The London Roar

PETER CONI GYM FORMAL OPENING

On Thursday 6th June 2019, Mike Baldwin and Mike Williams formally opened our Peter Coni Gym surrounded by Members and Guests. It was a lovely early summer evening, and the Club was humming with conversation, members happily engaged with each other.
 
We set out to create the best gym on the Tideway and what we have is a gym greater than we would have dreamed of. The event was an opportunity for us to enjoy our sustainable, accessible, passively ventilated, LED lit gym ahead of using it to achieve our personal training goals. 
 
Simon Harris, Chairman of the Gym Committee, welcomed guests whose husbands, partners, brothers, fathers or uncles have been active members and generous supporters of our Club but are sadly no longer with us. He then read a letter from Buckingham Palace on behalf of our patron, the Duke of Edinburgh. 
 
Sophie Hosking, MBE talked about the importance of strength and conditioning training and her time in our former 90 year old gym. She was awarded a medal to commemorate her time as LRC Captain and she signalled to our present Captain, Tim Grant to unveil the small plaque to recognise our Gym Committee.
 
The Peter Coni Gym is a landmark in our history. Mike and Mike shared a history of our building. At the time of our 100th anniversary of the opening of the clubhouse in 1970, the front door became the back door, a new entrance and office was built, the entrance hall became the kitchen, the changing room became the Fairbairn Room, and a new changing room, showers and gym were built at the back. There was some nostalgia for the building as it was, but few tears were shed over the old shower arrangements which consisted of filling plastic bowls with lukewarm water, and tipping them over one’s head.
 
We heard a bit about our three benefactors: Charles Moore, Steve Fairbairn’s Trust and Peter Coni, whose antics made us laugh.

Mike and Mike' - Mike Baldwin and Mike Williams

Mike and Mike' - Mike Baldwin and Mike Williams

GYM OPENING SPEECHES


MW: "Ladies and gentlemen,

On behalf of Mike and myself, thank you very much for the honour of declaring open this remarkable and long overdue building. Incidentally, this is possibly the largest gathering of people the new building will ever see and so it will prove a useful test of the rather radical ventilation system.

MB: We were possibly selected because we could remember the state of the clubhouse pre 1970 when no significant money had been spent on it for over eighty years. We have lived through this and the other two big building projects of the last 50 years. The first of these coincided with the 100thanniversary of the opening of the clubhouse in 1970 and was pretty radical. The front door became the back door, a new entrance and office was built, the entrance hall became the kitchen, the changing room became the Fairbairn Room, and a new changing room, showers and gym were built at the back. There was some nostalgia for the building as it was, but few tears were shed over the old shower arrangements, which consisted of filling plastic bowls with lukewarm water, and tipping them over one’s head. The project over-ran, cost 3 times as much as the original estimate, and left the Club with a substantial debt which took ten years to pay off and severely restricted investment in new equipment. In 1977 when I became captain, there were only two boats in the boathouse less than ten years old, and one of those had been purchased second hand. 

MW: The next major project was completed in 2007 under the able management of Alan Foster, and involved reconstructing the back of the boathouse (removing the asbestos roof), so the Crew Room could be built over the top, and adding essentials such as a disabled lift and loo, and a changing room and showers for the ladies. It wasn’t very visible or spectacular, but all very essential and, yes, it left us with another big debt, which we are still paying off.

MB: And now to our latest project. We were delighted, and surprised, when Tim Grant our Captain told us that, by using a lot of the existing steel frame structure, we could build a new gym and changing rooms for £175,000, so with healthy scepticism, we launched an appeal for £250,000. 

MW: Now, 3 years later and at a cost of over half a million pounds, here we are! – with thanks to Tim because if we’d known it was going to cost that much, we would never have started. OK, the project over-ran from the original concept time-wise and money-wise, but at the end, we have this magnificent space, and now the Crew Room, with the ergometers and watt-bikes removed, can get back to the use originally intended  -  a rest room for crews between outings and an adjunct to the other entertaining and function space on the first floor. And… we have not taken on any extra debt – but more of this later.

