The London Roar

A couple of months have gone by since I last wrote to you and they have been eventful to say the least. The Squad have had no less than three, 2km tests with an increase in personal bests each time, and the final test delivering personal or season bests for over 70% of the Squad. From these results it’s clear the physiology has come on a long way and the Squad are in good shape. The focus now is on technique and water time with indoor sessions being dropped and water sessions increased to 8 a week, culminating in a 10-day training camp in mid-June in Varese where the Squad will train in their HRR crews before returning for Marlow Regatta. 
Breakfast is now in full flow on the weekends and runs from 930am through to 1100am. It’s great to see the Squad and others all enjoying the Club as it’s meant to be!! Let’s see more of it, all members are very welcome, we have space, good food and drink, and no queues!  You will also be warmed in the knowledge the proceeds go straight back into the Club.
The Gym committee have been doing sterling work and pushed on the programme for gym build with the enhanced design including improved ventilation and natural light across the whole facility. The gym build will commence 16th May, there is a full update later in this edition. On behalf of the Club’s entire Committee, I would like to thank Peter Halford who has been instrumental in getting us to this point. Peter has been appointed as the programme coordinator representing the Club throughout the build, with the full confidence of the entire Committee.
With the gym build commencing on 16th May, members currently storing belonging in the Men’s changing room lockers are requested to empty these by Sunday 13th May – any items remaining are this time will be disposed of.  
The stint of sunny weather recently, saw a number of recreational rowers out on the water.  The Irregulars have been out in force, the Racing Vets continue to nip at the heels of the Squad which is healthy for all, and even a couple of showings from athletes who haven’t been about the Club for a while …. this is great to see and a sign of the Club’s health.  With the summer months fast approaching (and hopefully more sunny weather) please can everyone especially if a little rusty after the winter months revise the Tideway navigation rules, and make sure they are applied.
We have seen a couple of incidents in the past few weeks and whilst minor, an uptick in safety incidents suggests we need to get back on top of being the best on the Tideway.  LRC as a club and those representing it on the water should be the yardstick that others look to. This takes discipline and commitment.  Again, please apply the rules accurately but more broadly take care on the water, look out for others.
Finally, congratulations to Josh McInerney the Club’s House Steward (Facilities) who celebrated his marriage to Hannah at the Club in early April.  Congratulations also to long time member Steve Mason and his wife Charlotte on the arrival of their daughter Constance (Connie).

A note from the Editor...
Apologies for the radio silence, we set out to issue a Roar every month and we haven’t succeed in the last couple due to the absence of our Editor in Chief/Roving Reporter.  With his safe return from Australia, we are back on track to issue a pre-Henley edition giving you a breakdown of our crews for HRR.

Tim Grant
LRC Captain




2 June   MET Regatta
3 June   MET Regatta
15 June   Quiz Night
23 June   Marlow Regatta


As members will know, the current gym buildings have reached (indeed are past) the end of their useful life. The redevelopment of an exciting new gym starts on 16th May and is scheduled to take five months.

The redevelopment will provide the Club with a first-class training facility which will help all of our members reach their performance goals on and off the water. The current structure will be dismantled save for external walls and some supporting steels. The redevelopment is complex but it is hoped any delays can be kept to a minimum.

New box structure at first floor level
The isometric drawing illustrates the box that will be constructed at first floor level to contain new changing rooms, showers and WCs for men. Moving the men’s changing room creates a larger gym space and will allow women to access the gym without going through the men’s’ changing room. The smaller gym will provide an area for strength and conditioning training and the larger gym will provide an area for ergos and watt bikes and also for stretching and mats. 

External finishes
The roofs and walls will be clad with insulated panels, with an anthracite colour external face and a white inner face. These replace the existing and increasingly dilapidated asbestos and corrugated iron sheeting. The panels are thermally efficient and will help provide a warmer training environment in the winter months.

Natural light and ventilation
The architectural drawings show the windows and doors in the larger gym, the glazed apex in the smaller gym and the high-level windows in the new changing rooms. The minimisation of noise from the gym has been a key planning issue and we are only permitted opening windows in the gym to the north elevation where parts of the full height glazed sections in the larger gym (under the box) will be openable. There will also be a small north facing window in the smaller gym.

