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Wednesday
Jan132016

Chris Andrews

Chris Andrews, who sadly passed away on 27 December 2015, was a regular visitor to the Club after joining in 1996.  Rowing was his life, in his own modest way.  There were not many Boat Races, heads of the river or other Tideway events that he missed.  He will chiefly be remembered, though, for his work in re-hanging well over one hundred pictures in the Long Room, the Fairbairn Room and the Club Room (a.k.a. the Crew Room) in readiness for the 150th anniversary in 2006, and after the redevelopment in 2005-07 was finished.  He was also a skilful joiner, for example fitting out the new women’s changing room single-handedly.

Chris was one of those members whose contribution to the Club is very easy to take for granted but who brought a very visible and welcome improvement to the first floor rooms in the clubhouse building, which will be an enduring legacy.

Julian Ebsworth

Sunday
Jan102016

Robin Hulf

Robin Hulf died on 12 November 2015 after a long battle with leukaemia.  Robin Cameron Cooper writes:

Robin Hulf was the indefatigable organiser of a group of competitive veterans known as ‘the Army’ crew.  A former Regular Army Officer, Robin was commissioned into the King’s Own Scottish Borderers in 1965. In a distinguished military career, he was twice Mentioned in Despatches and rose to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel and the command of his Battalion by 1986.

After rowing in eights at Sandhurst he was in the Clyde Amateur RC crew that won the coxed 4s at the Scottish Championships by a record margin - one that has not been beaten since. The same four competed in the Wyfolds at Henley, being beaten ultimately by Tideway Scullers. In the late 60s, Robin went on to compete for Scotland, with Scottish Argonauts, in the Thames Cup.

By 1970, Robin had met and married Penny, who supported him and his crews from many a cold, wet Scottish riverbank. But with a demanding job and a growing family, rowing then had to take a back seat for the next 20 years. 

But in 1990 the Army sent him to St Johns College, Cambridge to take an M Phil, where another LRC member, John Hobson, was also doing a Masters. Together they rowed in an LMBC Veterans’ crew and soon after John introduced Robin to LRC. Warmly welcomed by the Irregulars, Robin said that he felt ‘instantly at home’ at the Club and relished the camaraderie and the enjoyment of rowing that they offered him.

While the Irregulars’ focus was on rowing as a social activity, however, Robin’s was on rowing as competition. So it was not long before he put together another Veterans’ crew whose focus would be on rowing to race. With Robin in charge and with its complement of 3 ex-soldiers, the crew inevitably became known as ‘the Army’ (although there were always at least as many lawyers and accountants among its number as there were military men). For the last 18 years this crew, in various combinations, has competed regularly in winter Head races and in fours and quads in the summer regattas. Robin was always delighted when one of his ‘Army’ crews won a cup or a pennant, but win or lose, he was always tireless in his drive for them to do better and to look forward to the next race.

On leaving the Army, Robin became a political consultant and later started his own consultancy. This put him in close contact with Parliamentarians in both Houses. When he discovered that the Lords vs the Commons rowing race had fallen into abeyance, he was determined to resurrect it and, since 2007, he was instrumental in that race taking place again every year. Together with the formation of the All Party Parliamentary Rowing Group, the event has seen the profile of rowing as a sport, and of LRC, raised amongst both Parliamentarians and industry, and the Group has so far raised £55,000 for charity. The race itself, ably organised by Alan Foster with help from other LRC members, has also contributed several thousands of pounds to the Club in donations from the race’s sponsor. Discussions are already taking place with British Rowing to ensure that the good work that Robin started will continue into the future.

In addition to LRC, Robin belonged to Bann Rowing Club in N. Ireland. With them in the early 2000s he competed in races in Enniskillen, Galway and Carrick-on-Shannon amongst others. He arranged for Bann Rowing Club to be hosted by LRC when they raced in the Vesta Vets’ Head in 2006. In the same year, he joined them in a charity row of the River Bann from Lough Neagh to Portstewart, a distance of 40 miles in one day.

Robin in his favourite bow seat competing in the 1999 Veterans' Head

In the past two decades, Robin never lost his passion and enthusiasm for rowing, even during the illness that ultimately claimed his life. In 2006, he competed in a double in the Head of the Charles with his daughter Camilla.  In 2011 he bought his own sculling boat, which, with the support of his second wife Isobel, he took to Coniston Water and Ullswater, sculling the length of both lakes in quite challenging conditions. As recently as a year ago, Robin was in Sydney to see his son Toby graduate as a Doctor. Never one to miss an opportunity, and despite his failing health, Robin had two outings in Sydney harbour before he flew home.

Robin was a fervent supporter of Henley and attended every day of every Regatta whenever he could. Immaculately turned out in every possible combination of LRC gear, he cut a fine figure in Stewards as he followed the fortunes of the Army, University and Club crews with which he had rowed.

