History of our club
For sustained beauty it is hardly conceivable that a more attractive river than the Wye exists in England, traversing as it does some of the most beautiful scenery in Wales and England.
Not a single unsightly manufacturing town abuts its banks, no factories discharge their noxious effluents into its stream and for more than half its length it is navigable by a competent canoeist.
Until the advent of railways there was a considerable amount of commercial traffic along the river, dependent however on the state of the water, which on a dry summer rendered the progress of barges almost impossible, and in a wet winter highly hazardous. But in one or two places the flow of the stream was so placid at almost all times that a certain amount of pleasure boating was possible, particularly near Hereford and Ross.
Naturally the competitive element arose and from time to time contests were arranged between rival crews or single scullers.
As a result Hereford Rowing Club was established in 1859 and a clubhouse has stood on the present sight for most of the subsequent.
The first recorded regatta at Hereford took place in 1859 and the first Hereford City Regatta was run in 1886 and in those days it also included a swimming gala.
Our records show that there have been 30 people elected to the honoured position of Club President since its formation; Jim Williams is the current holder of the post. We have numerous club members who've been the club for over 40 years and many have served on the club committee for many years. The current Captain, Jason Lee, is the 58th to hold that position.
The largest of our boathouses - the eights boathouse - was built in 1955, with the present day Clubhouse being opened in 1958. The original clubhouse may still be seen in many of the photographs on display in the Club.
Since the redevelopment of the club bar, many of the photos that once were displayed on the club walls are soon to be displayed in an online photo gallery (which should be ready this summer).
Over the years we as a Club have had may notable victories of which the winning of the Britannia Cup at Henley Royal Regatta in 1971 must rank as our finest.
Many fine oarsmen and women have passed through our Club over the years. Colin Barratt (Captain 1978) won a Gold Medal in the Lightweight Coxless Four at the 1979 World Rowing Championships, which was a fine Club effort as the crew was coached by Father Mark Jabale, who was Club President in 1994 - 1995. The following year, 1980, Colin joined with Clive Roberts who was also rowing at Hereford at the time, to row in the Lightweight Eight at the World Rowing Championship, again winning a Gold Medal.
In the mid fifties, folowing the formation of the Wye Guild, a history of the Club was commisioned and this was undertaken by a gentleman by the name of Isaac Cohen. He trawled the newspaper records and committee minutes and produced a 200+ page document. it was from the information in this document that the Presidents and Captains boards in the clubhouse were created. Unfortuantely the history stopped with the decision to form the lottery from which the rowing club and various other causes benefitted. This history is now available to download.
Click Here to download the rowing club history
An article appeared in an earlier edition of "In Our Age", a local publication featuring reminiscences of events in the history of Hereford, referring to the trips on Sundays up to the Camp Inn using the old pleasure boats. The article is reproduced below by kind permission of the editorial staff of "In Our Age" and should you wish to download the article please click here. The latest edition of "In Our Age" may be obtained from the Council Information Centre in Garrick House.