boatstore extensions to side and rear and the kitchen extension the final cost being approx. £40,000. (this project was first launched in 1987 - The boat store was full as soon as it was completed !) Scottish and Newcastle Breweries advanced the club £10,000 in return for a five year tie to the brewery which was all spent on a complete re-furnishing and refurbishment of the club bar to a better standard than ever before. Other work done in the year included electrical re-wiring and re-felting the Gym and Bar roof (roof cost £2800) to bring the whole building up to a good standard of repair. Steve Redgrave and Matthew Pinsent visited the club in November. They named the three Sims fours and officially opened the refurbished bar. Chris Hugill (gold and silver medals) and Jayne Dulling (two silver medals) competed for Great Britain Junior Team in Ghent (Belgium). Chris then competed in the full GB Team at World Championships in Oslo (youngest ever junior international aged 15) and Jayne competed in the European Championships at Vichy.
- An unusual win was the Viking Longships Challenge at York with £250 prize. A road accident on the M1 at Nottingham resulted in old Carbocraft eight , “G.S.Graham” being written off and “Mary-Louise” eight badly damaged. ARA Water Safety Code introduced – coxes to wear life jackets – all regattas to have safety boats – all clubs to appoint a water safety advisor (Jed Gargan DARC first Safety Advisor). New Burgashell 2x “Dun Cow” and one year old Eton 2- “Floosie” bought. Secondhand Browns 4+ “Virgin Challenger” sister to “British Gas 2” acquired from Hatfield College. New Janousek 2x “Durham Old Boy” purchased with Sports Match Grant. Jayne Dulling and Chris Hugill with coach John Lund again selected for Junior World Championships at Munich. Captain Jim Dulling and Vice-Captains Jed Gargan and Lynn Pain were able to report on an increase in senior membership and improvement in quality among the club’s record 171 wins – both men and women won elite eights at Durham, the men competed in the eight in the Thames Cup at Henley, winning one race, and won the Yorkshire Head , junior boys won coxless quads at Schools Head in London – crew - Guy Clack, Chris Hugill, Charles Brown , Tim Belsey. Three members, Chris Brown, Phill Tully and Mick Stevens rowed a tub pair the length of the tidal Tyne from Tynemouth to Wylam to raise funds.
- New wooden eight “Auntie Betty” built by Browns – price £8500. John Lund rebuilt an old DUBC Carbocraft coxless four which had been written off in an accident on the Tyne – named “Johnnie Rev”. DARC were represented at all three Henley Regattas (Vets, Women and Royal) - composite Durham/Norwich quad beaten in the final of the Fawley Cup (Chris Hugill and Guy Clack for DARC – set record time to Fawley). Chris Hugill with coach John Lund selected for Junior World Championships at Poznam, Poland – Guy Clack and Charles Brown selected as boys 2x at Home Countries International at Cork. Ayling Eight “The Gas 8” sold to St.Cuthberts Society for £2000. Secondhand De Graaff boat trailer purchased from Hartlepool Council. Secondhand Ayling 2x,“Darc Days” purchased from the Mrs A.E.Clack for £2500.
- At a total cost of £28260 including £17260 from the National Lottery Sports Fund , two standard wooden fours from Browns (“Eric Whiteley” and “Paul Lishman”) three boats from Janousek, coxless pairs “Darc Horses” and “Darc Knights” and lightweight womens 4+ “Framwelgate”, together with a second De Graaff boat trailer were purchased.
- The first eight “City of Durham” was written off in a road accident. A replacement was purchased from Raymond Sims and again named “City of Durham” (cost £13,435 , insurance payment £7425 , club funds £6000). The original City of Durham eight was patched up for use as a club training eight and re-named “Old Durham”.
- John Lund’s juniors again excelled – Chris Hugill – Junior World Championships at Strathclyde, Stephen Riley – Home Countries International at Strathclyde and Diane Clack and Rosa Aers – Anglo- French Match at Boulogne. Chris Hugill won single , double (with Stephen Riley) and quad sculls (quad as Schools Head) at the National Schools Regatta as well as representing GB for the fourth year running – the club’s most successful junior ever. The boys quad sculls pennant was retained at the Schools Head – crew Guy Clack, Chris Hugill, Alex Hastie, Stephen Riley.
- Several old boats were either scrapped or sold to make space – Tom Wilson, Amazon, Old Elvet, P.Burdess, Shaw/Teasdale, J.W.Golightly, Virgin Challenger.
