Durham ARC stalwart Barry Hudson awarded MBE

Barry Hudson – member, administrator, volunteer and umpire at Durham ARC since 1959 – awarded MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list


Barry Hudson

Barry Hudson, a long-time member, administrator, rower, umpire and coach at Durham Amateur Rowing Club, has been awarded an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours for his voluntary service to the community and rowing.

Hudson, 72, lived in Durham city centre as a boy and found his way from playing on the banks of the River Wear to rowing on the waters of it, joining Durham ARC in 1959.

He played an active role in the club from the start, helping work on the building of a new boathouse on the club’s current site between 1967-71.

Work commitments saw Barry move away from the North East for a decade, but he moved back to Durham in 1984, becoming secretary of the club in 1991 – a post he held for 25 years. In 2016, Barry was elected chairman of the club.

During his time at Durham, Barry has established partnerships with local schools to encourage the expansion of the club to all ages and abilities. He’s also opened up a new 1.2 million clubhouse in 2009. The club premises are also used by other organisations in the community. Currently he’s overseeing the fundraising of another £800,000 to add an upper floor to the clubhouse to meet growing capacity demands.

British Rowing Chairman, Annamarie Phelps CBE, said of Barry’s honour: “I am thrilled that Barry’s enormous contribution to the success of Durham ARC and rowing in the Northern Region has been recognised. Our sport would not exist without such dedicated “lifers” who selflessly support community sport and provide opportunities for everyone to get active, learn new skills and enjoy the pleasure of messing about in boats.”

Olympic silver medallist Jess Eddie, who rowed at Durham ARC, added: “Barry has been an ever-present figure in the northern rowing scene. Dedicating a lifetime of energy and enthusiasm to rowing, in particular in Durham City. His contributions have spanned generations and his impact upon so many rowers from the region is immeasurable. With his support and the rest of Durham ARC I was able to go on to race on the international stage, and ultimately win an Olympic medal.

“I will be forever in debt to him and countless others at Durham. I offer him many congratulations on this brilliant honour.”