A brief History of Bridgnorth Rowing Club

Original ClubClub before modifications

Original ClubClub before modifications

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

Planned renovations to the club

Planned renovations to the club

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.
Recent Developments

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.


Major Events

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.


  1. Hello,

    My name is Vicky and I work for Joule’s Brewery – we have just taken over the Shakespeare with plans to create it into a fully fledged Joule’s Taphouse in the August- November 2017. We’re looking to link up with the local community and create partners, I was wondering if you had any sponsorship opportunities for us?
    Kind regards,

    • Hi Vicky
      We certainly do have some upcoming opportunities for sponsorship and would really appreciate you doing so.
      I shall pass on your email address to the relevant contact and I am sure they will be in touch ASAP.

  2. Hi
    Please would you advise the minimum age a child must be in order to start learning to row at the club?

  3. Hello,

    I wondered if could interest you in a product I make here in Oxford, England. A ΒΌ scale rowing oar plaque that can be airbrushed in custom club colours. The paddle being made from steel can be cut to the shape that mimics the style used by your club and in either stroke or bow side.

    The oar shaft is made from carbon fibre and tapered just like the real thing and the handle is made from maple wood. The collar and sleeve components are machined from delrin. The oar is mounted on a hand oiled solid English oak board measuring 102 x 14.5cm x 1.8mm. There is room beneath the oar for a metal engraving plate I can provide with artwork such as club crest and crew details etc.

    More details can be found on my website, details below. If this kind of thing is of interest I would be delighted to hear from you.

    Kind regards


    John Ligertwood
    Model Boathouse Ltd
    Mobile: 07500 907910
    Website: http://www.modelboathouse.com
    Facebook Model Boathouse

  4. Hi, I’m looking to join a rowing club that offers rowing, canoeing and kayaking. I guess my aim is to learn, go with other rowers and on my own when ready. I have some experience but limited.
    I look forward to hearing from you
    Maxine Laceby
    07702 908866

    • Mrs Beverley Jones

      My son is 13 & is interested in learning how to row.could you advise me if this is possible at his age or when he would be able to start.

  5. Hi, My wife recently cleared out her recently deceased aunt’s house and came across a beautiful silver watch in its original box. The box has the inscription ‘Bridgenorth Amateur Regatta 1886’ with the initials ‘W.H.’. Can you throw any light on its provenance from your records? She cannot think of any relation with the initials ‘W H’ and is curious as to how it arrived in Dun Laoghaire, Ireland.
    She would be very grateful if you had any information on it. Richard McMullen

  6. Hi
    I am a member of Stourbridge Running Club and Race Director for our race Bridge’ to ‘bridge via ‘port.
    This is a 34 mile race from Bridgnorth to Stourbridge along the River Severn & Staffs & Worcs Canal that can be run solo or as a relay team of up to 4 runners.
    Last year was the first running of the event and was a resounding success.
    Running along we encountered some rowers who asked about the event and enquired about doing it next time we run it.
    We will be hosting the race again on Saturday 22nd September and I am writing in the hope that you may be interested in entering a team (or two).
    There are prizes for various categories.
    I am also writing to other clubs and if possible was hoping to add another prize category – First Rowing Club.

    Please let me know if you are interested or know anyone that may be.


  7. Christopher Elphick

    The BBC programme Escape to the Country today (19/11/2018)reminded me of my time at RAF Bridgnorth in 1960. The picture featured of four oarsmen outside the old BRC building was, in fact, the RAF Bridgnorth A Crew who enjoyed using the facilities in April/May. Competing in the RAF Regatta at Hereford in May. I still have the programme. I am second from the right, cox Charles Barling and coach Flight Sergeant Evans.
    Those were the days
    Chris Elphick – file in the Useless Information folder

    • Mrs Sandra Bryant (nee Evans)

      Hi Chris, just been reading your bit on bridge north rowing club, I am very interested as I am the daughter of flt Sgt Evan’s, I also have this photo but not the programme, I also saw escape to the country and was quite astonished to see the photo on the TV screen, I got in touch with the rowing club asking if their records could throw any light on the photo, why was that particular photo shown out of all their photos they must have. But they didn’t have any info for me , I now know from your bit that dad was the coach and now who you were! Dad died in 1974 .

  8. Tina Tziortzis-Foskett

    16 year old son interested in joining rowing club. Background in running and swimming. There does not appear to be any details on how to join or contact. Please email details thanks

    • Hi Tina

      We are planning to run a Learn to Row course in April, as the river will be more predictable by then. I will pass your email address onto our Learn to Row coordinator so that you can be emailed with further details as they are released.


  9. Hi,
    I have spent the last twenty-five years living, working and rowing in the USA. Prior to that I was in the Army and rowed there and at Oxford.
    I am coming back to the family home to live I the UK permanently and as you are my local club I would like information about membership and possibly somewhere to rack my single?
    Can you help?
    Thank you.

  10. Hi, we have been clearing our Mums house who recently died and have found a sliver cup which is inscribed with Bridgnorth and District rowing club Challenge cup presented by Sir Raymond Tyrewitt the last winners date was1929 and would like to donate it to the club if you would like it?

  11. Good afternoon,

    My Son and I live locally in Bridgnorth and both wish to enquire if there are options on joining / helping the club?

    My son is 9 and I am 38.

    Both are active chaps and always happy to help people.

    Please let us know.

    Best regards


  12. I’ve just had confirmation from the British Rowing CEO that January 18th is ok for the next visit, and weather permitting It looks as if we will be at Bridgnorth around 11.30
    could someone please ring 07818576147 and confirm this is ok for us and your club will be ok to host this? – or let me have a tel number & name to contact! I’m conscious that time is fast approaching and i have to liaise with other clubs too
    Jo Atkinson
    British Rowing Club Support manager WM

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