- A party of oarsmen from Ghent, Belgium (all age 70+) visited the club.
- Burgashell 2x “Durham Juniors” purchased.
- “Tin Fish” aluminium coaching launch with 10hp Evinrude outboard motor purchased from Chas Newens Marine of Putney.
- The Club organised a “Sail Away Day” for the workers from South Bank ship yard working on the construction of the Bluewater oil exploration ship. In return the Dutch Companies involved paid for a new Janousek coxless four named “Bluewater”.
- Due to ongoing problems with the gel coating delaminating on the three Sims fours, Raymond Sims gave the club a new coxed four as a goodwill gesture – named “Bill Golightly” – Bill had just completed 50 years membership of the Club and decided to resign from the office of President, having previously served as Captain then Chairman. (Bill died in February 2000).
- Stephen Riley rowed in the GB quad at Junior World Championships.
- A successful application to the Lottery Sports Fund financed extensive work on the landing stages and river bank including gabion basket bank revampment, extending the landing stage to include a second access down a ramp from the sculling boat shed and adding two additional top steps and tarmac to the area between the stage and the main boatstore. The rest of car park was tarmaced and the access road was resurfaced. Total cost approx £20,000 Lottery Funding £10,408.The construction work done by Dorins, Newcastle with tarmac to the car park and road by Sherburn Stone.
- In November the last Northern Universities Regatta was held – these had been run at the club each year since 1973.
- Three River Serpents Dragon Boat Club joined DARC as Corporate Members.
- At the AGM the Secretary Barry Hudson introduced the idea of enhanced facilities to meet the needs of the large membership – better bar and lobby, separating the function room from the training room, adding office and meeting space and extending the boat storage. (this was to be taken forward as a building project which took ten years to realise – the new Clubhouse was opened on 14th September 2007 and the boat store extension completed in November 2009).
- Boots Properties who had just developed “The Land of the Prince Bishops” shopping centre in Durham City Centre offered £5000 sponsorship towards the cost of a lightweight eight for the women’s squad – purchased from Eton College Boats at discounted cost of £11,000 on condition that it was made available as a demonstrator to other northern clubs. Durham Regatta Committee donated two tracer sculling boats “Arthur” and “Joan” to the club.
- Club Captain Jim Dulling reported a record 184 open wins achieved at 31 events.
- The Club set up its first website. A strip of land was purchased from Durham University to widen the Club’s site to make sure that there was space for the Clubhouse development – as C.H.M.Gray had moved abroad , Peter Burdess and Barry Hudson were added to Bill Golightly and Allan Pratt as Trustees of the Club’s Property Trust to purchase the land. The Club Membership looked at five possible schemes and settled on a design which was progressed via discussions with the City and County Councils, The Sports Council, the ARA and other bodies and the plans were approved by the City Council in December.
- Building Project was further developed. On the advice of a structural engineer the plan to extend the existing clubhouse at both ends and above was abandoned in favour of a new two storey Clubhouse building and a front extension to the existing boat stores. Further design changes were necessary to satisfy Sport England requirements. Consultation continued with a variety of bodies and a whole range of grant and loan applications were in progress. The Architect, Paul Richardson drew up detailed drawings for the structural engineer and Mechanical and Electrical engineers to work on. The cost target was set at £450,000 and the Club ended the year with £25,000 in the building fund . It was hoped that the Sport England Lottery Sports Fund would grant 65% of the final cost. A revised planning application was submitted in September. *At the request of Colin Brown, ARA Coaching and Development Officer, the club started a pilot scheme with the Johnston School to link schools and clubs by taking ergos into the schools to introduce rowing. This pilot became the ARA’s flagship Young People and Coaching Programme “Project Oarsome” and the Club officially joined the scheme in December – a fleet of eight lightweight Janousek boats were provided with funding from the Lottery Sports Fund, Henley Regatta Stewards Charity and a local property company Helios Properties ( four 1x , two 2x and two 4x together with macon sculls total outlay £45000). The ARA introduced a policy on “Child Protection Procedures in Rowing” making it mandatory for the Club to appoint a Child Welfare Officer with responsibility to carry out checks on junior coaches. Club Chairman, Don White, became Child Welfare Officer.
- Charly Curtis, Regatta Secretary reported record entries at Durham City Regatta (165 Saturday, 182 Sunday).
