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8 July

A Rowing Reunion, 60 Years On

It was with great pleasure and excitement that we welcomed back three OVs and King’s rowers from 1961, all of whom were seated in the first ever King’s Worcester boat competing at Henley Royal Regatta, in the Princess Elizabeth Cup.

1961 rowing crew reunion 60 years on

It had been 60 years since Tony Stevens (Cl 53-61), Martin Hook (Cl 51-61) and Peter Jackson (Ca 56-62) had last been together and Head of Alumni Relations, Sophie Borrillo-McLellan, was thrilled to meet with the three OVs at The Diglis on 1st July, right next to the Michael Baker Boathouse, for a drink and plenty of reminiscing. Between them, Tony, Martin and Peter had photographs and newspaper cuttings to share and Sophie enjoyed hearing all about their rowing days and time at King’s.

1961 rowing crew

The 1961 crew made newspaper headlines at the time as immediately after Henley they had to return to King’s and sit their G.C.E A Level exams. In fact, when not training or racing, the boys were kept to a strict school time-table in their Henley accommodation.

In the Princess Elizabeth Cup, the King’s crew made a strong start. They won their first draw against Canford School and went on to beat Magdalen College School in their second. Their third race marked the end of the Henley journey as they lost by a canvas to Nautical College Pangbourne. The final of the Cup saw Shrewsbury School race to victory against The King’s School Canterbury.

1961 rowing crew reunion 60 years on

As well as enjoying reuniting over a drink and lunch at The Diglis, the OVs also took advantage of being back in Worcester again by visiting the School site. Martin was very pleased to meet Head of King’s St Alban’s, Richard Chapman (Hon OV), and to look in the Chapel, which he remembered so well from his time at School. Peter and Tony made the most of the sunshine and, following a quick meet with Development Director Liz Elliott, walked the School gardens and College Green with Sophie and Amanda Sutcliffe, Development Assistant. A particular highlight was at the foot of the gardens next to the stunning Michael Baker Boathouse, looking over the wall to spot current King’s rowers on the river.

1961 rowing crew reunion 60 years on with Richard Chapman                                                          1961 rowing crew reunion 60 years on with Sophie B-M

We were absolutely delighted to welcome Tony, Martin and Peter back and hope very much that they may be able to join us at a Henley reunion next year.