An account of St George's Hospital Boat Club during the late 1940s and early 1950s is given by Brian Wright who qualified from St George’s at the end of 1951, and can be read below.
In 1949 a small group of students decided to borrow a clinker four and enter the Junior fours of the United Hospitals Regatta. It is a long time ago and I really do not remember why we entered and I do not think we took it very seriously at first. We were however lucky to have Dr John Wright (Senior Medical Registrar) as a coach. I think we had all rowed at Cambridge or King’s College, London.
The crew was: (From right to left)
John F Moor (Bow)
J Howell Jones
Brian Wright (Stroke)
Michael Jepps (Cox)
Dr John Wright (Coach)
I remember nothing of the race except that we won. The win I remember, caused a good deal of interest and the Dean and Dr Hunter were delighted. The Boat Club became official within a matter of days and I was elected Captain with John Moor as Secretary.
There was a second crew, which I had forgotten. I think we had some last minute enthusiasm from novices and entered them to keep them involved. Some of them were crucial later as without them we simply could not have found a crew of eight.
We were most grateful to our coach who was a very busy registrar with lots of children, but spent afternoons cycling along the towpath. Also I should mention our cox who was new to rowing. I do remember that his weight was ten and a half stone while I at stroke was nine and a half stone. He was worth the extra stone.
The enthusiasm of the Dean, Mr MF Nicholls and Dr Alistair Hunter was such that we were offered an eight shortly afterwards. This was built by the best available boat builder on the Thames but I am not able to remember the name. I do remember that the basic cost was £350 which did seem to me a great deal of money. I remember being worried that we would not be able to find a crew to warrant the expense. I remember that when the two officers suggested it be called “The Edward Wilson,” the suggestion was accepted at once by all concerned. This is interesting because I’m quite sure we did not, at that time, know he had rowed at St George’s. The name was even more appropriate than we had realised.
We entered and eight in the Tideway Head of the River in 1950. We started 199 and finished at 189.
Peter Lord was in our crew on at least one occasion. I think he had rowed for the “Goldie Crew” so he was a great asset. I also recall Tony Fox. He was one of the leading scullers in the country at that time. I recall the Dean asking me if it would be a good idea if he came to St George’s! He duly came and did help us in various ways.”
Historical Extracts from the Student Union Newsletter
Below are some extracts taken from the St George's University Newsletter.