REGATTAS

I mentioned earlier that not many regattas were entered, some that do spring to mind are the Welsh Harp regatta which was always a coach outing, with the blades laid down the middle of the coach. Greenwich, Erith, Gravesend and Medway Towns were other regattas attended usually by coach as not many people had cars then. Broxbourne and Burway were other regattas I recall again with the coach laid on to deliver crews, blades and supporters for a day out. I might point out here to younger readers the coach referred too was a bus not a bloke with a speed boat and megaphone that you are used to, they, rowing coaches, were not heard of in the fifties unless you were at university.

Southampton Coal Porters rowing club was a very similar club to the Globe. An annual event was racing either at Southampton or Greenwich; the Carter family were the mainstay of Coal porter’s whilst the Pittman family were all rowing for the Globe so it effectively was inter family rivalry. Another coach outing trip was always to the Boxing Day scratch fours at Putney Town rowing Club whose boathouse then was the basement of the Dukes Head. For us young cox’uns it was great, best boats were available for use at Putney and I recall winning 56lbs of apples coxing a scratch crew. The National Dock Labour Board also held a regatta at Greenwich with Dockers attending from ports all over the country, as cox’uns we were in great demand and Globes old heavy boats came in useful once again, A couple of years ago I was at City of Bristol rowing club and an old docker I was talking to harked back to the Dockers regatta in Greenwich and the great memories he had. There were also publicans races although memories get mixed and I am not sure if they were part of the Dockers’ races or part of Greenwich regatta, there are some old pictures about of the pub crews in fancy dress.

My first regatta race actually rowing and not in the coxswains seat was the News of the World regatta held on the Serpentine in Hyde Park, Globe’s crew was Fred Howlett at stroke, Don Harris at three, Alan Wylie two with Terry Pittman bow, our Cox was Barry Cakebread. Needless to say we were beaten in the heats.

My first regatta win away from the coxswain’s seat was the youth fours at Greenwich Regatta in 1957 with three other Globe coxswains, Terry Pittman, Danny Richardson and Billy Ludgrove, made memorable by the boat turning turtle at the barge and tipping Danny and Billy into the mud.