A GLOBE EIGHT

Alan Wylie recalls: 

About the mid 50's, Freddie Howlett, who was club captain, decided that Globe should row an eight! An eight was never seen in the club, or even Greenwich Reach, and people said an eight would not stand up to the proper tideway!!

I was selected a cox’un. The eight was a old clinker job and belonged to Gladstone Warwick - a now defunct club on the river Lea. Fred had an old pre-war Hillman saloon eight blades, the only eight blades the club possessed. These were strapped on the roof and eight bodies plus cox’un wedged inside... seat belts! what are they?

The eight was probably used by Noah it was that old, but we looked at it like present day rowers would look at a new Vespoli. It was lovingly placed on the water, the coxswain affixed the rudder, an 18 by 12inch monster with a double acting pulley system, something neither the cox’un nor crew had ever met before. The outing left the dock smoothly, no wet feet or paddling at the river Lea. The Lea, however, bends considerably, relying on the coxswain to steer using the monstrous double pulleyed rudder, The cox’un pulled and pulled, The rudder strings went round and round, and the eight went up the bank breaking all four blades on that side. The outing came to an abrupt end as Globe only had four suitable bow side blades and I don’t think Gladstone Warwick was inclined to lend us their elderly eight again.

Gladstone Warwick was later revived as City Orient Rowing Club famous in their day for winning, the Hearse used for transporting their four, sponsorship from ABBA (the pop group) and Terry and Jimmy O’Neill as two of the four.