A brief History of Bridgnorth Rowing Club
Bridgnorth Rowing Club, the oldest sporting organisation in Bridgnorth, occupies ‘The Maltings’ on the edge of Severn Park.
The Rowing Club can trace its roots back to 1865 when we hosted a competition between Shrewsbury School and Cheltenham College. Both of these schools still support our annual regatta to date. The Club went into decline in the 1920s and was disbanded in 1924.
A New Start
It was reformed in 1953 by a local policeman, Constable Bill Williams with the help of a Bridgnorth doctor, Dr E.L. Rhodes, a former University blue and club president until his death. The clubhouse was originally a Nissen hut, which had been donated by a Broseley farmer.
Other local rowing clubs showed their support by donating boats and other equipment and the efforts of the club members and supporters ensured many successful and supported regattas. The club achieved notable successes in the 1960s when four members won a novice event at Nottingham before going on to capture several more trophies. One of the group, Mike Dunn, went on to win two gold medals in a world championship veterans event.
A New Boathouse
Bridgnorth Rowing Club then went through a lean period until 1984 when a group of enthusiasts got the club ‘back on the water’. The club purchased ‘The Maltings’ in 1983, but it was a further 10 years before the development of the site could be started.
In 1993 work commenced on ‘The Maltings’. Club member Richard Holt (Architect) redesigned the building and much of the site preparation (including removal of steelwork) was carried out by club members.
The boathouse now consists of a large ground floor area with racking areas for single sculls and doubles, fours and an eight. There is also a raised area that houses the indoor rowing machines (ergometers) and weights gym. Upstairs there are changing rooms with hot showers and a club room with a bar and a balcony overlooking the River Severn.
Bridgnorth Rowing Club now
In 2005 the club room has been refurnished and modernised. Club members also rebuilt the longer landing stage at the end of 2005 in preparation for the 2006 Regatta. Work is ongoing on the boathouse and the Club has regular events to raise money for new boats and other equiptment.
Bridgnorth Rowing Club has entered the Head of the River Race on many occasions including 2007 (event cancelled), 2006, 2005 (207th), 2002 (140th), 2001 (159th), 1998, 1997 (158th), 1996 and 1991.
We also entered a coxed Women’s crew and a coxless Open crew in the Head of the River Fours in 2004.
In 1991 we had a coxed pair complete the Boston Marathon. An achievement in itself!
We have had crews compete at Henley Royal Regatta in 2005 (Wyfolds), 2001 (Silver Goblets) and 1991 (Queen Mother Challenge Cup).
In 2003 we had our first ever entry to Henley Women’s Regatta, in the Lightweight Double event.
Finally, in 2002 we entered a VetB VIII in Henley Veteran’s Regatta.