Cambridge Scouts Boat Club: History

Cambridge District Scout Archive

Cambridge Archives

Jan 1923          Discussed in District meetings as a way of keeping Senior Scouts in the Association

Feb 1923         Proposed         ‘for 16 year olds and above, requiring 20 members at 10/- a head and HQ rule 63 be kept’

May 1923        the 20 members had been reached and Queens College had permitted the use of two ‘eights’ and two tub pairs

1923                Started racing, starting last and second last.

1924                The second boat bumped on each of the four races 1924, Scouts I up 3, Scouts II up 4 and ‘won their oars’.  See ‘Earned their Oars’

This oar, awarded to crews at the bumping races who managed to bump the boat in front of them every day of the race gives details of that year’s success and reflects the rapid advance of both Scout boats    (From Cambridgeshire Collection)

June 1924        Looked to expand from the 17 members 10 of whom were from C T Woods 9th Cambridge

1925                Scouts I up four (won their oars or ‘blades’)

1926                The number of entries had reduced to 14 despite the Scouts’ entering 3 crews. The four nights produced only ten bumps and of these, the Scouts’ boats made six. On the first race all three bumps were by Scouts boats. The Scouts’ first eight rose from sixth to third position and remained there until going head in 1933.  http://www.crarowing.co.uk

                        1st boat started the year up 10 places in the bumps and the 2nd boat up 5 places (from their original placing sin 1923).  A third crew was entered this year.

1927                1st boat had made 13 bumps and had never been bumped. The second race was the first occasion when no bumps were recorded for a Scout boat since they started four years previously.

Scout I  1930’s

1930 At the end of this season Scouts’ I had ‘rowed over’ 17 consecutive times. They had neither bumped or been bumped having moved into 3rd place in 1926. The third crew, however, started the fourth day with a new crew and initially only seven oarsmen – they failed to make a bump even though the boat ahead of them caught a crab. At this moment Scouts’ III steered into the bank.

1931               Head of the River catching ’99 in front of 4000 crowd. This broke the 33 year long domination of the competition by the three clubs Rob Roy, ’99 and University & College Servants. Scouts’I bumped on the second and third races, sinking both themselves and ’99 on the second race in doing so. The Scouts cox failed to see the signal (acknowledging the bump) and overran them, prompting the headline ‘Scouts’ I go up and go down’.

1931                ‘There was a general keenness and some very good hard racing and the Cambridge Scouts deserve great credit for displacing two other good crews to go head for the first time.’     RA President Sir Henry F Howard Sixty Three years on the Cam by  B Snelson

From the postscript to ‘Sixty Three years on the Cam’ by Briscoe Snelson which was largely written in 1931 before the bumps of that year:

‘Considerable interest was focussed on Scouts I who had won the Time Race. The boat, which had been third on the river since 1926, was greatly fancied to reach the headship.’  ‘The racing attracted record crowds.  It was estimated that the attendance on Thursday night reached 4000.  The Scouts reached their objective.  On the second evening they caught and sank the ’99 and on the next evening they overhauled the Robs.’

The crew

‘Of these AW Sirett, SA Elwood, and W N Human were members when the club commenced in 1923.  The stroke E C Odam, who is the son of Billy Odam, a famous RR stroke, and H A Longley migrated to the Scouts when the Choristers’ Club became defunct in 1927.’

Note RR = Rob Roy Boat Club, 99 = 99 Boat Club.

Race card for the start of the fourth day showing the winning crew

1932 – 1939

1932                Scouts’I bumped for the first time after nine years racing

1932 – 1936   Scouts’ I remained in top five throughout

1933 Scouts’ II bumped Scouts’ I, not unique but most unusual occurrence. Scouts’ II finished 4th and Scouts’ I 5th, and held the distinction of being the highest placed second boat ever in CRA Bumps history. It was announced at the Scouts bump supper that the II boat, which had bumped the Scouts’ I, had been awarded colours.

1936 W Human of the Scouts Boat Club was recorded as coaching other clubs. He was presented with a prow, mounted and inscribed, in gratitude.

1937                Scouts’ 1 Town Bumps started 3rd and on the last day were placed 2nd in 1st Division, finishing 3rd.              Scouts 2 Town Bumps started 10th rowed over throughout. Although ‘chasing very hard’ the Scouts’ I win was aided by the Rob Roy boat catching crab.