MB: We know that there are some members who regret the passing of the tank, which has only had occasional use for much of the last forty years. Beneath the floor of the gym and well-preserved, still lies the original rowing tank built in 1926, awaiting an archaeologist in 2,000 year’s time to unearth it from the Thames mud and speculate on the peculiar bathing habits of the late twentieth century.

MW: For all of this, many thanks are due:
To the architects, Hugo Tugman, Michael Worthington and Simon and Maria Smithson who worked on the design at different stages of the project, to Fothergills, who did the structural engineering and to the builders Builtain who have constructed it to such a high standard. 

MB: To the Gym Build committee, whose names are recorded on a plaque soon to be unveiled. They, and in particular Peter Halford and Simon Harris, have worked tirelessly and pro bono to research the successes and failings of other rowing club gyms, to build on the former and avoid the latter, and to monitor the work every step of the way. We owe a lot to all of them and particularly those two.

MW: To the fundraisers, and in particular to Kathleen Curran, who persuaded, cajoled and harried the team, and for evening meetings, even brought in food for them, and kept things going whenever momentum was being lost. 

MB: To our principal donors, our benefactors. The gym is named after Peter Coni, whose bequest got us started, and which came to us when his estate was finally wound up, 21 years after he died. When handing over the bequest, his executor made two comments; firstly, that lawyers should never be allowed to write their own wills, and secondly, that if he’d known he would have to act for over 20 years, if Peter hadn’t already died, he would have killed him. Peter was a remarkable man, and one could tell stories about him until midnight. A QC, Chairman of Henley Royal Regatta, chairman of the ARA (as it then was) finance committee and an honorary life vice president, Treasurer of FISA, and a Captain, Treasurer and President of London, he was famous for the number of rowing hats he wore, many of them at the same time.

MW: To the Steve Fairbairn Memorial Trust, which was formed many years ago to perpetuate the name of Steve Fairbairn and to support rowing on the Tideway, particularly the Clubs where Steve coached with major success, London and Thames. Steve was the founder of the Head of the River Race, the original head race, and his memorial stands at the milepost, or as it is now, instead of the milepost, which rotted off around 1970. The Trust’s great generosity to this project was another major step on our way.

MB: To Charles Moore, an Australian who joined us from Sydney University, and rowed in both the Grand and the Thames Cup for LRC in the 1960’s, being beaten by Harvard in the semifinal in the latter. He had a successful career in the City before returning to Australia, whereupon he sold his car, a clapped-out old Mini, to Peter Coni, with whom he was staying at the time. Apparently, Peter did not re-register it in his own name, and proceeded to park it where he liked, confident that any parking tickets would be lost en route down under. Charles has owned a succession of sailing boats which he sails in Sydney harbour. They have all been painted in LRC colours and named Casamajor. This is not the first time that Charles has been very generous to the Club, witness the four in the boathouse which bears his name.

MW: To all those who donated to the appeal, new and old members, at home and abroad, many of whom accompanied their generosity with some heart-warming letters of encouragement, speaking of what the Club had done for them in their lives, and the warmth they felt towards it. We thank all our donors, particularly those who gave a lot…. but also those who gave a little, but to whom, it was a lot. What you and they gave has covered the entire cost of the project, with no borrowing, we’re delighted to say. 

MB: Finally, to the active members of the Club, who were supportive and patient, and had to endure a long period of having no gym, no changing room, and no showers. Personal freshness might have suffered from time to time, but morale hasn’t. Any club is what its members make it, and we can all be very proud to have contributed, some in a small way and some very significantly, to the success of this fully funded, well designed and executed project which will serve the club’s members well for many years to come. 

MW: Ladies and gentlemen, it now remains for us jointly to formally open and name this the Peter Coni Gym…

MB: …and wish good luck to all who train in it."

Kathleen Curran
Honorary House Steward, Events 


CAPTAIN’S REPORT

The next time you read the Roar, Henley Royal Regatta will be wrapped up and we’ll be reviewing the whole season. Time has flown by!  It has been a tough month for the squad with some illness and injury delivering mixed results at Met Regatta. Our top 4 raced the 4- on Saturday and 4+ on Sunday with a positive result in the coxed boat. The 8 raced through illness on Saturday but had to call it for Sunday which they were disappointed with. The squad are now on camp in Varese adding extra speed and refining boats with a view to achieving a compelling performance at Marlow and positioning LRC for a strong HRR. As with last year, we will update you day to day to keep you in the loop wherever you are in the world. Also of note, we have two row pasts at the Regatta this year. The Stewards winners of 1979 and the Lwt 4- World Champions. Both on Friday, I’ll send a note before HRR to confirm both timing and plan, but let's support the current squad and our Club winners boating, rowing and coming off the water.  Details to follow...
 
