The Final Practice Row

Last Sunday was the final practice. Reading Rowing Club is closed on Thursday because of the Reading Festival. Sad that some people attending a music festival thing it is an occasion to practice  their vandalism skills. Where are the days of the hippies?

Hugh Ellins

The last row passed without collision but not without incident.  Regretfully one of the seats broke so that instead of sliding back and forth in conjunction with the rower’s stroke poor Warren was left with his knees in close proximity to his ears. That necessitated the bow pair to gently row us back to base.  After much head scratching and with the assistance of a knowledgeable member of the rowing club we got a replacement seat and away we merrily went on our way.

Our way consisted of several trips over the same couple of miles of the Thames. A stretch, by now well known to us. Whether loved I leave open.  Our efforts over the last few weeks have resulted in us now resembling a crew of rowers. The blades going into the water and coming out at the same time.  In Out In Out. The sound of John Snagg resonates in my ears. That was true until the young Turks decided that they wanted to see  if they could row the boat  at  10 miles an hour.  On that  occasion I was the cox. “On the Stroke” I call.  “3,2,1 Row “ I shout in a fair imitation of the Great  British Bake Off.  Away we went the boat almost shuddering with the strain. Looked impressive for about five strokes and then the timing went a little awry. As the timing went awry  so the water  was splashed. The rowers and cox got  wet and the Thames placid surface became distinctly ruffled. The  Old Man of the Thames  was obviously  unhappy so  we  went to our  more accustomed rhythm and peace descended.

After the session we undid all the good done by retiring to the nearby bar to partake of liquid   refreshment and to do some bonding.

Now to the main event next  Saturday. There is still plenty of time to give if you haven’t and would like to. The address is The NSPCC needs the  money which is what this is all about.

Hugh Ellins

20.08 2019