Characteristically, he fought his final, lengthy battle with leukaemia with great courage and good humour. He was proud that his rowing fitness meant that he was strong enough to undergo the treatment. When news of his death went round the Club, the almost universal epithet used to describe him by all age groups was that of ‘an absolute gentleman’, a description at which he would have smiled.

We send our deepest sympathy and condolences to all his family.

Thursday
May072015

Barry Banyard

An active member in the 1960s, Barry, who died on 22 May 2014, was one of those happy souls who contributed to the life of the Club in his own special way, albeit for a relatively short period.  He joined the Club in 1961 from Auriol, becoming a Resident on the top floor, and was active and quite successful in 4s and 8s, being selected for a Wyfold IV in 1963 which got through one round. He tried his hand at sculling, winning Junior Sculls at City of Norwich Regatta and even completed the Boston Marathon course in a time of 4hrs 41m.

Barry was best remembered at London though for his spectacular moustache of florid proportions.  An interior designer, he transformed his Resi room into a wondrous piece of modern living, but memorably also decorated the Long Room for a New Year’s Eve dinner and dance in the mid-60s in Chinese style with numerous hanging banners reputedly featuring laundry lists, and a galaxy of stars affixed to the ceiling, all hand-made.

LRC on the left, Yare RC on the right.  L to R – Peter Hilditch, Doug Melvin, Graham Beech, John Pepys. On the right, Simon Crosse (almost hidden at the back), and second right, Nick Cooper, are also longstanding members of LRC. 

Barry moved to East Anglia, working first for Fielden & Mawson (a firm of architects who through Simon Crosse had been involved in the major development of the Clubhouse in 1969-71), and then as Head of the Interior Design Department at Great Yarmouth College of Art.  He married Marion in Norwich Cathedral, sans mouche, where LRC and Yare RC shared the honours as his guard of honour (see photo alongside).  It was typical of Barry to organise a pair oars race round the island on which Norwich RC stands on the morning of his wedding, and then to present a prize to the winners at the wedding reception afterwards.

Barry was not only great fun but was kind enough to remember LRC in his will too, setting an example to others.  A few years ago he decided he must have an LRC Henley blazer, so drove down to Clothiers in Cambridge to have one made and fitted.  We send our belated condolences to Marion.

Thursday
May072015

Colonel Michael Hickey

Michael Hickey, who passed away on 8 November 2013 aged 84, was a man of many parts and larger than life.  He joined the Club in 1959 in the middle of an Army and Air Corps career which started in 1947 and took him overseas to Korea and Malaya on active service, Germany, East Africa, Suez and Aden. 

Hickey’s interpretation of the strain on Captain Keith TicehurstWhen on postings to London he would come to LRC and speak at Wednesday night dinners and give hilarious accounts of his military life, which will be warmly remembered. He continued irregular rowing “until his knees gave up in 1996” and was instrumental in organising an LRC visit to a regatta in Berlin. Michael was an excellent cartoonist, often using the back of menu cards at annual dinners; a number of his witty works of art hang in the clubhouse. He was also an ‘official’ cartoonist for the Club’s 125th anniversary publication in 1981.

Michael occupied his retirement as a noted military historian, writing books on airborne warfare, Gallipoli, and the First World War, and was a research fellow in military studies at both Birmingham University and Kings College, London.  A favourite relaxation was choral singing – he won a bursary, and had been head chorister, at Magdalen College School, as had his father and grandfather – and his life was remembered fittingly at a choral evensong in the College Chapel.

We send our belated condolences to his wife, Bridget, and their two sons.  Their household included two dogs and at one time “a domesticated turkey”. 

Thursday
May072015

Sir John Mayhew-Sanders

John Mayhew-Sanders, who died on 1 November 2013 aged 82, was elected Captain of the Club in the centenary year 1956.  Whilst serving in the Royal Navy he completed an engineering degree at Jesus College, Cambridge, and rowed in the college’s winning Ladies’ Plate crew in 1953 at 5.  He then followed the well-trodden path to London, which had started in the 1930s under Steve Fairbairn’s influence. The Club’s Centenary Dinner on 11 October 1956 was held at the Grocers’ Hall during John’s term of office and it fell to him to respond to the Toast to the Club delivered by Viscount Bruce of Melbourne, the former Prime Minister of Australia.  John was in his mid-20s by the time he was elected captain, and had embarked upon articles with his father’s accountancy practice in Oxford Street, so he did not row at Henley in 1957. He rejoined the Club in 2001 after being sought out and invited to a Captains’ dinner in November that year, but in the event was unable to attend.

John pursued a leading career in management consultancy and industry, was active in promoting Anglo-Soviet trade, and was appointed a member of the Government’s British Overseas Trade Board.  He was knighted for services to exports in 1982.