Meanwhile at the Club the social side and participation rowing goes from strength to strength. I wish I was better at writing to properly articulate just how good the tasting menu and wine tasting was. The newly curated wine list by our in house Master of Wine and longstanding coxswain Tim Jackson is phenomenal for both flavour and value. Read on for a full report from Mark Lucani!
 
We had the gym opening which was an amazing affair and a very proud moment for many of us to see a vision come to reality. With the new facility and focus on the Club house, it is time to reinforce elements of Club etiquette and remind ourselves of essential standards for the Club. 
 
Personal Property. The changing rooms are back which is fantastic, however with this we need improved management of the areas. Already a squad members’ personal property has gone missing which is unacceptable. The whole area should be tidy and kept clean and we have new lockers coming soon, but for now, two key points:  
1. No personal kit or possessions to be left overnight in the changing rooms or elsewhere in the Club. Please clear up after yourselves. We will clear the rooms every Friday ready for the weekend.  
2. Do not borrow/take others' equipment or possessions.
 
Club Areas. We have vastly increased the use of boat sheds, working areas (gap site) and access points to the Club, with staff, guests, members and clients in and out all day and every day. Again, 2 points:
1.  No Parking outside the boat bays or gap site - please park in marked bays in the surrounding area or other side of the embankment road. 
2.  Bikes are to be kept at the back of the gym in the designated pathway, not outside.
 
Social. A friendlier point! We have a growing membership and far more opportunity to socialise with each other and guests. Please maximise this opportunity and do take the time to say hello to anyone you don’t recognise. As shown by the gym opening and other events, we can be proud of our welcoming atmosphere, so let’s carry on the trend!
 
See you at Henley, Bang the Drum 

Tim Grant
LRC Captain

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DATES FOR YOUR DIARY

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12-15 June: Cambridge University May Bumps
15-16 June: Reading Amateur Regatta
15-16 June: British Rowing Senior Championships (Nottingham)
19-23 June: World Cup 11 (Poznan, Poland)
21-23 June: Henley Women’s Regatta                 
22 June: Marlow Regatta (Dorney)
28 June: Henley Royal Regatta qualifying races
03-07 July: Henley Royal Regatta
10-14July: World Cup 111 (Rotterdam, Netherlands)
12-13 July: Henley Masters
13-14 July: Kingston Regatta
14 July: England Trials for Home International
25 July: LRC Supper Club Dinner
18-30August: World U23 Championships (Sarasota, USA)
19-21 July:  British Rowing Junior Championships (Nottingham)
20-21July: Molesey Regatta
27July: Home International (Strathclyde Park)
30 July-12 August: World Junior Championships (Tokyo, Japan)
02-04 August: Coupe de la Jeunesse (Gorgeno, Italy)
03 August: Henley Town and Visitors’ Regatta
07-11 August: World Junior Championships (Tokyo, Japan)
10August: Maidenhead Regatta
21August-02 September: World Champs & Olympic qualifiers (Linz-Ottensheim)
04 September: Irregulars’ Dinner (provisional)
04 September: Doggett’s Coat and Badge
04-07 September: European University Championships (Jonkoping, Sweden)
07-08 September: European U23 Championships (Ioannina, Greece)
11-15 September:  World Rowing Masters Regatta (Lake Valence, Hungary)
14September: Great River Race

See more detail for these events, visit our Calendar of Events…


GYM REDEVELOPMENT UPDATE

The gym is now open and snagging works are in progress. Over the summer the gym redevelopment sub-committee will convene after a much needed short break to look at the requirement for a number of items including lockers, gym mirrors and other fittings, means of dividing the gym into separate areas, ventilation of the new showers and changing room and refurbishment of the club room. It is also intended to put a small number of bicycle racks in the entrance courtyard where they will be a useful convenience for members.
 