The redevelopment incorporates a natural (passive) air ventilation system that creates no noise in operation, thereby being acceptable to the planners, and has the benefits of costing very little to maintain and using no energy.
At a low level around the gyms, there will be fixed ventilation louvres which may be closed on the inside, and on the ridges of both buildings there will be a series of openable ventilation units. The ventilation system works on the principle of hot air (from people training eg. ergos or weights) rising up and out through the high-level ventilation units, drawing fresh air in from the low-level louvres and creating a flow of air across the space.
New entrance, physio room and disabled shower/WC
The development will incorporate a disabled access from the entrance courtyard, a physio room and a shower/WC for disabled people and those using the physio room. Illustrations of these will be provided in further updates.
Arrangements during the build
For the duration of the build we will be without any formal men’s changing facilities.  During the weekends we’ll partition off some of the crew room to allow for changing.  Showers won’t be available so please do plan accordingly for your outing.
We are in the process of finalising arrangements for weights training with Imperial College, and those members requiring access to weights, please contact Tim Grant (  



The President writes…

While you’re here, not after you’ve gone

As a Club, we have been very fortunate in recent times, with members leaving us money in their wills. Some have made a major difference, like Peter Coni’s legacy getting the Gym Rebuild off to a flying start, and Ron Needs’ bequest buying us a new Empacher VIII, and Ian Butler, Peter Bell and Robin Hulf deserve a mention as well.
The sadness is, these guys have gone, and with them, our opportunity to thank them for their generosity.
To remedy this for the future, we’ve decided to get to know of those members that have made mention of the Club in their wills, and to host a lunch, once a year, to recognise their kindness, while they are in a position to receive our thanks.
We plan to call this group The 1856 Society, and all anyone has to do to join is to drop a line to myself or the office to confirm that they have planned a bequest in excess of £1,856 – you don’t have to say how much.
We will arrange the inaugural lunch for a weekend in the Autumn, and annually thereafter. I hope for a good turnout!

Mike Baldwin

World War I - Commemorative Lunch


On the 7th November, a lunch will be held in the Long Room to mark the 100th Anniversary of the ending of the First World War and to pay tribute to the fifty members of the Club who either died fighting for the Country or as a direct result of having done so.

As in so many fields, London Rowing Club has a notable and memorable record when it comes to the First World War.

At least 194 members of the Club fought in the War and, of those, 50 died. When conscription was introduced in 1917, "it may safely be said that not a single member was affected " (because everyone eligible for conscription had already volunteered).

Of the fifty who fell, seven were awarded the Military Cross, there were seven Mentioned in Despatches and one OBE was awarded posthumously.

It is impossible for us to comprehend the extent of the suffering and sacrifices of these members, and of so many others, during and following this War.

All we can do is pay due respect to them and their stoicism, heroism and loyalty.

We are hoping that at least fifty members and their guests (limited to three per member) will come to what we feel confident will be a lunch which is long remembered by everyone who attends.

The plan will be to have a short service of remembrance at 12.30 in the Club followed by lunch. We are also arranging for a World War 1 authority to give a 15/20 minute talk, following the main course, on the War and a few of the fallen fifty.

 Please will you make a note of the date now and, if you are interested in coming, send a short email to Miles Preston ( to say so. It will be helpful if you would indicate whether you expect to be accompanied and, if so, by how many guests.

It would also be marvellous if a few members would be prepared to provide some sponsorship for the lunch so that ticket prices can be pitched at a level which is manageable. Again, please would you email Miles Preston if you feel you can help with this.

Please support this important event in the Club's history, whether by coming to it and/or providing some sponsorship.


Weekend Breakfasts and Great Coffee

The Club is now serving breakfast at the weekend from 930am to 1100am to all members and their guests.  An all-inclusive breakfast which includes cereals, juices, toasts & preserves, fresh fruits and a hot offering together with great coffee* is available for just £7.00 for members and £8.00 guests

* A range of coffees supplied by the award winning coffee roasters and baristas “Hey in Bermondsey” are now available from the Club’s bar.

Quiz Night - 15th June 2018



All members are reminded that if you are involved in or witness a water safety incident, you are required to report it using the following email address: The Club will file any necessary reports on your behalf with British Rowing and the PLA, members should not submit reports directly to either body.


My thanks to everyone who has contributed to this edition of the London Roar. If you have an idea for an article or would be interested in submitting a piece for inclusion in a future edition, please email me on

Please do not submit an article without first liaising with me.

Miles Preston
Editor of The London Roar