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11 September

Hon OV celebrates 80th birthday rowing with King’s friends

How would you like to celebrate your 80th birthday? Why not take a boat out with eight friends and row down the River Severn?  We so enjoyed hearing from Bill Needham (Hon OV 05-15) following his 80th birthday when he shared with us that he had “celebrated my birthday by stroking an old vets eight on the first eight outing allowed since lockdown.” The average age of those in this photo, taken as they set off, is 78 years and 7 months!

The crew included other members of the King’s family: another OV, King’s parents and a King’s grandparent and the day looked like absolutely perfect weather for a nostalgic row down the river.  Bill was a rowing coach at King’s, firstly working alongside Sarah Kate and then with our current Head of Rowing,  Jim Chalmers (Hon OV). He says of his time at King’s,” I always remember my years of coaching at King’s with pride and pleasure” and recalls the building of the Michael Baker Boathouse and, during the building works, “ trailing boats up and down Severn Street”.

When the last clinker sculling boat was scrapped at Worcester Rowing Club, Bill saved the two ends and one he gave to King’s School Boat Club and is in the display cabinet at the Boathouse, the other is on display in his own hall.

Bill Needham on 80th birthday rowing with friends