1938                Head gained and lost (ended up 2nd). A reference to the use of the revolver to signal to the cox the closeness of the challenging boat behind is found in ‘got two guns at first post’. On the second day, having gained first place on the first, they were chased very hard and although they survived on that occasion were caught the next day.

1939                Head of the River The crew was the same as the winning Time Race but new from the previous year which suggests a depth of ability. They were the lighter team by 6 lbs a man and in the windy conditions of the last night were expected to be at a disadvantage. This race was held a week earlier than usual as some of the oarsmen were military men and going to camp the next week. Some had already departed under the Militia Act. Winning the head of the River they ‘Won their Oars’.

1946 – 1979

1946                Restarted after War, 1st meeting for 6 years.  Local Association forwarded ₤5 to Boat Club. Scouts’ I lost head on the last night and finished 2nd. Scouts’ II ran into the bank and were then bumped but regained their place later in the week.

1947               Head of the River from the Robs bumping on the first night with ‘a very fine crew’. Scouts’ also won both junior and senior 4’s in CRA regatta.  Scouts’ put up three of the ten boats in the bumps.

Competed for Bainbridge Comp and took a team to Oxford info c 1947

1948                From Oxford   Extract of a Conversation between one of our members and several members of a London (rowing) club

  • London Club                “We have an easy race against some Boy scouts”
  • Scout                            “I wish you the best of luck”

One hour afterwards in the changing room the same London club were putting on their blazers having been easy beaten by the little boy scouts. GG&AA

1948                Rowed 8’s, sculls, light pairs, junior scull, junior pair, and challenge 4 (Silver Jubilee information)

1949                Noted that ’was at least racing Scouts 1’

1954                Struggling for members                                 GG&AA

1960s               John Newman of the Scouts Boat Club suggested the Winter League for the CRA. From CRA webpage History

1960’s              The Club ran four boats for most of the early 1960’s

1970’s              In the early 1970’s three boats were run and between 1972 and 1975 a short resurgence peaked at 2nd in 1973. 

1979                From 1974 it slipped down the rankings until in 1979 it only managed one boat in the bumps and that came 16th.  The club eventually ran out of members.  No further racing is recorded.

1980

In 1980 the following appeared in the press and was reproduced in Ken Drakes book.

No clubhouse so sad Scouts miss the fun

Despite a record lineup for the Town Bumps, there will be no crews representing Scouts Boat Club for the first time in 57 years. Scouts have no crew because they have no clubhouse after being forced out of their council-owned headquarters on Banham’s Upper yard site opposite the Fort St George last winter.

The site has been subsequently sold by Cambridge Corporation to Queens’ College although the old boat shed is still standing. “I visited it last week and it was just as we had left it last year,” said Scouts president Herbie Smart. “If we had been allowed to stay there until it was demolished or put to other use, we would have been able to enter a crew in next week’s bumps.” All the club’s equipment including, eights, fours, sculling boats and tubs are stored in various parts of the Pye premises and are not accessible for use.

The club were head of the river in 1933, 1939 and 1947. The best season in recent years was in 1974 when they finished second. For years Scouts have had a reputation, with which they were not happy, of being the nursery club of the Cam.

Most of the crews contesting the headship of the town bumps next week will include oarsmen who were introduced to the river by the Scouts before moving onto the clubs with better facilities. “I suppose we will be dormant until the new CRA Boathouse comes into being,” said Smart. “Then we should revive tapping our potential source of talent among the scouting movement.”

from The History of the CRA

1950 CRA Town Bumps

  • 1st VIII started 6th in 1st Division, went up one finishing 5th
  • 2nd VIII started 12th in 1st Division, went up two, finishing 10th
  • 3rd VIII started 15th in 1st Division, went down five, finishing 4th in 2nd Division
  • 4th VIII started 11th in 2nd Division, went down 4, finishing 15th in 2nd Division

1951 CRA Town Bumps

  • 1st VIII started5th in 1st Division, went up one finishing 4th
  • 2nd VIII started 10th in 1st Division, went down one, finishing 11th
  • 3rd VIII started 2nd in 2nd Division, went down three, finishing 5th in 2nd Division
  • 4th VIII started 12th in 2nd Division, went up 2 and down 2, finishing 12th in 2nd Division

