Tynemouth Rowing Club

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Tynemouth Rowing Club was founded in 1867. Their most famous rower was probably William Fawcus who won the Diamond Sculls at Henley Regatta in 1871

Formation of the Club

(taken from a newspaper report of the time)

"A preliminary meeting of the promoters of an Amateur Rowing Club to be formed at Tynemouth was held last night in the Bath Hotel of that place. Mr A. S. Stevenson occupied the chair, and there was a large attendance of gentlemen interested in the formation of the club.

Mr Stanley Kewney, having read the circular convening the meeting, The CHAIRMAN said he rejoiced very much to see so large an attendance on the resent occasion, for it spoke well for the success of the club. He would detail the steps that had been taken in the matter by his friends Mr Stanley Kewney and Mr Brown, secretaries. They had in the first instance written to the Local Board of Health, who had referred them to the Board of Ordnance, from whom a letter was received a proving of the scheme, referring the matter to its commandant of engineers at Manchester. Mr Leitch had placed himself in communication with Colonel W. E. D. Boughton, the officer referred to, from whom a letter was received asking what accommodation was required, and to forward a sketch and plans of their house.

This was done, and in reply they received a letter from General Peel, which granted them leave to build a house in Prior’s Haven, at the nominal rental of 5s per annum, the club agreeing on their part to remove the erection whenever they should be required to do so by the authorities at the War Office. Their position at this time was this: They had received permission to build a house in Prior’s Haven, which would be sufficiently commodious, and have all the advantages they would require, and having a strong body of supporters of boat rowing, there was no reason the club should not be a successful one. He would give it all the assistance in his power.

The position was a most favourable one for a rowing club, for they had the offer of a suitable place or their boat house, they had the sea close by, and having plenty of energetic members, there was no reason for the club to be otherwise than a great success.

Mr Wm. CREIGHTON proposed the first resolution, which was “That the Rowing Club be formed in Tynemouth, and that it be called the “Borough of Tynemouth Rowing Club”. He could not say anything more than their chairman had already said. He thought the intended position for the boat house of the club—between the Baths and the Lifeboat House—was a very favourable one indeed.

Mr T. Dryden seconded the motion, which was agreed to.

The CHAIRMAN remarked that he might state some of the objects of the Club. In the first place they wished to erect a large boat house, and they wished to erect a house for the members to sit in, which would be sufficiently large that the members might sit in it comfortably and have a good sea view. It would have a lavatory, and they had at one time thought they might have baths attached to; but they had the baths close by, and they might be entering into opposition with them. They had at one time thought they might have boats, but these would be perhaps interfered with the boats kept by the Frys close by. They did not wish to interfere with the proprietors of the baths or the Frys. Indeed they wished to make them their allies instead of their enemies.

Mr P. Messent then moved “That a committee, a treasurer, and a secretary be appointed to receive subscriptions, to draw up rules, and otherwise to carry out the objects of this meeting, and that the following gentlemen form a committee (pro. Tem.), viz.. Alexander S. Stevenson, William Crighton, P.J. Messent, Jacob Burnett, C. U. Laws, George Little, William Wright, W. H. Fawcus, Thomas Dickinson, George Tyzack, W. H. Scott, Thomas Dryden, Edward Glynn, jun., I. Brown, Stanley Kewney (secretary and treasurer.)

He thought the resolution required no remarks. He was sorry to say that he had not had anything to do with the movement hitherto ; but he had been informed of it half an hour ago by his friend Mr Stevenson, and he could only say that if he could do anything for the Club in his official capacity upon the piers he would be happy to do it. (Applause.)

Mr Stanley Metcalfe seconded the motion.

The CHAIRMAN in putting the motion to the meeting said a few of his Newcastle friends had expressed themselves very favourably to this movement, and they thought at one time it might be desirable to put some of the Newcastle men upon the committee. They had determined however to let the club rest on its merits, believing it would get plenty of support from the Newcastle visitors. The chairman then said they had tried to get some estimate as to what the erection of such a house as they required would cost, and Mr Joseph Robinson had drawn out a plan, and formed a rough estimate of the building. He (the Chairman) thought the club should have a house where a good view of the sea, the piers, and their craft could be obtained, and the building ought to be an ornament to the haven. He had little doubt they would get the necessary subscriptions for the building of this house, so that they would not have to trench upon the regular subscriptions of the club. The boat house would be 60 feet long, and 25 feet in breadth at one end. Of the whole length, 48 feet would be devoted to the boat house, the remaining 12 feet forming a dressing room, with lavatory, etc.

