Don’t Smile For The Camera: Some Old Crew Pictures
9 November 2016
Tim Koch has been clearing out his digital photo album:
Whenever I come across an interesting rowing image, I put it in a file for possible future use in a HTBS piece. I have had these nice pictures of various crews for a long time and have not found an excuse to use them – so I have invented this post. It’s a random collection from different times and places, but I am sure that all the people pictured had one thing in common – a love of a great sport and pleasure in the comradeship that so often comes with being part of a crew.
HTBS editor’s note: This article was updated on 23 November, reflecting that Nassau BC was a club in New York, not from the Bahamas which was previously stated. This correction was pointed out by rowing historian Bill Miller – thank you, Bill.
You speculated that the first photo was of a coxed six. I encourage you to dig a little deeper. I don’t think this was a popular boat, or even a boat at all. The coxLESS six was popular and used for many of the early Harvard Yale races. When other colleges joined in Yale got so fed up with the difficulties on the course (hard to steer, apparently) that they bailed.
I took up the challenge of finding out about the Pennant Rowing Club as I am subscriber to the British Newspaper Archive. It may have been short-lived as I found just one thing, an item in the Middlesex County Times of 4 April 1925 headed “Pennant Rowing Club Dance”. Its members were all on the staff of the Pensions Issue Office, part of the Ministry of Pensions. The MC of the very successful dance was the club’s vice president Mr S. J. Muir-Smith, Deputy-Controller of the Pensions Issue Office. The dance was held in the Pensions Luncheon Hall, Bromyard Avenue, Acton, the walls decorated with crossed oars and streamers of the club colours. They will have have been based on the River Thames at Hammersmith, where the photographer was from, and being the closest part of the river to their office in Acton.
Was there a list on members on the back of the Nassau Boat Club 1894 photo? Specifically looking for John “Jack” A Walker who raced with Nassau and Nereus Clubs in the 1880’s as well as his cousin JE Hillyer. Thank you.