Recollections of a River

t5228Opening fours May 8th 1909. A civilised pastime which gained in popularity from the late eighteenth century onwards was the holding of regattas or boat races. The first recorded regatta to be held in Stockton occurred in 1788. There are no records of the results but the regatta was still going strong in 1825. In 1825 there is a mention of the regattas races being held on the river close to the Carrs (Teesdale Site) during the race week. The boat races were held in between the horse racing heats. Annual regattas were held after 1850 on a course from Clarence Staithes to Blue House Point in Stockton. Two rowing clubs were formed shortly after this date: the Tees Amateur Boating Club and the Tees Rowing Club. The areas rowing clubs, who were once deadly rivals, joined together after WW2 to form the Tees Amateur Rowing Club to keep rowing alive on the Tees. Rowing has continued to flourish and the annual regatta was reinstated in 1957, this time in Yarm but in 1978 the Stockton Regatta was revived by the Tees Rowing Club and Stockton Council and each year it attracts thousands to Stocktons Riverside.

1 thought on “Recollections of a River

  1. Delighted to see a rowing crew photograph featured on your very enjoyable site. The reference to “Opening Fours” indicates that the club, as was often the custom, closed its doors in the autumn and reopened in the early summer. The early days of rowing clubs on the Tees at Stockton are something of a mystery which I am trying to unravel – any help much appreciated. There were as far as I can ascertain (and as you say) two clubs in Stockton. The present Tees Rowing Club was founded in May 1864 but there is evidence of another club founded before then. This may have been another amateur club or it may have been for professionals. “Nutty” Walker, father of Eva (Maiden) the late landlady of The Collingwood Hotel, Thornaby was a professional sculler. These two clubs amalgamated in approx 1865. The other club on the Tees was Middlesbrough Amateur Boating Club who were based at Newport. When the Newport Bridge was built not only did many local people lose their homes but Middlesbrough ABC lost their rented premises and were unable to find a replacement by the time war broke out in 1939. By 1946 the Tees ABC boathouse was derelict but they did own their site in Boathouse Lane and Middlesbrough were still homeless but had some funds. The logical amalgamation took place that year. The club celebrates its 150th anniversary in 2014.

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