Mr E. GLYNN, jun., moved “That a subscription be opened to defray the cost of the boat-house and other expenses incurred in the establishment of the club”. In a place like Tynemouth there could be little doubt that this club would be very favourably received and well supported.

From the form of the motion he had proposed it was evident there would have to be two subscription lists; one for the expenses incurred in establishing the club, and the other for the ordinary members’ subscriptions.

Mr J. F. SPENCE, jun., seconded the motion.

The CHAIRMAN said there would be two lists of subscriptions, as stated by Mr Glynn. They had not determined what would be the annual subscription, but he thought it would be about a guinea. They would require a large number of boats; there would have to be eight-oared boats, and also boats in which a single member might pull out in. The boats would not be mere skifis, but would be adapted to go to sea in all states of the weather. The present was but a preliminary meeting. and no doubt at a subsequent meeting they would be able to do much more towards putting the club in a working condition. The sum of £46 was subscribed in the room, Mr A. S. Stevenson heading the list with £10, and thirty-five names were entered as members of the club.
A vote of thanks having been unanimously accorded to the chairman, the proceedings terminated".

Presidents of the Club

1867 - 1892 Alexander S. Stevenson 1978 - 1980 A. Neil McQueen
1893 - 1897 John M. Winter 1981 - 1983 Joseph Wightman
1898 - 1904 Jacob Daglish 1984 - 1986 J. Ross Graham
1905 - 1920 Samuel A. Morrison 1987 - 1989 Ian D. Veitch
1921 - 1936 Rowland Lishman 1990 - 1992 John M. Tait
1937 - 1957 George H. Wright 1993 - 2003 John F.J. Lambert
1957 - 1968 James Waggott 2004 - 2020 Allen Lambert
1969 - 1971 Robert Adam 2021 - David McDermott
1972 - 1974 Cyril Lambert

Captains of the Club

1867 - 1869 Stanley Kewney
1870 George A. Laws
1871 - 1872 Joseph L. Brown
1873* Unknown
1874 Robert Reid
1875 - 1878 Unknown
1879 G.F. Tippett
1880 Unknown
1881 G.C. Fawcus
1882 William Dodds
1883 W.E. Lamb
1884 - 1886 Jacob Daglish
1887 - 1888 W.E. Lamb
1889 W. Oliver
1890 J.C. Watkin
1891 J.M. Scott
1892 John Morrison Jnr.
1893 T. August
1894 George Hoare
1895 L. Mccarthy
1896 John Morrison Jnr.
1897 A.J. Dobson
1898 W. Taylor Jnr.
1899 - 1900 A. Smithson
1901 - 1903 George H. Wright
1904 Rowland Lishman ***Ken see LL video
1905 - 1906 W.H. Berkeley
1907 G.H. Wright
1908 H.G. Irwin
1909 - 1910 J. Errington
1911 W.H. Berkeley
1912 - 1913 Graham Wallis
1914 M.L.C. Fry
1915 - 1918 1st World War
1919 M.L.C. Fry
1920 - 1922 Hugh R. Viall
1923 - 1924 Robert Morrison Tate
1925 - 1926 James Waggott
1927 - 1928 C.B. Tate
1929 Joseph M. Wilson
1930 - 1932 Robert Adam
1933 - 1934 Duncan Adam
1935 J.H. Wilson
1936 J.M. Walker
1937 - 1938 J.C. Brook House
1939 Arthur Bell
1940 - 1945 2nd World War
1946 - 1947 J.C. Brookhouse
1948 - 1949 A. Neil McQueen
1950 - 1951 James Wightman
1952 George R. Winter
1953 Joseph Wightman
1954 - 1955 J. Ross Graham
1956 J. Dickson
1957 - 1958 Ken Atkinson
1959 miles R.M. Williamson
1960 - 1961 Ian D. Veitch
1962 - 1965 George Armstrong
1966 - 1969 Richard Dixon
1970 - 1971 A. Donald McDonald
1972 - 1973 John F.J. Lambert
1974 Neil A.H. Wilson
1975 - 1979 Kenneth Hastie
1980 - 1982 David J. McGuire
1983 - 1984 Kevin J. Flanker
1985 Kenneth Hastie
1986 - 1987 Ian McGregor
1988 - 1990 Duncan McGregor
1991 Bruce Patterson
1992 Kenneth Hastie
1993 - 1994 Douglas Wilkinson
1995 Duncan McGregor
1996 - 2002 ????
2003 Andrew Appelby
2004 Daniel Thirlwell
2005 - 2008 ????
2009 Lucy Kerr
2010 - 2012 Anna-Maria Hubert
2013 Kenneth Horsham
2014 - 2015 Nina Laurie
2016 - 2018 Steve Dunn/Paul McCalvey
2019 Steve Dunn/Sam Daniels
2020 Sam Daniels/Mark Tyson

