Elfin Amateur Rowing Club

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Elfin Amateur Rowing Club existed for a brief period of time, possibly only for a couple of years, at Elswick, near Newcastle-upon-Tyne. It is assumed that the "El" part of the club name referred to Elswick but the link to the "fin" is not known.

26th April 1867:
The Newcastle Daily Chronicle reported:
The first annual meeting of the “ Elfin” Rowing Club was held last evening, at the house of Mr. Forster, White House, Pilgrim Street, Newcastle, eight members were enrolled. The club is now in a prosperous condition. Mr. J. Hall has orders to build two new fine open boats. The club being limited, any one desirous of becoming a member should attend at the meeting, which will be held Wednesday next at the above place.

2nd May 1867:
The Newcastle Daily Chronicle reported:
A meeting of the club was held last evening at Mr. S. Forster’s, White House. Pilgrim Street, Newcastle, when three members were enrolled. As tho club is limited, there are four members wanting. Another meeting will held Wednesday night next.

1st June 1867:
The Newcastle Guardian reported:
Elfin Amateur Rowing Club - This club, which promises to become one the most successful ones on the Tyne, held a general meeting on Wednesday evening, at the White House Hotel, when several members were enrolled. The Secretary said he was happy to inform the members that the club was in a prosperous condition, and he had every reason to believe that the new boats, which were being built by those skilled workmen Messrs. Hall and Hutchinson, would be completed by Whit-Monday, when there would a general opening day. Persons desirous of becoming members should attend at the next meeting, which will be held on Wednesday next.

23rd August 1867:
The Newcastle Courant reported:
A YOUNG MAN DROWNED - On Friday afternoon a young man, named Thomas Oliver, 21 years of age, was drowned near to Clasper's Boathouse, Newcastle. The deceased was engaged in the machine department of the Chronicle Office, and was a member of the Elfin Rowing Club. He was practising boating to compete in a forthcoming sculling handicap. After pulling vigorously a little while, he thought his boat was sinking from it having shipped a little water, and he rose to his feet as if to leap into the water and make for the shore. The boat was capsized, and the young man sunk. A fruitless attempt was made to save the unfortunate lad, who was unable to swim. His body was afterwards recovered by means of grappling irons. On Saturday evening an inquest was held before the coroner (J. T. Hoyle, Esq.), when a verdict of "Accidentally drowned " was returned

The Edinburgh Daily Review reported - A melancholy accident occurred in the Tyne, near to Clasper's Boathouse, Newcastle, or Friday afternoon. A young man named Thomas Oliver, about 21 years of age, had taken out a pleasure boat from the boathouse of the Elfin Rowing Club (of which he was a member) for practice to compete in a forthcoming scull handicap. For a time he pulled about stream vigorously, and as there was a strong "Upper' on his craft shipped a quantity of water. Thinking, probably, that his boat was sinking, Oliver rose to his feet as if to jump out, and make an attempt to reach the shore. Unfortunately, however, the boat capsized, and Oliver was thrown into the water. A strong current ran at the time, and the poor fellow was washed away and quickly sunk. Every endeavour to save him was futile.

31st August 1867:
Bell's Life reported:
Elfin Amateur Rowing Club - The most interesting handicap in every respect that has yet taken place in connection with this club was concluded on Monday last after three nights' racing. The distance was a half mile. The racing, generally speaking, was pretty good, and the rowing, considering the brief existence of the club, was highly creditable for the youngsters concerned. The following were the heats: —Heat 1; W.Vint scratch beat T. Purvis scratch by length and half.—Heat 2; K. Cockburn 4 lengths start beat A. Haves ft lengths by a length.—Heat 3: J. Robson 3 lengths beat T. Wilson 4 lengths by half a length—Heat : W. Hara 4 lengths beat W. Belt 8 lengths by lengths.—Heat : J. Clarke scratch beat F. Hara 4 lengths by half a length.—Heat : W. Winter scratch rowed over. The ties then came off when Vint beat Clarke by two lengths, Cockburn Winter by a length, Robson beat Hara three lengths. In the next ties Cockburn beat Robson, and Vint walked over; and in the final beat Cockburn succeeded in defeating Vint by nearly three lengths.

7th January 1868:
The Newcastle Journal reported:
Elfin Rowing Club - an ordinary meeting of this thriving and popular club was held last evening, the club house, Star Hotel, Northumberland Street. The attendance of members was large, and the business before the meeting was disposed of. Monday next it is intended to call a full meeting of members, which will held at Mr Watson’s, Nun’s Lane, Newgate Street. The retrospective and prospective condition of the club will then be entertained, and resolutions submitted to make the coming season as successful as possible. Tbe Elfin Rowing Club has not been long organised, nevertheless the impetus given to the sport by the members has, so far, stimulated the officials, and no doubt there will be a sufficiency of funds forthcoming to place the Elfin Rowing Club on an equality with other clubs of local notoriety.

13th February 1868:
The Newcastle Journal reported:
The other evening, the members of the flourishing Elfin ARC club met at the house of Mr Geo. Watson, Lowther Inn, Nun’s Lane, to present Mr Francis Lees, their able secretary, with a small token of their respect for his very valuable services in connection with the club in the shape of a massive gold signet ring, which bore the following inscription: “Presented to Mr F, Lees, by the members of the E.A.R.C., Feb,, 10, 1§68.” The presentation was made by the Captain Wm. Vint. In reply, Mr Lees thanked the members for their kindness - his services had not been rendered with any view of pecuniary gain, but for the love he had for athletic sports, especially aquatic. He would ever treasure the present memento of their kindness. The proceedings were interspersed with vocal and instrumental music from several of the members. Amongst those present were the following officers of the club, viz., Mr Wm. Brown, treasurer; Mr F. Hara, president; Thos. Purvis, vice-president; and Mr Richard Graham, junior captain.

19th November 1868:
The Newcastle Journal reported on a CHALLENGE:
T. Clark, of Newcastle, will row W. Winter, late of the Elfin Rowing Club, one or two miles, in Percy’s open boats, for £5 side; or T.C. will join in a sweepstake with J. Patterson, Newcastle, and Clark, of Gateshead. The above match and sweepstake can be made any night this week, J. Brumwell’s Tyneside Inn, Tyneside Terrace.