Joseph Kempster

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Joesph Kempster of Sunderland was a professional sculler.

6th February 1880
Bell's Life reported:
Although two important events have recently been disposed of on the Tyne, two others of interest are to be brought off on the river next week. The first is set for Monday from the Mansion House to Scotswood Bridge, for £100 a side, between John Hawdon of Delaval and Joseph Kempster of Sunderland. The easy defeat which the former sustained last week at the hands of Robert Watson Boyd appear to have increased rather than depreciated the interest in Monday's race. When the match was made, and for some weeks afterwards, it was voted a good thing for Hawdon but now good judges have come to view it in a different light, and at the present time more [people are impressed with Kempster's chance of success than they are with that of the Delaval sculler. The last named has been judiciously eased through the week, but he is looked after by such good men as James Percy and Robert Patrick, that there is no fear of him being turned out cherry ripe on the day.

Harry Kempster has all along been in attendance upon his brother, from Mrs. Gibson's The Ord Arms Inn, Scotswood, and the Sunderland sculler is in tip top condition. On Monday, a gale from the South East swept over Tyneside throughout the day and the Tyne was like a miniature sea. Both men attempted some practice in the morning and put off about the same time, but they got no further than Delaval Jetty before the boats were filled with water and the competitors made a hasty retreat for Scotswood. Matters got even worse in the afternoon and neither man was afloat. On Tuesday, however, the morning was bright and clear but in the afternoon there was a south westerly breeze which made it all one-handed labour. Kempster got afloat in the Two Sisters about half past ten in the morning and at a good swinging pace went down upon the ebb to the foot of the Meadows where he turned and rowed leisurely back to Scotswood. Hawdon's morning journey was not quite so long, but he threw some energy into his work and made the turn at the head of the Meadows.

The Delaval sculler was first off in the afternoon and attended by Patrick went down to the Meadows where he whipped round and had a sharp burst at 34 to the minute to Scotswood. About 4 o'clock, Kempster embarked in Boyd's boat, the Beehive, and attended by his brother went as far as Dunston Gangway against the flood. On the return he kept up a uniform stroke of 33 to the minute and got good pace onto the boat. The weather continued fine on Wednesday and both men were off twice. In the morning Kempster embarked at the boathouse of Mr. Robert Jewitt, Dunston, in the John Batey, the craft he will use on Monday and after proceeding to the Redheugh Bridge, he had a sharp row to Scotswood against the ebb. Hawdon got afloat about 11 o'clock in the James Percy and had a row westwards as far as Lemington Point, where he turned and had a sharp burst of speed to Scotswood. Kempster was again first afloat in the afternoon but his spin from Greensitt's boathouse to about half way down the Meadows and back again was merely an exercise paddle. Hawdon's afternoon work was more important as, after taking matters leisurely to the Redheugh Bridge, he went back to Scotswood at top pressure and put in some good execution. On Thursday Newcastle was visited by another gale and the Tyne was very rough. Very little sculling practice was taken and the men engaged in strong land work instead. Mr. John Stephens, the energetic secretary of the River Police, had issued his regulations for the prevention of accidents on Monday next and and they are similar in effect to those for the recent Boyd and Elliott race.