Pictures of Match Race Men* (and Women): Part 1 of 2

6 March 2017

Tim Koch promises that, after this final two-part picture report, he will not write anything more on Oxford and Cambridge for a long time:

Putney and people

A Putney panorama, the Embankment before the crowds arrived (click to enlarge).
Peter Saltmarsh, who rowed for Oxford at stroke in 1967, at ‘5’ in 1968, and was back at stroke in 1969 when he was also President. Sadly, very few Old Blues now wear their caps, ties and blazers to the Boat Race, even those in official positions.
Alexander Leichter, who rowed for CUBC in 2015 and Goldie in 2013 and 2014.
HTBS contributor, Daniel Walker, one of the large number of volunteers and professionals who keep the complex event running to plan.
A Cambridge bobble hat, not really necessary on a warm day.
Chito Salarza, known as ‘The Hatman of London’. According to his Facebook page, he is a ‘Multi-Media artist who creates and wears wacky hat sculptures in different events/festivals around London and other cities for fun and entertainment’.
Westminster School, located within the precincts of Westminster Abbey, can claim to be one of the originators of amateur rowing. Today, their boathouse, originally built for the famous boatbuilder, John Hawkes Clasper, is used by Oxford as its Putney base. The Latin liturgical phrase on the banner translates as ‘do Thou order all our actions in conformity with thy good pleasure….’
Modern times require craft other than rowing boats and official launches to be on the river.

The official timing points along the course

University Stone, the start marker. There is another at the finish.
The Mile Post, a stone obelisk forming a memorial to the great rowing coach and innovator, Steve Fairbairn, sited precisely a mile from the start.
Hammersmith Bridge, marking the first 40 per cent of the course. Historically, the crew leading at this point would usually go onto win.
Chiswick Steps, in the past the site of a ferry that would row people between banks. The water will be a lot higher come race time.
Barnes Bridge, for trains and pedestrians, was originally built in 1849 but this replacement was opened in 1895.
This temporary scaffolding is around the finish stone (just visible at ground level) which lines up with the finish post on the opposite bank. A television camera is on the second level, while the third layer houses the finish judge, Ben Kent (on the mobile phone). He is an Old Blue and the third generation of his family to perform the task. Most famously, he (correctly) called the 2003 ‘one foot’ verdict without any video playback.
The Ship pub has remained the most constant feature of the Boat Race finish. Mortlake Brewery, sited alongside, is older but its structure has changed often throughout its history. Monks began brewing here in 1487 and it is one of the oldest businesses in Britain. However, it has now been sold to a Singaporean property developer and is soon to be turned into luxury apartments. Why not drain the river to fit in more investment properties?

*For anyone who does not remember the 1960s, including those that were there, the ‘match race’ title is a ‘Quo’ reference

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