Regarding the article posted on 6 January about wooden boats, “1971: When Rowers Rowed WOOD”, it prompted Lionel Bailey to send HTBS a piece about a group of British oarsmen of the 1960s, all of whom rowed with wooden oars (E.L.Woods of Kingston) and in wooden boats (Geo. Sims of Eel Pie Island).
Lionel Bailey writes:
The photo above was taken at a 60’s reunion dinner of Tideway Scullers School oarsmen of that decade held at the club’s boathouse in November 2015. The one lady attending was Rhona MacCallum, the present day club captain. Guy Greaves, president, is in club blazer and we all stand behind a bust of Lou Barry, the shrewd, charismatic and talented club coach of those days. Between 1964 and 1972, the Scullers were, effectively, the GB National Squad, and with minimal funding, the men present raced in seven FISA Championship and Olympic ‘A’ finals collecting silver, ‘64 Olympic IV-, and silver, Euro Champs IIx, medals along the way. Other notable performances were the ‘66 World Champs, fourth in VIII, ‘67 North American Champs, fourth in IV+, ‘68 Olympics, sixth in Ix and ‘69 Euro Champs, fourth in Ix and fifth in VIII.
Domestically, we were represented in every winning HORR crew twixt 1964 and 1972 and again in 1974. We were victorious in numerous HRR events and four of the men present won twelve Wingfield Sculls titles between them.
On reflection, we were the ‘plucky Brits’, who preceded Bob Janouseck’s ‘pieces of eight’ and the glories of the present generation. None of us, then or now, felt anything but great pride in our achievements and had a huge amount of fun (and some heartache) along the way.
Does anyone remember using my Grandfather’s timber yard in Southall Middlesex where Tideway Scullers stores their eight in order to train on the Grand Union Canal. This stretch offered a long straight and flat calm conditions over 1000 metres, ideal for training. This was arranged between Lou Barry, myself and Wayne Smith. Wayne was at school with me and sold me his sculling boat called Monster! I joined Thames Rowing club in 1965 and trained with John James on our indoor rowing tank. My brother was married to Steve Fairbairn‘s grand niece! Please acknowledge receipt of this email. Yours Stephen Wise.