North Seaton Rowing Club

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North Seaton Rowing Club was a professional rowing club formed in 1895 and existed until 1967. The Club was based on the north bank of the River Wansbeck at North Seaton. Occasionally, the club would travel to other regatta locations by fishing boat and would regularly sail to Blyth and Cambois for regattas; their distance record was to arrive at the South Hylton Regatta by fishing boat, unfortunately not in time of the regatta though !

15th September 1896
The Blyth News reported:
On Friday evening, the members of the North Seaton Rowing Club held a meeting in the boat house, presided over by Mr A. Gladstone. There was a good attendance of members. The chief part of the business was the election of a committee and officers for the next twelve months, to consider the report of the secretary re the progress of the handicap, and the financial condition of the club. The election of officers resulted as follows:—President G.B. Forster; vice-president, J.H. Nicholson; Captain, A Gladstone; Treasurer. N. Robinson; secretary, E.Blain; committee. J.Curtis. J.Love, T.Nicholson, T.Gibson, J.F.Johnstone, G.Black. The uniform colours of the club were decided to be black and blue jerseys and caps. The Secretary then reported that the officials and deputies of the colliery had presented splendid gold and silver medals to the club to be competed for as the first and second prizes in their first handicap, which commences on September 19th. He then presented the starts of the 16 entrants as follows:—N.Robinson, scratch, Blain 17 sec. J.Love 27, F.Johnstone 28, T.Nicholson 29, G.Black 32, J.Curtis 31, E Wilkinson 34, A.Gladstone 40, J.Armstrong 38, H.Cochrane 36, H.Connell 40, W.Atkinson 56, W.Jordan 38, G.Gascoigne 50, R.Gibson 51. Messrs B Blain and Robinson officiated as handicappers. Mr W.Hogg has been appointed timekeeper, and Mr.Lee, of Blyth, distance judge. The financial condition of the club was very healthy, votes of thanks being given to several gentlemen for having subscribed liberally towards the funds.

6th April 1897
The Blyth News reported:
CHRISTENING CEREMONY AT NORTH SEATON - At the boathouse, North Seaton Colliery, the christening took place of the two new boats that have lately been obtained by the club; one of which went under the name of the " Sydney Stone " at the last Christmas handicap at Newcastle. The other is new boat fitted up by Messrs Swaddle, of Scotswood, as a companion. About two o'clock a very large meeting of members, hon. members. and patrons was held, presided over by Mr A. Gladstone, the president of club. He also stated that it was the intention of the club to commence the Easter handicap on Good Friday morning, for which Mr J.T. Heslop, North Seaton Low Quay, bad given a gold medal as first prize, and Dr C. H. Even had given a pair of sculls as a second prize. it was also the intention of the members to form a swimming club an connection with the rowing club during the summer months, which would induce a good many more of the youths to join the club and take an interest in affairs. Dr. C.H. Evers rechristened the "Sydney Stone" the "Dr Nansen" by breaking a bottle of champagne over it, a name chosen by Mr. W. Fenwick. Newbiggin. Mr J.T. Heslop then christened the other new boat "Gallant Foe" with more champagne, the name being chosen by Mr G. Covell, Newbiggin. The boats were then taken by Mr. R. Robinson, the Treasurer, and Mr Rhein, the secretary of the club, over half-a-mile in good time. The colliery brass band was in attendance, under the leadership of Mr James Anderson, and played a good selection of music. The members then retired to the boathouse, where the evening was spent in jovial manner. Refreshments were supplied by the committee. The club has now 30 members, hon. members, and upwards of 40 patrons, who have contributed largely towards the of the club, during the short time of its career.

14th November 1899
The Shields Daily News reported:
In the presence of a large gathering of patrons, the new house acquired by the Blyth Rowing Club, was opened Saturday afternoon by Richard Nicholson, President of the club. After the ceremony a boat race was rowed between two members of the club, Messrs Anty Scott, of Blyth, and Robert Thompson, of North Seaton over a course of a quarter of a mile for £10. The North Seaton man got away fast at the commencement, and held the lead for the first hundred yards, but Scott then got on terms, and eventually won a good race by two clear lengths.

23rd June 1911
The Morpeth Herald reported:
NORTH SEATON ROWING CLUB HANDICAP - £1 will be given towards entrance of 1 shilling each, to commence on June 22nd at the Low Quay. Distance about a half-mile. Confined to members. Handicap pulled out Friday, 23rd and Saturday

4th July 1913
The Morpeth Herald reported:
NEW BUILDING - New headquarters are being erected for North Seaton Rowing Club on a site kindly given by the Cowpen Coal Company, and this will enable the members to take greater advantage of the tides. The Coal Company has also generously subscribed towards the cost of the new building.