- Ian Lawson won under 23 1x at the National Championships – he then moved to Leander Club at Henley and became a regular member on the GB squad competing at World and Olympic Championships.
The New Millenium
- The application for a new planning permission for the revised building project submitted in September 1999 was opposed by the Environment Agency in view of their new policies against building on a flood plain. Letters in support of the scheme were sent to the EA by the Regional Sport England architect and by Gerry Steinberg MP for Durham and others. Eventually the objection was cleared and planning consent granted in March 2000. The detailed scheme for the two storey “pavilion” and extended boat store was now costed at £900,000. The Cub had raised £41,000 by general fundraising and various loans and grants were still being progressed.
- A formal lottery funding application submitted to Sport England in August was refused in December on the grounds that the scheme was over-scaled and over ambitious for a single sport club. The Club started to involve people with disabilities from local special schools and outdoor activity organisations. A fleet of four 1x and two 2x “Virus” boats was purchased with Sportsmatch funding from Helios Properties to assist these and other recreational and community initiatives. Sims eight “Old Durham” was sold to St.Cuthberts Society.
- Jim Dulling stood down after 7 years as Captain reporting that Jessica and Alexander Eddie represented GB in the GB v. France match, Nantes , France.
- Two major floods in June and November caused damage to the river bank and under mined the access ramp.
- A weekly series of meetings were held with the architect to revisit the building scheme in detail and test the feasibility and requirements of each element. A revised single storey scheme was produced with some elements designed for more than one purpose – office to be also first aid/physio area, main gym to be also function room and conference/meeting room etc. New plans were drawn and discussed with Sport England, ARA, City Council and other interested parties and potential funders. A new planning application was necessary and was submitted in June. The Environment Agency had new stricter guidelines and objected with renewed vigour resulting in a long series of talks and submissions involving environmental scientists and others producing Flood Risk Assessments, Planning Sequential Tests etc. before planning consent was finally granted in February 2003. Meanwhile general fund raising continued and further efforts were made to secure sponsorship and grants from various sources. The Catherine Cookson Trust and Foundation for Sports and the Arts, where the Club had hoped for substantial support, refused grant applications.
- Captain Martin Tyler reported 184 wins equalling the Club’s best year with Jess Eddie again gaining junior international honours in the junior women’s 4x at the World Championships, Duisburg, Germany and Chris Milsom was GB single sculler at the Coup de Jeunesse, Sempach, Switzerland.
- The Building Fund reached £55,000 at the end of the year.
- In partnership with Durham University, the Club joined a new ARA initiative “World Class Start and Potential” programme with Durham as a pilot scheme and Andy Bird was appointed ARA Talent Identification Coach based in Durham. Andy tested 700 young people in schools throughout County Durham and six joined the club for further development.
- The Club registered with the Inland Revenue as a Community Amateur Sports Club which gives concessions on payment of General Rates, Corporation Tax etc. - the first rowing club to do so.
- Jess Eddie was again in the girls quad at the World Championships, Trakia, Lithuania and Matt French gained junior international honours.
- February – Planning Permission was finally granted for the building project – it was then discovered that the maximum Lottery Award would be limited to 50% (previously hoped for 65%) and that due to over commitment on funding the Lottery Sports Fund was closed to new applications (not re-opened until May 2004). Other potential funders were tending to wait for the Sport England Lottery application to progress before committing but the Club Secretary continued to write to all possible funders and progress applications. General Club fund raising continued and reached £80,000 by the end of the year. Current costing for the approved scheme was £700,000 plus VAT. The VAT position was very complicated due to the Club’s partial exempt status but it was hoped that about half the VAT would be recovered. It was deemed essential to push on with the project as the existing building was showing its age and not to up to the standard to provide the facilities needed for the club’s future progress.
- The Club was awarded Sport England CLUBMARK accreditation via the ARA as a safe, effective, child friendly club. The Club Rules were amended to comply with current requirements of ARA, Sport England etc. on Open Membership, Equal Opportunities and Water Safety.
