Hawthorn Rowing Club

From Northern Rowing History
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Hawthorn Rowing Club, so named because of the connection to Hawthorn Leslie & Co. the famous shipbuilding company on the Tyne, was a professional rowing club that started in 1894 at Hebburn on the River Tyne and lasted until 1939 at the outbreak of the 1939-1945 World War. In 1907 it changed its name to the Allhusen Rowing Club after a move to a new location on land provided by a Mr. Allhusen of the Newcastle Chemical Works at Tyne Main. The new name of Allhusen Rowing Club did not seem to last very long as the club reverted back to the name Hawthorn RC by 1908 and continued until 1939, a record being found of them competing in the Durham Regatta of 1930. A fire which destroyed the boathouse in 1938, combined with the outbreak of the Second World War was probably the reason for the club ceasing to operate.

Tyne United Rowing Club was founded in 1946 to provide a home for the remnants of the Empire, Hawthorn, Gateshead & District and Walker & Wallsend clubs.

18th November 1907
The Newcastle Chronicle reported:
The Hawthorn Rowing Club will in the future be known as "the Allhusen Club". When in 1894 the members of the old Mushroom Club were compelled to remove their quarters to a site near Messrs. Hawthorn, Leslie, and Coy's works at St. Peter's, the organisation practically reformed under the title of the Hawthorn Rowing Club, and continued with more or less until last season, when it was seriously threatened with extinction. Owing to the extension of their works Messrs. Hawthorn, Leslie, and Co. required the land on which the club boathouse was erected, and the members after pulling down the structure had to house their craft at different parts of the river. They secured temporary quarters at the Ouseburn but there there was only accommodation for open boats. Under these difficulties the members struggled for twelve months, meanwhile raising funds by concerts and various other means with a view of keeping the club in existence. A site was secured near the old one, but owing to some misunderstanding they had to give this up after spending something like £15 on foundations. This was a severe blow, and other sites in the vicinity were too expensive. The outlook was exceedingly black. However, Mr Allhusen came to the rescue with an offer of a site on the south side of the river at Tyne Main, at a merely nominal rental and a subscription, and further financial aid being forthcoming the members set earnestly to work on the erection of new boathouse during their spare time, and as much enthusiasm and energy did they display that the structure was finished in about three months. It was well built, and, considering the labour expended upon it, it is quite worth £200. It is also just opposite the St. Peter*s boat landing, and the only thing to be regretted is that access to it is rather difficult.

The opening ceremony was performed on Saturday afternoon by Councillor Arthur Scott. J.P., before a very large attendance, amongst those prevent being Councillor H Foster, Mr W Merritt, Mr Jas. Cook, Mr T. Lee Secretary of the Blyth Club). and Mr Holyoake, Secretary of the Chester-le-Street Club. The Blyth, Chester-le-Street, and other clubs were strongly represented. Harry Kelly, the old champion, and Stephen Renforth sent letters of apology for their absence, Councillor Scott, in declaring the premises open, congratulated the members on their achievement, It was he said, a very much better boat house than he was accustomed to when rowing, and elected great credit upon those who had taken the work in hand. Mr R Gray, the chairman. presented Councillor Scott with a model of an open boat, and in doing so referred to the interest Councillor Scott had always taken, not only in rowing, but in all matters connected with the yard he represented. Light refreshments were then partaken of, and a procession of the racing craft followed. Unfortunately the weather was very had, rain falling heavily, while the river was rather choppy. In consequence the four-oared race between the new club and Chester-le-Street and the open boat racing did not take place. Mr R. Grey, for eight years secretary of the Hawthorn Club, is chairman of the Allhusen Club; Mr J H Souter, secretary: Mr R Culler, assistant secretary; Mr E. Gordon, Captain; Mr J McDermott, vice-captain; and Mr W English, treasurer. Afterwards the company repaired to Mrs Kincaid's Locomotive Inn, and partook of tea, and at night a smoking concert took place. Councillor A Scott occupied the chair and was supported by Coun. H Foster, It W Scott, and Robt Bagnall.

29th March 1939
The Newcastle Evening Chronicle reported:
Amateurism Favoured By Pros. - By C.P. MERIFIELD (Oxford Crew Cox, 1937-38) "It is gratifying to see that Tyneside professional rowing clubs are at last awakening to the fact that there may something in this amateurism after all I have been privileged to attend a unique dinner, which I hope marks the beginning of new era of rowing on the Tyne It was given by the Hawthorn Rowing Club and for the first time a representative gathering of professionals sat down together on an official occasion. Among the guests were members of Gateshead. Empire and Tyne Main clubs. In the chair was Mr. W. Davidson, who has been long associated with the sport, and also present was Councillor Redhead. Some Interesting opinions were expressed, especially by the older men. but the general trend of opinion was favourable to amateurism, the feeling being that a man rows for the fun of it, not because he wants to make money out of the sport. It was also agreed that the past excessive betting had been the cause of the bad reputation acquired the Tyne Asking For Grant Mr. George Sinton, secretary of the Hawthorn Club, told the company that he was intending to apply for a grant from the National Fitness Committee in order to help the club to re-establish itself on a firm footing after the destruction of their boathouse by fire last year. I was also pleased to note that much interest was shown in the idea of popularising eight-oared rowing on the Tyne. Several of the oarsmen told me that they had always wanted to row In an eight. Another interesting feature of the evening was a challenge. Issued by the Empire R.C. to Hawthorn row them for the Oxo Cup, which has not been competed for for some years now. The race will rowed in fours at date to fixed as soon as Hawthorn have put their house in order.