Newspaper and press articles

27th April 1868:
The Newcastle Daily Chronicle reported:
Tynemouth Rowing Club - That the members of this excellent boating club will attain prominence during the season is more than probable, considering the great unanimity which exists, and the strong desire to take an active part in the various provincial regattas. The members are in daily exercise, and the proficiency which they severally display, either with the sculls or the single oar, argues well for their success against all-comers. Since, and on the opening of the season, several splendid boats have been added to the stock, and not the least important addition will be a couple of beautiful short covered skiffs, outrigged, just completed by Messrs Hall and Hutchinson, of Low Elswick Boat-house. The boats are constructed on the latest improvements both for safety and speed, while the timber used - yellow pine - and the more than ordinarily careful manner in which they have been built and superintended, is the best proof that the members of the Tynemouth A.R.C. will be suited, so far as boats are concerned, to the most agreeable extent. The dimensions of the boats, which will most likely be launched today, are - 20 feet long, 13 inches high at the stem, ll inches at the stern, and 9 inches amidships, 21 inches inboard, with outriggers 4 feet 2 inches. The oars are 10 feet 2 inches in length, with 2 feet 8 inches in-board. The workmanship is a credit to those noted builders, and that the boats will answer, does not admit of a doubt.

2nd August 1870
Newcastle Daily Chronicle reported on a new fine four oared boat built by Robert Jewitt for Tynemouth RC, based on the model of the “Tyne”, which was the boat Jewitt built for Renforth’s crew in 1869 (Renforth book P75-80). This is relevant because he also built a very fine boat for South Shields RC, perhaps around the same time or soon after, which they later loaned to Renforth’s crew in 1871.

10th August 1870
Newcastle Daily Chronicle account of York Regatta. Tynemouth RC won the LONDESBOROUGH cup.

29th December 1870
“AQUATICS -The Amateur Clubs of the Tyne” (Newcastle Daily Chronicle P4 col3)
the report on SSARC included references to Tynemouth. “……. Strong in numbers, and – if we may judge by the amount of money expended on the Club Regatta – strong in funds stands the South Shields Rowing Club. This is also an association of only two years standing, but under the able tuition of their tutor, George Wakefield, many of the members have made considerable progress in the art of rowing. As their rowing ground is on the sea their class of boats is much the same as that of the Tynemouth Club. I believe, however, an attempt is to be made to get a crew together for the Tyne Regatta, in June next year. Whether the plan commenced by the Tynemouth Club of having a branch establishment at Newcastle will be followed, or the members will be content to do their rowing at the mouth of the river, I cannot say. If the latter, they can hardly look for much success. There may be times when the river is sufficiently quiet to admit of a comfortable row in fine boats, but I should think that such opportunities will be very scarce. I would advise the members, therefore, if they wish to pursue fine boat rowing, to follow the plan which has been so successful with their neighbours.”…….. SCOTSWOOD.

