Oar Maker G.F. Winter of Eton & Windsor

Winter 1898-2
A photograph from 1898 with Winter’s sign.

Göran R Buckhorn writes:

Now and then HTBS receives questions about old oarsmen, crews, clubs and equipment. We do our best to help with answering these questions, or try to point the person in the right direction to where answers can be found. Sometimes, we also put the questions out there to HTBS readers, who we know are an intelligent lot with tons of knowledge of rowing ‘stuff’. So maybe you can help Paul M. to get more information about a boat and oar maker by the name of G.F. Winter.

Paul, a non-rower in England, writes that he has acquired an unusual pair of old oars, which were manufactured by G.F. Winter of Eton and Windsor, according to the manufacturing label on the oars. Paul writes: ‘While researching Winter, I have found him in Eton, where, in 1898, boat builders were: O.H. Goodman, High St (upstream of bridge); H. Husted, High St (downstream of bridge); G.F. Winter, Brocas St; Brocas Boat House Co., Brocas St.’


Doing research about G.F. Winter, Paul came across some old photos of the Winters boat establishment in Eton, next to the old, he believes, now demolished boat house. He continues: ‘In two photos (1898 [see on top] and 1910 [see below]), you have to look closely to see the Winter signs’.

Winter in Brocas Street in 1895.
Winter in Brocas Street in 1895.
A photograph from 1910 with G.F. Winter's boathouse.
A photograph from 1910 with G.F. Winter’s boathouse.

Paul has also been in contact with Darryl Stickler at rowableclassics.com, author of Rowable Classics: Wooden Single Sculling Boats and Oars (2008), to hear if he could help him to get more information about Winter and the oars that Paul bought. Strickler writes to Paul:

‘The oars were made for use with “thole pins” (fixed wooden “posts”) not swivel oarlocks, which were used pre-WWI and by some crews after The Great War as well. The “double girder” shaft with through-holes to lighten the shaft was not widely used. Thus, yours is quite unique and is probably one of very few like it left – anywhere.’



Paul’s also writes about Winter:

‘I have also found out that G.F Winter, Eton and Windsor is either the son of or the same G.F. Winter who, in 1881 at the age of 30, was a boat builder in Ferry Path, Chesterton, Cambridge. I know Winter was in Eton in 1895, photo shows his name on a building and that Winter of Eton died in 1910.’

Any HTBS reader who can help Paul, and the rest of us, with information on G.F. Winter, the oar maker, please write a comment, or send your findings via an e-mail to HTBS at: gbuckhorn – at – gmail – dot – com

Thank you!


G F Winter, Brocas Boat House Co, Brocas St, Eton, Windsor


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