19th August 1913
The Newcastle Daily Chronicle reported:
NEW BOATHOUSE - The new boathouse which has been erected near Waterside Cottages, North Seaton, for the North Seaton Rowing Club, was formally opened yesterday afternoon. The boathouse has been built by the Cowpen Coal Company under the supervision of Mr J.Willis, the engineer to the Company, at a cost of £60. which will be repaid to the company. The building is of timber with a brick foundation, and is 30 feet long by 14 feet wide, with accommodation for four boats and stripping quarters for the crews, together with a suitable landing stage. The membership totals 60. Mr. J. Manderson, president of the club, performed the ceremony by hoisting the Club flag. Tea was afterwards served by the lady members of the club. Afterwards, a four-oared match for the Kinnair Challenge Cup, which has been presented to the club by Dr. Thompson, of Ashington, was decided over the half-mile course on the Wsnabeck. Seaton Hirst Excelsior Band was in attendance and rendered selections of music

29th August 1919
The Morpeth Herald reported:
CONCERT IN AID FUNDS - In aid of funds for the North Seaton Rowing Club, a successful concert was held on Wednesday evening in the Hippodrome, which was kindly lent for the occasion. There was very large and appreciative audience. Colonel J.H. Nicholson, of Cowpen presided. The chairman said that it must be very gratifying to the club members to see such a large audience. He was glad the club was endeavouring to keep up the good old English sport of rowing. The club was formed eleven years ago, and remembered when they had to go down to the shore for the boathouse. They asked the Colliery Company if they could have the boathouse built at the village and he knew that it had been greatly appreciated. The Coal Company appreciated the club’s thanks, knowing that had been a success. The club went on very well until the war. Of course, they had had ups and downs. Once when the club was in low water, Mr. Young granted them the use of the Hippodrome, and as the result of an excellent entertainment, they raised a goodly sum. During the war, nearly all the members had enlisted, and now that they had come back the club had got started again, and he hoped the club would be very successful in the future. Mr. Young had again granted them the use of the hall as he was always ready to help the North Seaton People. The club had bought two new sculling boats, and he felt sure that the club would benefit considerably, as a result, of that concert. (Applause.) The programme, consisting of vocal and instrumental music proved a great musical treat. Those who contributed to the programme were all well received. The artistes were Miss Stewart (soprano). West Sleekburn, Miss Tweddle (soprano). North Seaton, Mr. L. W. Crane (comedian). Bedlington, Mr. P. Riggs (bass), Choppington, Mr. J. Jordan (rag-time comedian), Newcastle, Mr. J. Stewart (tenor). West Sleekburn, Mr. C. Hunter (clog dancer), Bedlington. Messrs. A. Owens and T. Ritson (duetists), North Seaton. Pleasing selections were played by North Seaton Colliery Brass Band, under the leadership of Mr. R. Kirkup. On the motion of Mr. Isaac Brown of the Colliery, a hearty vote of thanks was accorded to Colonel Nicholson for presiding.

26th June 1930
The Blyth News reported:
ROWERS SUCCESS - One of the crews entered from the district for the Race Week Regatta at Durham Regatta on Tuesday and Wednesday, brought the honours of the professional four-oared race to East Northumberland. North Seaton Rowing Club had W.Brown, J.Gibson, B.Clavering, M.Turnbull (stroke), and R Greenacre (cox) entered and they pulled through successfully to the final in which they heat Hawthorn RC. In the intermediate stages North Seaton beat Chester-le-Street and Southwick.

4th August 1931
The Blyth News reported:
NORTH SEATON FINALISTS ON THE WEAR - Both of the finalists in the four-oared professional handicap at the annual regatta of the South Hylton Rowing Club, held on the river Wear yesterday, were provided by the North Seaton Rowing Club. There were 24 crews entered. In the first semi-final which had to be re-rowed as both crews fouled each other in midstream. N. Seaton (Waite) beat Chester-le-Street (Armstrong) on a foul. Final:— North Seaton (M.Rogers, J.Rogers, T.Potts, J.Waite) handicap 1 1/2 lengths, beat North Seaton (J.Hall, J.Rogerson, C.Moben. E. Alexandra), handicap 3 lengths, by a length.

16th July 1934
The Blyth News reported:
CAMBOIS WIN - Organised by the North Seaton Rowing Club as an annual event, a £20 professional four-oared handicap was decided over a half-mile course on the River Wansbeck at North Seaton, yesterday. A satisfactory entry of 25 crews. The final results were: Cambois (M.Turnbull, N.Robinson, J.Gibson, G.Spratt) beat Cambois (T.Thirlwell, J.Todd, E.Drysdale, S.Drysdale) by a 1/4 length.