- May – Sport England re-launched the Lottery Sports Fund. This was to be a three stage process with much more delegation to the Regional Office and Regional Board known as the Community Investment Fund. There was less funding available and Grants were now to be limited to 33% of the project cost ,schemes had to conform to a new Regional Plan for Sport (with 14 priority policies) and had to address Sport England priority groups of children , females , old people , black/asian /ethnic people, people with disabilities and people from socially deprived areas. Priority was to be given to multi-sport clubs. The first stage simply to establish that the Club was a body which qualified for funding was approved in July when a second stage application was progressed with the Regional Sport England Office in Durham. A series of meetings were held with SE during the Autumn to work on the supporting documents required for this phase of the application which was finally submitted in January 2005. Work to raise partnership funding from others continued and the general club fund raising had reached £105,000.
- The World Class Start scheme produced its first successful athletes. Harry Scarr from Easington winning a silver medal in the GB coxed four at the World Junior Championships.
- Jim Dulling set up a Power Lifting section of the Club. Jim, Chris Cooper and Alex Lee were soon competing successfully in national and international masters events.
- March. Sport England issued a conditional approval to phase 2 of the grant application. They indicated that they wanted to consider the proposal further as rowing was a priority sport in the Region but needed more evidence in three areas - 1) partnership funding – ability to find the rest of the project cost – the Club continued its efforts to raise funds from other sources. 2) the scheme needed to be fully developed to tender stage and fully costed – the Club recruited a full professional design team of Jane Darbyshire David Kendall (JDDK) Architects, Hall and Partners Quantity Surveyors , Building design North Structural Engineers and Straughair Consultants M and E Engineers to work up a full detailed design. 3) a bulky Funding Support Pack was provided requiring further development of Sport Development , Business and Financial Plans etc. – in particular SE required more evidence of a significant increase in participation and community involvement in a “multi-sport environment”. SE also needed to know how the Club’s plans fitted with the ARA “Whole Sport Plan” and “Community Club Development Programme” - SE indicated that they expected the club to receive further Lottery funding from the ARA via this CCDP scheme to top up any award from the CIF Fund (in September the ARA provisionally offered £50,000 from this CCDP fund). Assisted by the staff at Sport England North, Durham Sport and the ARA work continued on enhancing the Sport Development Plan. This included a series of planning meetings leading to a complete re-write of the Sport Development Plan in a different format on a new SE preferred template. Phill Tully, Club Captain was approached by Anne Timothy of Durham County Education “Learning Links” special projects team to include the Club in a scheme “Playing for Success” involving placing a learning unit in a sports club – there was already a unit at Durham County Cricket Club at Chester-le Street and a second unit was required further south. This was progressed to a formal partnership application finally approved in January 2006 and incorporated in the building scheme – the floor area of the pavilion building was increased from 560m2 to 600m2 to incorporate a class room. PfS were to contribute £70,000 partnership funding and generate a considerable increase in the numbers of participants from the community using the new club building. The budget cost for the scheme was now £900,000 – (the same as for the much larger two storey scheme back in 2000). Club Building Fund reached £120,000. Helen Blevins of WCS scheme competed for GB in the eight at World Championships (bronze medal) and Emma Steel was in the girls quad at the Coupe des Nations winning gold. Andy Bird the WCS coach left the region in November. The Veterans and Juniors Regatta was re-launched as an ARA Primary Regatta to include events for people new to sport. Lottery Funding was secured via Durham Sport to appoint a part time Community Sports Coach – John Bell was appointed in January 2006.
- January. The final documentation required was submitted to Sport England North and on 14 March the Regional Board made a provisional award of £300,000 from the Community Investment Fund (CIF). This meant that work could be done on progressing partnership funding applications with others who had been waiting for SE funding first. The Planning Officer confirmed that the changes in the design made since planning permission was granted in 2003 were “minor amendments” and so no new application was needed to concern the Environment Agency. Other conditions of the award concerned the tender process and procurement process for the building contract. The Club was required to agree Key Performance Indicators with SE based on the agreed Sport Development Plan which would be monitored over five years from the date of completion of the building. Tenders from six contractors were opened on 15th September, the lowest from Dorin Construction of Newcastle being £960,822 plus 10% professional fees and plus unrecoverable VAT. There followed an extremely busy few weeks re-visiting funders for increased funding and negotiating a tender reduction with Dorins – various minor changes were made to the design and specification but the most significant change was to omit the structure of the boatstore extension to be done as a phase 2 (the foundations and floor of the boatstore were done with phase 1). Sport England made it a condition of the Grant that the boatstore extension (phase 2) was completed within five years. The reduced contract price for the main Clubhouse building and all associated work was £837,000 plus 10% professional fees and approx. 8% unrecoverable VAT giving a total financial commitment of £994,665.