1952 CRA Town Bumps

  • 1st VIII started4th in 1st Division, rowed over every night, finishing 4th
  • 2nd VIII started 13th in 1st Division, went down three, finishing 16th
  • 3rd VIII started7th in 2nd Division, went up one and down one, finishing 7th in 2nd Division

1953 CRA Town Bumps

  • 1st VIII started4th in 1st Division,rowed over every night, finishing 4th
  • 2nd VIII started 10th in 1st Division, went down one, finishing 11th
  • 3rd VIII started 2nd in 2nd Division, went down three, finishing 5th in 2nd Division

1954 CRA Town Bumps

  • 1st VIII started4th in 1st Division, went down one finishing 5th
  • 2nd VIII started 16th in 1st Division, went down one, finishing 17th
  • 3rd VIII started 7th in 2nd Division, went down three, finishing 10th in 2nd Division

1955 CRA Town Bumps

  • 1st VIII started5th in 1st Division, went down four, finishing 9th
  • 2nd VIII started 17th in 1st Division, went down two, finishing 2nd in 2nd Division

1956 CRA Town Bumps

  • 1st VIII started 9th in 1st Division, went up one finishing 8th
  • 2nd VIII started 2nd in 2nd Division, went down four, finishing 6th in 2nd Division

1957 CRA Town Bumps

  • 1st VIII started 8th in 1st Division, went down one finishing 9th
  • 2nd VIII started top of 2nd Division, went down three, finishing 4th of 2nd Division
  • 3rd VIII started 9th in 2nd Division, went up two, finishing 11th in 2nd Division

1958 CRA Town Bumps

  • 1st VIII started 9th in 1st Division, went down one finishing 10th
  • 2nd VIII started top of 2nd Division, went down three, finishing 4th in 2nd Division
  • 3rd VIII started 9th in 2nd Division, went up two, finishing 7th in 2nd Division

1959 CRA Town Bumps

  • 1st VIII started10th in 1st Division, went up four winning their oars, finishing 6th
  • 2nd VIII started 3rd in 2nd Division, went up three, finishing 17th in 1st Division
  • 3rd VIII started 6th in 2nd Division, went down two, finishing 8th in 2nd Division

1960 CRA Town Bumps

  • 1st VIII started 6th in 1st Division, rowed over every night, finishing 6th
  • 2nd VIII started 17th in 1st Division, went up two, finishing 15th in 1st Division
  • 3rd VIII started 8th in 2nd Division, went up two, finishing 6th in 2nd Division
  • 4th VIII started 11th in 2nd Division, rowed ovdr very night, finishing 11th in 2nd Division

1961 CRA Town Bumps

  • 1st VIII started 6th in 1st Division, rowed over every night, finishing 6th
  • 2nd VIII started 14th in 1st Division, went up two, finishing 12th
  • 3rd VIII started 5th in 2nd Division, went up five winning oars, finishing 17th in 1st Division
  • 4th VIII started 8th in 2nd Division, went down 3, finishing 11th in 2nd Division

1962 CRA Town Bumps

  • 1st VIII started 6th in 1st Division, went up one finishing 5th
  • 2nd VIII started 12th in 1st Division, went down three, finishing 15th
  • 3rd VIII started 17th in 1st Division, went down one ad up one, finishing 17th in 1st Division
  • 4th VIII started 9th in 2nd Division, went down 4 and up 1, finishing 12th in 2nd Division

1963 CRA Town Bumps

  • 1st VIII started 5th in 1st Division, went down one finishing 6th
  • 2nd VIII started 15th in 1st Division, went up three, finishing 12th
  • 3rd VIII started 17th in 1st Division, went down three, finishing 3rd in 2nd Division
  • 4th VIII started 10th in 2nd Division, went down 2, finishing 12th in 2nd Division

1964 CRA Town Bumps

  • 1st VIII started 6th in 1st Division, went down one finishing 7th
  • 2nd VIII started 12th in 1st Division, went down four, finishing 2nd in 2nd Division
  • 3rd VIII started 6th in 2nd Division, went up one, finishing 5th in 2nd Division
  • 4th VIII started top of 3rd Division, went up three, finishing 12th in 2nd Division

