From Peter Blaseby:

I started this collection of memories from our Curlew days as an exercise in testing my own recollection and I am now very grateful to all of those who have responded to my request for their own stories. This covers the period from 1956 until 1982, when I was an active member, and subsequently to 2020 from other contributors. My own roles included Club Captain, for several years between 1968 and 1974, subsequently as Trustee and later as a director after the limited company was formed.

I am very grateful for contributions from those who kept the club going and developed it as a significant part of the competitive rowing scene; I have learnt so much from them of which I was unaware – Curlew has left an indelible mark on their memories, many of them joined over 50 years
ago. However I must pay tribute to the two most recent chairs of the Curlew committee Anita Jeff and Matthew Richardson who started the new Alumni membership group and have contributed extensively to this story.

In 1866 Curlew was formed as an amalgamation of two clubs, Curley and Lurline, and grew in the subsequent years. Initially they rowed in ‘in-rigged’ boats but in 1878 they purchased new ‘outrigged craft’ with sliding seats for racing and general rowing although the ‘in-riggers’ were retained
for coaching beginners and for use by other members who preferred them. The club also purchased a billiard table and held annual social events; in 1881 it held the 10th Annual Ball.

Since 1866 the club has been based in a number of buildings on Crane Street including the Crown & Sceptre Inn, then the Trafalgar Tavern and currently the Trafalgar Rowing Centre, with rowing now transferred to the “tranquil” waters of the Royal Albert Dock, opposite both London City Airport and the Excel Exhibition Centre. I have also covered the history of those premises. It has been a very satisfying exercise because it has shown that Curlew has continued to be both a rowing club and an important part of the Greenwich social scene. The “Curlew Rap” composed by Richard Huggins and illustrated by Tim Knight was proof of this. I am in no doubt that in the 1880’s there were similar occasions – so 100 years on the club had maintained the tradition. The Story of Curlew will never be completed because it will surely continue to offer great sport and camaraderie for many years to come.

  • Chapter 1 – The Early days of Curlew (Page 0-21)
  • Chapter 2 – Post WW2 renaissance with Juniors (Page 22-75)
  • Chapter 3 – Curlew 1980s – 2021 (Page 76-114)
  • Chapter 4 – 2011 to 2020 Further development after Ray (Page 115-175)
  • Chapter 5 – The Women of Curlew (Page 176-187)
  • Chapter 6 – Curlew’s home (Page 188-211)
  • Appendix – Members photos from 1956-1985

I hope you enjoy reading the stories as much as we have enjoyed writing them. If you would like more information or to contrbute your own stories, please contact us by the contact page:

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