The restrictions to be able to move around at Henley Royal all comes down to which badges you might be wearing during the day. One of the days at the HRR, I found myself wearing the right badge to have access to Leander Club, located just by the Henley Bridge. I tried to give the black-dressed ‘guards’ a friendly nod when we passed through the gate at Leander, but not too friendly, as I did not want them to think that I did not belong to the crème de la crème, or the cream of the crop, that passed them into the Pink Palace. However, I tried to walk slowly enough for them be able to glance at all the badges I was wearing to find the right one for the club.
Yes, this was my first time inside Leander and I was surprised in a way to find that all the walls were not totally covered with old oars, rudders, plaques, and rowing paintings, although, of course, the club has probably more rowing memorabilia than any other boating club in the world. Some rooms had cases with trophies, but it was difficult to see because of all the people moving around.
One big surprise was that Gant clothing company, which sponsors a rowing race between two schools in Sweden, had stuff on display at Leander. It seems Gant is supporting the club’s latest campaign, ‘Join Leander’s Journey’ – read more about it here.
For those of you who would like to read more about Henley badges click here.