1965 CRA Town Bumps

  • 1st VIII started 7th in 1st Division, went up one finishing 6th
  • 2nd VIII started 16th in 1st Division, went down one and up two, finishing 15th
  • 3rd VIII started 2nd in 2nd Division, went down four, finishing 6th in 2nd Division

My 1965 bumps chart is wrong re numbers

1966 CRA Town Bumps

  • 1st VIII started 5th in 1st Division, went down two, finishing 7th
  • 2nd VIII started 11th in 1st Division, went down four, finishing 15th
  • 3rd VIII started bottom of 2nd Division, went down two, finishing 2nd in 2nd Division

1967 CRA Town Bumps

  • 1st VIII started 7th in 1st Division, went down one finishing 8th
  • 2nd VIII started 14th in 1st Division, went down one and up one, finishing 14th

1968 CRA Town Bumps

  • 1st VIII started 8th in 1st Division, went up one and down two finishing 9th
  • 2nd VIII started 13th in 1st Division, went down one, finishing 14th
  • 3rd VIII started 8th in 2nd Division, went down one, finishing 9th in 2nd Division

1969 CRA Town Bumps

  • 1st VIII started 9th in 1st Division, went down one finishing 10th
  • 2nd VIII started 14th in 1st Division, went down three, finishing 2nd in 2nd Division

1970 CRA Town Bumps

  • 1st VIII started 10th in 1st Division, went up one, down one and up two finishing 8th

1971 CRA Town Bumps

  • 1st VIII started 8th in 1st Division, rowed over every night, finishing 8th

1972 CRA Town Bumps

  • 1st VIII started 8th in 1st Division, went up every night winning their oars, finishing 4th
  • 2nd VIII started 10th in 2nd Division, went up one and down one, finishing 10th in 2nd Division

1973 CRA Town Bumps

  • 1st VIII started 4th in 1st Division, went up two, finishing 2nd
  • 2nd VIII started 9th in 2nd Division, went up two, finishing 7th in 2nd Division
  • 3rd VIII started 14th in 2nd Division, went down four, finishing 3rd in 3rd Division

1974 CRA Town Bumps

  • 1st VIII started 2nd in 1st Division, went down two finishing 4th
  • 2nd VIII started 7th in 2nd Division, went down four, finishing 11th
  • 3rd VIII started 3rd in 3rd Division, went down two and up one, finishing 4th in 3rd Division

1975 CRA Town Bumps

  • 1st VIII started 4th in 1st Division, rowed over every night, finishing 4th
  • 2nd VIII started 10th in 2nd Division, went up two, finishing 8th in 2nd Division
  • 3rd VIII started 2nd in 2nd Division, went up three, finishing 13th in 2nd Division

1976 CRA Town Bumps

  • 1st VIII started 4th in 1st Division, went down four, finishing 8th
  • 2nd VIII started 9th in 2nd Division, went up one, down one,up one  finishing 8th in 2nd Division

1977 CRA Town Bumps

  • 1st VIII started 7th in 1st Division, went down three, finishing 10th
  • 2nd VIII started 10th in 2nd Division, went down four, finishing 14th in 2nd Division
  • 3rd VIII started 10th in 3rd Division, went down two and up one, finishing 11th in 3rd Division

1978 CRA Town Bumps

  • 1st VIII started 10th in 1st Division, went down three and up one finishing 12th
  • 2nd VIII started 15th in 2nd Division, went up two, finishing 13th in 2nd Division
  • 3rd VIII started 12th in 3rd Division, went up four winning their oars, finishing 8th in 3rd Division

1979 CRA Town Bumps

  • 1st VIII started 12th in 1st Division, went down four, finishing 16th

This was the last year the Scouts rowing on the Town Bumps and indeed the Club closed later that year.

From ‘1962 booklet’ Records of boat club – Cambridgeshire Collection c.38

  • Winner of Albert Pamplin Cup           1931 & 1939
  • Holder of Head of the River Plate      1931, 1939 & 1947
  • Winner of Junior & Senior 4s              1947
  • Winner of CRA Maiden 4                    1957 & 1961

JWR Archivist Nov 2019