Royal Chester Double Celebration

At the Icicle Eights on Sunday, the last race of 2008, Royal Chester Rowing Club celebrated 170 years of rowing on the river Dee and 40 years of Junior rowing with the publication of a brief history of Royals compiled by club President Keith Osborne.

Royal Chester is one of the oldest rowing clubs in the UK, founded in 1838 the coronation year of Queen Victoria and originally named Chester Victoria Rowing Club. The name changed when Royal patronage was granted in 1840.

Mr Osborne’s short history gathers together interesting facts and snippets for each of the 170 years from the two-volume club history and his own ongoing record.  From the first kell-less racing boat, glorious wins at Henley Royal Regatta, the struggles of the war years and transporting boats to regattas on the back of a borrowed coal lorry to Gold Medal wins in the World Master regatta and the introduction of rowing for women and juniors.

The book is intended to give new members an insight into a long rowing tradition and will be presented to each member of the club’s junior squad in recognition of the crucial part Keith played in the growth of Junior Rowing at Royals which he started in 1968.  Over the past 40 years he has nurtured the talents of dozens of young athletes to National and International success.

Parents of the current junior squad joined some of the original ‘Young Royals’ to thank Keith and to present him with a souvenir framed photographic record of just some of the crews he has coached.