- The final funding position was :-
- 1. General Club Fund raising £163,000
- 2. Sport England Lottery Community Investment Fund £300,000
- 3. Amateur Rowing Association – Community Club Development Programme £117,665
- 4. Durham LEA/DfES Playing for Success scheme £79,000
- 5. Northern Rock Foundation £60,000
- 6. Durham Regatta Committee £25,000
- 7. Durham City Council – Flourishing Communities Fund £50,000
- 8. Lloyds Bank Loan £200,000
- The final funding position was :-
- Total £994,665
- Total £994,665
- The Club vacated the site in November 2006 and operated with key boats housed inside and outside Clive Hole’s Old Coal Yard with much of the Club’s equipment off site in a barn loaned by Mike Allan – farmer and club member. Durham City Rugby Club invited DARC to use their Clubhouse facilities during building work. The building contract actually started on 4th December 2006. Main Contractor Dorins , Electrical work Hunters and Plumbing and Heating Dunnills.
- The Club purchased a third De Graafe trailer - cost £4860.
- A new heavyweight Sims double sculling boat “Liquid Assets” was purchased for £5358 plus VAT with grant aid of £2500 from Newcastle BS Foundation.
- Nathan Adams was appointed World Class Coach in place of Andrew Bird – but was given responsibility for the whole of the North East and became based at Tees RC ending the Club’s partnership with World Class Start.
- John Preston was in the GB boys’ quad at the Coup de Jeunesse, Groningen, Holland.
- Bill Golightly had died in 2000 and Allan Pratt resigned as a trustee and so to complete legal charges for the Lottery Grant and the Bank Loan a new property trust was executed with Phill Tully, Mark Bell, Barry Hudson and Peter Burdess as trustees. February – following completion of demolition work and construction of the boatstore phase 2 foundations and floor, the boatstore was handed back to the Club by the Contractor and basic refurb and decoration work was carried out before the boats were moved back. Portacabins were hired for changing and toilets. The new Clubhouse Building was handed over to the Club by the contractors on 9th July 2007. The official Completion Certificate was issued by the Council Building Inspector on 15 August. Voluntary work continued throughout the summer to fit out the Bar and Kitchen, move in furniture and fittings, and complete other minor fitting out work which had been taken out of the contract to reduce the tender cost. The building was finally fully completed and officially opened by Roberta Blackman-Woods MP on 14th September 2007 after expenditure of approx. £1,000,000.
- Once the funding for the building was secure, attention was turned to funding for boats to catch up on fleet renewals. The Local Network Fund for Children and Young People awarded £7000 towards the £8500 cost of a new Janousek 4-/4x “Lasting Impact”. The Banks Community Fund granted the £10,000 cost of a new heavyweight Raymond Sims Evolution HS coxed four – “Elvet Waterside”.(delivery of this was delayed until February 2008 due to a fire at the boat builders). The Club acquired six boats from Newcastle RGS, who had closed their boat club, assisted by a donation from former workmates and family of Doug Turner (recently deceased ) – a coxed four was named “Doug Turner”.
- The Club was becoming more active in Indoor Rowing with Gil Prescott and Roger Stainforth enjoying success in masters categories at British and International Events. John Preston was in the boys’ quad at the Junior World Championships, Beijing, China.
- “Playing for Success” purchased a Janousek 4+ for the Club. After a lengthy funding process in partnership with Gilesgate Sports College a package of £12,000 was raised to be used for equipment mainly for children and young people and people with disabilities or otherwise disadvantaged (comprised Dun Cow Charity Auction £3000, Durham County Police Community Fund and Gilesgate Youth Community Association £3000, Durham County Council Youth Opportunities Fund £4000 and The Rowing Foundation £2000). This funded the purchase of a Janousek 2x “Gilesgate” and two Burgashell recreational boats 2x “Dun Cow” and single “Evergreen” together with six pairs of sculls.
- A number of boats were sent to boat builders for full refurbishment including the full “Project Oarsome” fleet of Janousek boats (part funded by Henley Stewards Charity). A 2002-built lightweight Raymond Sims eight “Winterbrook” was purchased from Wallingford Rowing Club for £4500.