The first tranche of gym equipment, comprising the weight lifting cages, weights, benches and mats, is expected to be delivered and installed at the end of June or early in July. Some of the equipment will be branded in London colours and the weights will also be branded as shown in the images below. It will look very smart indeed.

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If members have any comments on the gym redevelopment, please contact Peter HalfordEddie Markes or Simon Harris.


MILLENNIALS REPORT

Despite not managing to come up with a better name, the ironically dubbed ‘Millennials’ have continued to grow from strength to strength.
 
Through the winter the group maintained a healthy participation rate with boats out on the water more weeks than not - often including pre-work paddles. There was even the occasional dabble at some of the head races (just to keep us honest). Nothing like a race to spur a bit of intra-crew competition and some competitive erging, with results being posted on WhatsApp - how very Millennial! 
 
Come the ‘summer’ months (this week clearly didn’t get that memo) and the longer days, we resumed our traditional mid-week, post-work outings, managing to take advantage of some stunning weather and even some uncharacteristically flat water on the Thames. 
 
The better weather has drawn greater numbers with the group putting multiple boats out the majority of the time. Somehow these boats tend to be, by and large, very closely matched – it is almost as if it is done on purpose. In fact, on one particular occasion only a couple of feet separated two eights after a rate-capped, non-competitive piece from St Paul’s to Barnes. Of course, both crews accused the other of overrating (we all know it was Jason Gray’s crew).

Background crew: Chris Whyte (bow), Alex Fothergill (2), Tim Leppard (3), Tim Grant (stroke). Foreground crew: Bob Silver (bow), James Young (2), James Sexton-Barrow (3).

Background crew: Chris Whyte (bow), Alex Fothergill (2), Tim Leppard (3), Tim Grant (stroke). Foreground crew: Bob Silver (bow), James Young (2), James Sexton-Barrow (3).

Bob Silver (bow), George Vaizey (2), Tim Leppard (3), Mark Lucani (4), Alex Fothergill (5), James Clarke (6), James Sexton-Barrow (7), Stuart Heap (stroke).

Bob Silver (bow), George Vaizey (2), Tim Leppard (3), Mark Lucani (4), Alex Fothergill (5), James Clarke (6), James Sexton-Barrow (7), Stuart Heap (stroke).

Chefs on the BBQ: Richard ‘Goof’ Gilfillan and Giles ‘Tyne’ Sergeant.

Chefs on the BBQ: Richard ‘Goof’ Gilfillan and Giles ‘Tyne’ Sergeant.

Non-competitive rowing aside, we remain true to our ethos of maintaining our golden ratio of time on the water vs time in the bar with Tommy, as always, ensuring we are all well hydrated and our hard-earned thirsts suitable quenched.
 
The consistent underlying mission of the Millennials is, of course, directly aligned with that of the Club: for LRC crews to win at Henley. Although most of us are no longer in the position to participate in any promising campaigns ourselves, we exist to support Rob and the Senior Squad wherever we can (while having a bit of a fun of our own). A great example of this is the Senior Squad joining one of the Millennials’ Wednesday BBQs where the very VERY hungry squad athletes wolfed down Chef Goof’s fine fare. It is a formula we are sure to replicate.
 
With better weather to come, and hopefully a less crowded Tideway, we will continue to boat regularly over the summer, take the required ‘selfie’ and enjoying more BBQs and events. I look forward to seeing you on the river and in the bar. 

Mark Lucani


IRREGULARS’ REPORT

Summer is truly here and outings at 7:00pm on a Wednesday evening have proved popular - these will continue until the days gets shorter and people’s work hours restrictions get the better of them. Make the most of it while you can.
 
A mixed eight has been entered for Regatta London (founded by Tideway - the company building the super sewer) which will be taking place on the 29th September. This will be an event open to all paddle powered craft over a 12 mile course (Hammersmith to Greenwich) and will coincide with a Barrier closure, making it a non-tidal event. If any LRC member is interested in taking part, go to info@regatta.london for more information and then contact me. It is going to be a sell-out event.
 
With the Irregulars ever growing numbers we have two new bow-steerers under training - thanks and congratulations to Hugh Lonsdale and Dugald Moore, who have both showed willingness and enthusiasm to take on the vagaries of the Tideway. If you would like to train as a bow-steerer, please get in touch with me to discuss the possibility of doing so.
 
