Guildford Rowing Club - join the club
This month, we take a trip down the river to Surrey's county town to meet the members of Guildford Rowing Club. Chairman Roger Collins tells us more about this historic organisation, which is one of the oldest in the area
Originally published in Surrey Life magazine October 2010
This month, we take a trip down the river to Surrey’s county town to meet the members of Guildford Rowing Club. Chairman Roger Collins tells us more about this historic organisation, which is one of the oldest in the area
When was the club set up?In 1880. In fact, we are thought to be the oldest club in Guildford with a continuous, unbroken history. The club originally stored its equipment under the old Town Bridge. Eventually, they moved to the grounds of what was then The Jolly Farmer, finally moving to our current site in the early 1950s.
How often do you meet? Members row on a daily basis.
What’s the best thing about being a member of the club?Hmm, where to begin?! The pleasure of being on the river; early morning outings when the water is in mist; having local facilities; the company; a couple of pints after a hard row; training and racing; the winning of trophies etc. The list goes on!
Do you find being surrounded by like-minded individuals inspiring?Yes, absolutely!
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- 4 Visit the village that people never want leave
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- 6 6 waterfall walks in Derbyshire and the Peak District
- 7 12 beautiful waterfalls in Yorkshire
- 8 10 National Garden Scheme open gardens to visit in Cheshire this summer
- 9 4 of the best Norfolk gardens to see rhododendrons
- 10 Wild Essex: 5 hotspots for nature lovers
How many members do you have? Two hundred. This includes the Juniors and Adaptive Rowers.
Do you have links with other clubs?Yes. We use other rowing clubs for training purposes and for forming composite crews where necessary.
What’s the most interesting story from the group’s history?Well, we have some very exciting plans for 2010! In short, when the club moved to its current site in the early 1950s, there were no lady members and although a ladies’ changing room has been squeezed in, it’s just not adequate.
With the growth in membership and now with an adaptive section (at the last Paralympics in Beijing, one of our members, Helene Raynsford, won a gold medal for single sculling), we need to add to, and improve, these facilities.
As a result, we currently have an architect preparing plans for an extension and a change of internal lay-out and hope that within the next few months we will be able to progress with these much-needed improvements.
…and the funniest?With regards to the funniest story from the club’s history, this would take some research with a 130-year track record! I am sure there have been many though!
When is your next event that is open to the public/potential new members? We don’t really hold public events as such. However, Guildford Rowing Club is always happy to accept new rowers (especially if you have coxing or coaching talents!). Please see the website for more information.
Describe your club in five words... Best Rowing Club in Guildford!
The Boathouse, Shalford Road, Guildford, Surrey GU1 3XL. For more details, see www.guildfordrowingclub.org.uk
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