Cambridge District Scout Archive
The Cambridge Scouts’ Boat Club started in 1923 and became affiliated to the CRA. No further races are listed after 1979.
The bumps are used to enable many crews to race along the narrow river Cam. The Cambridgeshire Rowing Association (CRA) organises the non University clubs in and around Cambridge. The boats start 1.5 boat lengths apart and attempt to ‘bump’ the one ahead.
The positions shown are at the end of racing that year.
In 1949 Scouts’ III moved from Division 2 to Division 1 being the ‘Sandwich’ Boat. This boat rows twice on one day
The following results have been taken from History of Cantabrigian (Cantabs) Rowing Club 1950 – 2010 by Ken Drake. I am very grateful for his careful recording in this work.
The positions in the following chart are those at the end of the season’s four races.
Each boat starts where they ended the previous year. Should a boat higher in the list not re-enter then the remaining boats below will move up one. This explains the discrepancies. New entrants start at the bottom of the divisions, boats can move between divisions during the competition.
Four races are held each year and the maximum gain is generally + 4, the maximum loss – 4, as highlighted. Occasionally over bumps occur but they are not generally possible (see Old Cantabs on the sample chart below)
- Blades or Oars The accolade of earning ‘blades’ (referring to the rowing oars used by crews) is given to crews that bump up on every day of the bumps. Crews that achieve blades are given the opportunity to purchase decorated oars. See Scouts II 1924, the second year of racing and ‘Earning their oars’.
- Head of the River The ultimate aim is to try and finish Head of the River (or gaining the ‘Headship’), i.e. 1st position in division 1.
- ‘Went head’ Said of the crew moving into overall 1st place. They may be bumped back before the last round and not be Head of the River, as Scouts’ I was in 1933
Sample race card from 1954 showing Scouts (some years labelled Scouts’ 1) being caught (bumped) in their second race but staying ahead in the first, third and fourth. They did not bump the boat ahead.
Scout 2 were bumped in their fourth race and also dropped a place, Scout 3 were bumped in the first three races but not the fourth and dropped three places.
Also in this year
- Central OB – Earned their ‘Oars or Blades’ by bumping the boat ahead on each of the four days
- City and 99 – Rowed over; were neither bumped nor bumped anyone
- Rob Roy 2 – were bumped four times and became eligible for a (unofficial) wooden spoon
The Time Races began in 1930.
|Fastest||Scouts I||Scouts II||Scouts II||Scouts IV|
|1930||10.21||6th 10.43||5th 10.42||12th 12.10|
The Time Races are run two weeks ahead of the Town Bumps and it was the Scouts winning this event that focussed interest on them ahead of the 1931 Bumps.
The course changed a number of times and in 1967 the divisions were split by shell or clinker built boats. Novice crews were placed in a separate category in 1973 and 1974. The Race ended in 1975.
No longer held after this date
Scouts’ Boat Club
- 1973 won Novice division
- 1975 2nd in Novice division – won pennant Bill Key rowing at No. 5
- 1958 and 1961 2nd boat beat 1st boat
This is a race against the clock – three separate races with a combined overall time. It was introduced by John Newman of the Cambridge Scout Boat Club to give focus to winter work and two events were held in 1967 which lead to the start of the league. It is still run today.
JWR Archivist Nov 2019