As I write, the Vogalongerites have just returned from Venice – please see Miles Preston’s report below.
 
Lastly but by no means least, our wonderful new gym and changing rooms were formally opened last Thursday. The generosity in terms of fundraising and expertise on the Gym Sub-Committee from our group was recognised and lauded by the committee’s chairman, Simon Harris. Well done and thanks to all those of you who have contributed and helped in so many different ways.
 
Finally, we wish the coaches and our elite athletes the very best of luck at Henley – the Irregulars will be cheering you on!

Eddie Markes


45th VOGALONGA

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It is hard to imagine that the Vogalonga started its life as a protest row by frustrated gondoliere and Venetian rowers at the fact that there were so many powered boats on the canals of Venice that it had become nigh on impossible to get around without being swamped by wash or, worse still, sunk. From that small beginning, it has now grown into an enormous annual event which has to be limited to two thousand human powered boats. This year’s event, on the 9th June, was the 45th and a further reiteration of the amazingly colourful pageant we have come to know and love.
 
I joined London Rowing Club four years ago because I decided that I wanted to  row in the Vogalonga and was told about the Club’s participation in it. After rowing seriously until I was twenty-two, I had spent forty-four years working as a divorce lawyer before being persuaded, as I retired, to get back in a boat for the first time since 1972. This year’s Vogalonga was my fourth time and I enjoyed myself as much as I had the previous three.
 
This year, the Club had four crews taking part, a coxed four and three coxed quads. Ten of the twenty taking part had rowed the Vogalonga before. Our group was supported by eighteen spouses, partners, parents and friends, making the group thirty-eight in all.

Dinner at Antica Locanda Montin on the eve of the Vogalonga.

Dinner at Antica Locanda Montin on the eve of the Vogalonga.

The event is much more than just a 32km row around Venice, Burano and Murano on Whit Sunday morning; seventeen of us had dinner together at a restaurant overlooking the Giudecca Canal called the Terrazza dei Nobile on the Friday evening, twenty-four at the Antica Locanda Montin – a characterful very Venetian restaurant at which we usually share one table seated under an archway of vines in their garden - on the Saturday evening and then forty-five for a celebratory drinks party – celebrating our surviving the event unharmed – at Ca’ Malcanton, the splendid fifteenth century palizzetta owned by our friend Nick Blair-Fish, with whom a number of us stay over the weekend.
 
La Serenissima is still magnificent. People complain about the tourists but if  you avoid St.Mark’s Square, the Rialto Bridge and the streets running between them between the hours of 9am and 9pm, the rest of Venice is remarkably quiet and as atmospheric as ever. There are endless small restaurants and bars and, of course, churches, museums, squares, towers and pretty canals wherever you choose to wander.

Three of our crews after parking their boats by the English Church in readiness for the row - left to right standing; Paul Jenkinson, Alan Foster, Peter Roberts, John Gaisford, Eric Moe, David Tatton, Richard Lester, Lucy Hargreaves, Miles Preston, Michael Gormley, Whit Mason. Below; Kate Pearson, Sehrish Rafique, Alison Love, Miranda Smart.

Three of our crews after parking their boats by the English Church in readiness for the row - left to right standing; Paul Jenkinson, Alan Foster, Peter Roberts, John Gaisford, Eric Moe, David Tatton, Richard Lester, Lucy Hargreaves, Miles Preston, Michael Gormley, Whit Mason. Below; Kate Pearson, Sehrish Rafique, Alison Love, Miranda Smart.

An unwelcome visitor in the form of a cruise liner which decided to pass through the Guidecca Canal at 8.30 shortly before the two thousand crews set off on the Vogalonga. Perhaps, if this happens again, we should all sit tight and not let it pass!

An unwelcome visitor in the form of a cruise liner which decided to pass through the Guidecca Canal at 8.30 shortly before the two thousand crews set off on the Vogalonga. Perhaps, if this happens again, we should all sit tight and not let it pass!

Boats make their way down the Canarreggio Canal towards the end of the row.

Boats make their way down the Canarreggio Canal towards the end of the row.

