May 07, 2015

45 year reunion row

I first rowed in the 1st Eight for the University College of North Wales Boat Club, Bangor at the Head of the River Race on the Tideway in London in 1970. We finished 139th out of the 360 crews that rowed.


In 2000 we had a reunion of that crew and we've had one every 5 years since. Over this bank holiday weekend, we climbed Snowdon, well half of it because it was too dangerous near the top, had two evening dinners, one of which was a black tie do, ate magnificent scones with clotted cream at the end of Bangor pier,

which was closed when we were all at university together, drove over the Britannia Bridge, which was also closed the whole time we were at Bangor following a fire, visited Llanfair­pwllgwyngyll­gogery­chwyrn­drobwll­llan­tysilio­gogo­goch, visited Dickie's Boat yard which has moved to Penrhyn Harbour and inspected the mussel fishing boats, because one of our number is a world authority on mussels, were entertained by a Roman soldier during afternoon tea on a barge on the Shropshire Union Canal in Chester, where I live, and finally rowed with a couple of worthy substitutes, also from UCNWBC, on the River Dee (video should appear below but if not there here is a link to it:

finishing with lunch together at The Moorings, formerly the Famous Blue Moon Cafe.

It was fantastic! Meeting up again with old friends and picking up where we'd left off. We talked a lot. The majority of the crew had not rowed for 40 years and Trish, our cox, had never ever coxed before! She found it impossible to steer and give orders at the same time!

One of the crew had not long since had a heart attack and also been fitted with a new hip. The oldest crew member present is now 71 and fit as a fiddle. One of our subs had not expected to row and rowed in her jeans, not having touched an oar since she left university! All good, character-building stuff.

Bravo everybody.

One of the things that struck me was the combined intellect of the assembled throng. So many had achieved so much already in their lives and were still interested in so much and are still as interesting as I remember them being at University. I felt that together we could have solved all the world's problems.

Posted by Stephen Walker at 11:29 PM