Fifty Plus Fifty

Bedford School 1st VIII of 1964 – recreated 10 May 2014. Standing left to right: David Warbrick-Smith, John Osbourne, Hugh Maltby (Bedford Regatta Secretary and son of 1964 boatman – Bill Maltby), Mike Harper, Andy Peake; seated, Richard Harrison, Mike Goodfellow, Coach – Neville Andrews, Captain – John Beresford, Peter Harpham; front, Anthony Joseph.

Greg Denieffe writes:

Last week, in a post called The Tale of a Boat, a Crew and a Summer of Long Ago – (To Say Nothing of a Regatta), HTBS brought you news of the forthcoming reunion of the Bedford School Boat Club crew of 1964, which was to be held in conjunction with the 150th Bedford Regatta. I had the pleasure to be there and see the ‘boys’ recreating their crew photograph – right down to the Cox’s socks.

The caps worn proudly by the Old Bedfordians in the above photograph bare the slogan ‘Fifty Plus Fifty’ in reference to the fiftieth anniversary of their victory in the senior eights at Bedford Regatta and the fact that their boat, all those years ago, was called Fifty Plus; which itself was a reference to the fifty year connection between the stroke of the ’64 crew, John Beresford, and his father Jack Beresford, who learned to row at Bedford School in 1914. In Tales of Gold (1989), you can see John discuss his father’s distinguished (five Olympic medals) rowing career.

The highlight of the day for me came about as a result of a conversation I had with John. I admired his rowing blazer which I had assumed was a 1964 vintage, only to be told that it had originally belonged to his father, who wore it in 1916, when he was Captain of Boats at Bedford and stroke of the first eight when they raced Shrewsbury School, an event covered on HTBS in a post called Jack Beresford – The Early Years, Part 1.

The Ousel 27 July 1916

This information allowed me to ‘recreate’ a photo of my own. In 1916, Jack Beresford was one of the Bedford School crew to be photographed wearing an upturned collar. To show what a gentleman John is, he readily agreed to pose for a photograph and you can see the result below.

Same Blazer a century apart: Jack Beresford, 22 June 1916 – John Beresford, 10 May 2014

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