The amateur clubs are treated in order of foundation:
Tyne Amateur Rowing Club - 1852
Tynemouth Rowing Club - 1867
St. Bede (Jarrow) - 1868
South Shields Rowing Club - 1868
Newcastle Amateur Rowing Club - 1869

18th July 1887
The Sporting Life reported: SIR WILLIAM ARMSTRONG ROWING CLUB. INTER-CLUB RACES ON THE TYNE. On Saturday afternoon, an inter-club race, under the auspices of the above club, was brought off the Tyne, over the usual half-mile course from the Elswick Gasometers to the Boathouse Jetty. Splendid weather prevailed, and the river was in grand condition for rowing. Details:—Heat 1: North Station.—South Shields Rowing Club—Purvis, Scott, Scott, Wilson (stroke)—first. South Station.—Tynemouth Rowing Club—W. Oliver, F. Hastie, C. Watkin, W. Lamb (stroke)-second. Both crews got good start, but South Shields soon began to show their superiority, and gradually gained their opponents, and won by a good three lengths. Heat 2: North Station.—Armstrong Rowing Club—J.S.H.R. Engelbach, D.S. Craig, G. Irvine (stroke); T.H. Davison (cox.)—first. South Station.—Newcastle Rowing Club - names not sent—absent. The Armstrong crew rowed over the course, their opponents, the Newcastle Rowing Club crew, not putting in an appearance. Final Heat; South Shields R.C., first; Armstrong R.C., second. The crews got well away together, and kept level until within few yards of the finishing post, when the South Shields crew spurted away, and won still race by three-quarters of a length.

5th September 1887
The Shields Daily News reported: THE TYNE INTER-CLUB RACES AT SOUTH SHIELDS. Saturday afternoon four crews, representing Tynemouth, Ryton, South Shields, Sir W. G. Armstrong Amateur Rowing Club, took part, in the Tyne inter-club races, decided over the half-mile course on the north side of the South Shields Pier. The weather was fine, though dull. The sea being quite calm, made the course everything that could be desired for rowing. A large company of spectators assembled on the pier to witness the various heats. Mr R. Purvis, jun., officiated as judge. Charles Rennoldson starter and the umpires Messrs. N.S. Green and G.S. Purvis. Details:— HEAT. South Shields ARC: J.T. Atkin, J. Davidson, H.G. Scott, Fred Rennoldson (stroke), J. Bedlington (cox.) 1 Ryton ARC: R.R. Pirrie, W, Alderson, T.W. Bourne (stroke), J. Dalton (cox) 2 The boats were despatched to a good start. the South Shields men on the outside holding a slight lead until half the distance had been reached, when the boats came close to each other than foul seemed unavoidable. However, they righted themselves without coming into contact. The South Shields crew ultimately won a slow race by two lengths. SECOND HEAT. Sir W. G. Armstrong ABC: J. S. Patterson, J. H. Hutchison, G.E. Robson. A.H. Jopling (stroke) I Tynemouth RC: P. Burn, T.B. Forster, J.H. Barn, W.E. Lamb (stroke) Nothing interesting in this race occurred until three-parts of the distance had been traversed, when the Armstrong crew spurted to the front, and gradually increased their lead, won somewhat easily by a length and a quarter. FINAL HEAT. South Shields ARC 1. Sir W.G. Armstrong ARC. 2. South Shields, on the inside, kept close to the side of the pier, thereby giving their opponents a wide berth. A close race ensued till 50 yards from home, when the South Shields men got ahead, and won easily by a length.

The Burton Cup was presented by Major Burton of the Tynemouth Garrison, based at Tynemouth Castle and to be awarded to the winners of an annual race between Tyne ARC and Tynemouth RC. It was first competed for in this year.

At a General Meeting in March 1939, the Club agreed, after a fairly hot debate, to allow members to row on a Sunday. Previously, Sundays were a day of rest and rowing was not permitted.

The Club purchased the heavy four "Old Elvet" from Durham ARC

The Club recorded its first National Championships medal with Alexander Hastie of Tynemouth RC combining with Stephen Riley of Durham ARC to pick up the silver medal for Junior Double Sculls. Alex went on to achieve a number of significant wins including National Schools Gold Medals, Coupe de la Jeunesse silver medal for Great Britain, Boston Marathon outright winner, Schools Head race winners and later as a senior rower, a Henley Royal Regatta finalist and three years of finishing in the top ten at the Thames Head of the River Race.