‘The best drink of the year – shortly after rowing 32kms in 26c!’

‘The best drink of the year – shortly after rowing 32kms in 26c!’

For the last two years, I have had the pleasure of organising our group going to Venice. It has been a privilege to do so. I plan to do the same in 2020 so if you are interested in joining in next time round – Whit Sunday is the 31th May 2020 so should be the date – please email me on miles.preston@londonrc.org.uk 
 
Doing this will not create any obligation on you but it will give me an idea of how many people are likely to want to take part. Priority is given to LRC Irregulars, then other members of the Club and, insofar as we need to make up numbers to get a third, fourth or perhaps even a fifth full crew, to non-members.
 
If you haven’t taken part in this event, it should be on your list of things to do. If you have done so before, I can assure you that doing it again is well worth it.


Miles Preston


CLUB INFORMATION & EVENTS

Brad (on the left) is wearing the  BR1 Inshore Jacket  and Louron is wearing the  Sardinia BR1 Jacket
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SUNDAY ROASTS!

The Sunday Roasts, which have proved to be a great success, will be continuing for the rest of June. Lunch is served between 12:00pm and 3:00pm. If you just have the main course, it will cost you £15. Starters and puddings each cost £5.
 
If you have been to one or more of these already, do come again. To those of you who haven’t yet been, come now!
 
Members and their families and friends are all most welcome. For families with young children, the children can have their lunch together in the Long Room and then go into the Fairbairn Room where a large screen will be showing age appropriate films to keep them entertained while their parents can then enjoy a more leisurely and, dare I say it, more restful lunch in the Long Room. You need to book your places on eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/sunday-lunch-at-the-london-rowing-club-cafe-tickets-61092702919?aff=ebdsasbdestsearch

Shane Dorsett
General Manager, London Rowing Club


THE LRC DINING CLUB

*The next LRC Supper Club Dinner will be Thursday 25 July*

I think it would be no exaggeration to say that Thursday 30th May set a new standard for food and wine along the Tideway. With both the launch of our new wine list (which is perfectly on point) and a complex and intricate tasting menu composed by Chef Leyton Angell, there are strong signals that something very special is emerging on the culinary scene at London Rowing Club.

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Our very own Master of Wine, Tim Jackson, has done an outstanding job in curating a well-balanced (and delicious) range of wines that all punch far above their weight for their price points (all £20-£29 a bottle) - IMHO you’d be hard pressed to find a better ‘house white’ anywhere in London. With these solid foundations now settling, I am told that in time Tim’s vision is also to introduce a small selection of extra special wines, a ‘Chairman’s Lawn’ selection if you will. Exciting times for anyone who enjoys a fine glass.  Rumour has it we did try to get some Chateau Tooting on the list but were unable to secure sufficient quantities.
 
Concurrent to the wine list launch in the Long Room, the inaugural LRC Dining Club dinner took place in the Member’s Room, where we were treated to an exquisite showcase of Chef Leyton’s prestigious talent.
 
The concept behind the Dining Club is to offer local chefs an opportunity to compose an un-prescribed set-menu of the chef’s choosing to a limited number of people. This structure enables them to express themselves fully and indulge their passion for food without any limitation, at the same time offering an outstanding fine dining experience to members at exceptional value. Based on the relish with which Chef Leyton took up this challenge and the phenomenal dishes that resulted, this formula looks set to beguile us for some time.  
 
For our first voyage down the Dining Club race course, Chef Leyton introduced us to 'la cucina Italiana' - Regions of Italy - a gastronomic trip around the country introducing us to his take on a number of Italian regional classics, each with the intricacy, dedication and attention to detail you would expect from a chef of his calibre. Unfortunately, I do not possess the acumen of an accomplished food writer to translate the experience properly into words so I won’t even attempt to do so. I am, however, able to report that we were treated to no fewer than eight district dishes, each its own exquisite and unique journey (and, of course, each paired with the perfect wine).

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To give you but a glimpse: 

  • We charged off the stakeboats with an initially unassuming yet ultimately mindboggling clear tomato and basil consommé that required 3 days of preparation, including filtration, freezing and infusing.

  • At the barrier - a savoury hazelnut panna cotta with a variety of “garnish” including triangular leeks.