6th August 1935
The Blyth News reported:
The Rating Committee minutes stated that an application of the North Seaton Rowing Club for a decrease in their assessment had been disallowed. Councillor N. Reeveley, said that the club was comprised of working class lads and they were finding it difficult to carry on. He had not been present at the last meeting and he asked that the Rating Officer (Mr Muter) should review the position.

11th September 1936
The Morpeth Herald reported:
NORTH SEATON CREW WINS HANDICAP - Three brothers named Hall figured in the North Seaton crew which won the £2O professional four-oared handicap promoted by the North Seaton Rowing Club and held on Sunday. The handicap was over a half-a-mile course of the River Wansbeck at North Seaton and the local scullers, winners of the handicap a few years ago, beat the favourites Southwick, by half-a-length in the semi-final, and after conceding half a length in the final, won by two lengths an exciting race with a Chester-le-Street crew. Two Blyth crews were dismissed in the first round. The men who formed the winning crew were N. Hall, M. Rogers, M. Hall and J. Hall (stroke).

12th July 1948
The Blyth News reported:
NORTH SEATON R.C.s BOLD BID FOR SOUTER CUP - Three of North Seaton Rowing Club's four crews entered for the W. A. Souter Cup competition, held on the River Tyne on Saturday under the promotion of the Tyne United R.C., qualified for the semi-final, while the crew to reach the final finished as runners-up. This is a new competition which drew an entry of 22 crews. The cup and silver tankards were presented by Mr W.A. Souter. Semi-finals: Tyne United (McParlin. str), 12 secs.. beat North Seaton (T. Rees, str.), 11 secs.: North Seaton (I T. Alexander. str.), 8 secs.. beat North Seaton (G. Warnaby, str.), 11 secs. Final Tyne United beat North Seaton three lengths.

23rd September 1948
The Blyth News reported:
WON OWN REGATTA - North Seaton Rowing Club's regatta held on the River Wansbeck on Saturday and Sunday, was won by one of its own crews. stroked by G. Warnaby. They were off nine and in the final defeated Blyth (D. Pearson) off ten. Defeated semi-finalists were two Cambois crews, stroked by M. Turnbull (scratch) and T. Sharp (eight).

21st July 1950
The Morpeth Herald reported:
Eighteen-year-old Brian Elliott, North Seaton Rowing Club, has gained the distinction of winning the James Beverage Memorial Bowl at the annual regatta held by Ebchester Rowing Club. Another North Seaton entrant, J. T. Alexander, was knocked out the second round.

23rd May 1952
The Morpeth Herald reported:
FORMER STAKEFORD MAN STROKES WINNING CREW - North Seaton Rowing Club were defeated by four lengths by Tyne United in the final the Northern Amateur Rowing Trials on the River Tyne on Saturday. By this defeat North Seaton were deprived of the opportunity of representing the Tyne in a contest with a club, Barnes Amateur, in the London Clubs Regatta on 8th June. The contest will be held for the first time since the war. The Tyne club was stroked by a former Stakeford man, W. Kennedy, who was a member of the Cambois crew, stroked by Matt Turnbull, when they were winners of the Durham Handicap in 1947 and 1949. The North Seaton crew, which usually rows over a half-mile course, felt the strain of the course, between Scotswood Bridge and Newcastle Corporation Quay, which is over the mile. The North Seaton crew was stroked by R. Rees and other local clubs, Cambois and Blyth, competed.

18th September 1953
The Morpeth Herald reported:
North Seaton Rowing Club is prepared to organise a women’s section if there is sufficient demand for it. Mr. B. Hetherington, the secretary, Garden City Villas, Ashington, tells me that there is room for an increased membership—even for ladies. Anyone who fancies taking up the oars with the Club should pop down any Sunday morning to the club hut on the River Wansbeck, or particularly this Sunday when jumble handicap is being organised.

14th August 1967
The Newcastle Journal reported:
TOO LAZY FOR ROWING - A North east rowing club official believes that today's teenagers are too lazy to take up the sport. Mr. J. Davidson, treasurer of the North Seaton Rowing Club said "They have plenty of money and would rather spend it on an easy pastime rather than something like rowing. Because of the shortage of young people willing to try their hand at rowing, the club, which started 60 years ago, may lose its fight for survival. Only ten active members are still rowing - the lowest ever at North Seaton. If we do not get some members soon, I am not sure the Club can last" added Mr. Davidson. An attempt to revive the rowing regatta on the Wansbeck at North Seaton this year has failed, but a fresh attempt may be held next year.