- Work then started on raising funds for phase 2 of the building project – boatstore extension - with applications submitted to various funding bodies with a target of £100,000. The Architects JDDK revised the plans to include windows on the east (river) side, rendering on the west (Clubhouse) side to match the clubhouse and roller shutters instead of wooden doors which were accepted as minor amendments by the planning authority.
- The National Police Rowing Championships were hosted by the Club in September.
- Club Captain , Phil Tully reported 123 open wins including 54 by the J16/J18 squad in the first year in the new building. Helen Preston sculled in the GB quad at the “Coup de Jeuness”, Cork, Ireland.
- A party of veterans drove overland to Lithuania with a boat trailer to compete in the FISA Masters Regatta recording wins in veteran E eight and veteran F mixed double.
- Roberta Blackman – Woods MP and Carolyn Roberts, Head teacher of the Johnston school, following instruction from club coaches, completed a sponsored row in April. Club members from all squads joined the row with proceeds shared between St.Cuthberts Hospice and club funds.
- On the 17th July the river rose to the highest level ever recorded, flooding the club site and just entering the building at the peak of the flood causing considerable damage to floor coverings and some furnishings etc. (cost approx £7500 recovered from Insurance).
- Work on the phase 2 boatstore building – front extension and refurbishment and rewiring of existing stores - started in August on the basis that the club was main contractor with Barry Hudson project manager. It was completed by the end of the year within a budget of £65,000 including VAT. Funding included £4500 from Sport England (retention from phase 1) £10,000 from Banks Foundation and £5000 from Esh Trust with the rest from general club fund raising and balances. Work was done by City Fabricators of Bowburn (steelwork), Peter Winters builder (brickwork and roof construction etc.), Coxhoe Timber (window frames), Richard Churchill (roller doors), Kevin Boyle (electrical work), McKenna Plastering (specialist external rendering), Terra Firma (groundwork) , Reflex Roofing (specialist roof finish) and CWR Fabrications (manufacture of boat racks) with other work done by club volunteers. Alongside this work, alterations to the layout of the kitchen in the clubhouse were carried out funded by the Ladies Committee.
- Club Captain , Mark Bell, was able to report continued growth in membership with 258 members including nearly 96 juniors and 153 open wins coming from all sections of the club. Helen Preston rowed in the GB quad at the World Junior Championships, Brive, France and Maddy McCarthy won gold in the girls eight at the Home Countries International at Dorney Lake. The senior men’s eight qualified to compete in the first round of the Thames Cup at Henley for first time in 15 years.
- Durham ARC 150th , Sesquicentennial, year.
- Applications to two schemes both designed to bring more adults into a healthy lifestyle were run together and were both successful. British Rowing “Explore Rowing” scheme awarded half the £25000 cost of six new Janousek recreational/training boats (two 4+/4x , two 2x and two 1x) together with £4000 for coaching delivery. NHS “Changing the Physical Activity Landscape” scheme awarded £44,734 to cover the rest of the cost of the boats and revenue funding for a part time manager and assistant coach to run courses for beginners over a three year period. (four ten week courses in each year).
- The Club purchased a new black carbon first eight from Intersport Racing and another Janousek 4x/4- identical to the “Lasting Impact” purchased in 2007.
- A successful year on the water – the women’s 4+ won gold at GB Masters Regatta (crew Dajana Dzanovic, Karen Warrior, Toria Lloyd, Becks Lippe, cox Ruth Barker) and the men’s eight won the Yorkshire Head and then won at Metropolitan Regatta to pre-qualify for the Thames Cup at Henley (when they beat HSBC Bank, lost to Potomac BC)– crew J.A.Roxborough.J.P.Dickinson, M.P.Veldman , A.L.P.Willen, A.Higgs, M.J.Hunt, H.W.Shepherd, D.J.McCarron, cox E.P.Watcham. The men’s Veteran F 4+ John Appleby, Kim Metcalfe, Paul Stanley, Mickey Stevens and cox Emma Watchan won gold at GB Masters and then silver in E eights with Martin Judson, Dave Walker, John Watkinson and David Heppell. The Junior Coxed Four won bronze at British Rowing Championships and then represented England at the Home Countries International at Cork – crew Stuart Lyons, Chris Tully, Darren Smith, Ben Reilly- O’Donnell, cox Charlotte Meikle.
- 150th Celebration Dinner held in the Radisson Blu Hotel , Durham, on Saturday 25th September 2010