By Richard Pickup
For over a century rowers have taken to the River Trent on Good Friday. Photographs of rowers passing through locks go back to at least 1908.
The photograph shows rowers in their club blazers, some worn over polo neck sweaters, passing through a lock. A dog was a passenger within one of the boats.
In the early days before boat trailers, the rowers would undertake a return trip from Trentside and back calling in at various riverside pubs en-route.
Boats that are used for the row nowadays are significantly different. No longer are the boats made of timber with fixed seats and sweep oars.
Today’s touring boats are wide stable boats as before, but are made of fibreglass with sliding seats and each rower has two blades and sculls the boat.
The Good Friday row has evolved into a row from Nottingham to Newark, passing through four locks en-route.
Nottingham Rowing Club’s Recreational Group organise the row with the invaluable help of Newark Rowing Club.
Thirty-five rowers in seven coxed quads took part this year. The outing commenced with breakfast at Nottingham Rowing Club and finished with a hot supper at Newark RC.
We were very fortunate for two reasons. Firstly, we were able to row with one set of new blades donated by the past president of Nottingham Rowing Club, Keith Atkinson, and secondly the weather was good for the time of year.
Nottingham Rowing Club has an active Recreational Rowing Group. The group is a relaxed group of rowers who enjoy a row and social get-together.
There are no age restrictions and no pressure on group members to row regularly. They row when it is convenient. All equipment is provided within the club fees, no purchases are required.
Each year members of the group have options to tour within the UK and within Europe. This year members of the group are rowing in Venice in May and from Oxford to Henley in August. Next year there is a rowing trip to Lithuania.
If any reader is interested in social/leisure rowing in stable touring boats, please do not hesitate to contact 07766 704725 or 07826 267821.