  • Past the Remenham Club - a Sardinian lobster dish that I am at a loss to even describe – so good!

  • We did come very close to hitting the booms when Tim broached the subject of Rose

  • At the enclosures, the Tongue in Cheek Lasagne paired with the Montepulciano sealed the “easily” verdict

  • And just when we thought there was nothing more to give - Deep fried chocolate and hazelnut ravioli took us over the line in spectacular style. 

 And then, of course, there was Port!
 
We are currently in the process of lining up chefs for the next few Dining Clubs and we look forward to locking down some dates soon. Keep an eye out for the weekly digests and other marketing channels. I for one cannot wait till the next one!

Mark Lucani


TONY HALL OBITUARY (1931-2019)

Tony died on 11th May 2019 aged 88, at home, at the end of a long illness throughout which he demonstrated the same fortitude for which he was well known at LRC.
 
His rowing days began ‘up river’ at Reading and his prowess in the Autumnal Long Distance Sculling races was to prompt me to persuade him that he should come to LRC where we had a successful group of Veteran competitors.
 
Despite the problems associated with the necessary commuting, he enthusiastically decamped and for the next decade (largely the 80’s) he was to become a regular, wholly committed member of numerous Veteran crews, embracing VIII’s, IV’s and various sculls.
 
He became a very important part of the Four which was to win numerous National Champs medals, Tideway and upriver Regatta Cups and back to back ‘Fuller’s’ HoR Veteran Fours’ Pennants!
 
This same crew went on to win FISA medals in Prague (then still behind the ‘Iron Curtain’) in 1983 and Sweden in 1987. Tony was an ever present member of that crew drawn from Tom King, Richard Linning, Lea Mariner and Simon Rippon.
 
His illustrious CV also included innumerable wins at the National Vets Championships in IV’s and VIII’s as well as Veteran Pennants in the Tideway HoR – and, in the later introduced Vesta Veterans Head. He also crewed in the VIII which won a tough Boustead Cup race against its TRC counterpart.
 
Crews from LRC regularly made the pilgrimage to the Veteran regatta run annually in Amsterdam at the deHoop Club, and Tony competed in the year that LRC won the ‘Victor Ludorum’ Trophy.
 
Whatever the crew or event, Tony was a wholly committed and fearsome competitor – someone you would always want in your crew! Off the water he was equally good company and we enjoyed the social aspects of our many trips – especially the Continental forays.
 
His switched allegiance from ‘up river’ to the Tideway was also to reward him with a much greater prize when he met, and later, married Jean Rankine, a fellow ‘oarsperson’ from TRC!! A union made in and blessed by ‘Tideway Water’!
 
So!, Tony Hall, as we enjoined many times
 
‘Et Vous Pret’ - - -  !?!
 
- and thanks for the memories of, as Steve would commend – Jolly Boating!

Tony Hall’s funeral service is to take place at Mortlake Crematorium at 2:00pm on Wednesday, June 19th.

Dr. Thomas King


A PROPOS OF NOTHING

As I arrived at the Club at about 9:00am on the 12th May for my usual Sunday morning outing with the Irregulars, I couldn’t help but notice something or someone swimming slowly around in the river. True, it was a most beautiful morning, still and brilliant sunshine, but the temperature was only about 8c and I suspect that the water temperature was lower.
 
Initially, I thought it might be a seal as there have been sightings of them in the river over the last couple of years but, when I focussed properly, it turned out to be a man. His timing of venturing forth, if that is the way to describe it, was impeccable as it was high tide (not more than about 5.5 m) and completely slack water but, to me, the idea of braving the still very cold waters of Old Father Thames was unthinkable.
 
He swam around for about ten minutes and was clearly completely relaxed and happy. He noticed me taking a photo and suggested that I might like to join him. I thanked him for his kind invitation but explained that although I enjoy going out ON the river, my avowed intent is to try not to go IN it.
 
Anyway, I thought it made a nice shot which you might like to see.

LR_June_19_A_Propos.jpg

Miles Preston


REPORTING SAFETY INCIDENTS

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: safety@londonrc.org.uk
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.


NOTE FROM THE EDITOR

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 miles.preston@londonrc.org.uk

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


Miles Preston
Editor of The London Roar