Club history

Lea Rowing Club History – Enhance Lea’s identity through historical heritage

Rowing was at its most popular in the 1860s, when Spring Hill was the “Henley of the Lea”; at the August regatta in 1869 tradesmen raced from Willow point for money prizes and amateurs, including Hackney rowing club, for trophies.

Processions of boats marked the opening and close of the season. Many clubs are short-lived; at least 22 with boathouses in Hackney were defunct in 1899, although a few had changed names and were among the 39 active clubs, 20 of them amateur and 19 of them tradesmen’s. Most were affiliated to the Amateur Rowing Association of 1879 or the Tradesmen’s Rowing Club Association of 1882, or to branches which had been formed for the Lea.

The North London Amateur Rowing Association used Tyrrell’s boathouse, originally a boat-building workshop, at Spring Hill, as did at least 7 of the 16 other clubs listed, in 1953. Lee Valley regional park authority, established in 1967, redeveloped Radley’s yard as Springfield marina in 1969.

Considerations:

– Lea boat-building history: Tyrrell boat builders on the site
– Rowing heritage: up to 40 clubs on the Lea
– Trophy cabinet: catalogue of achievements
– Clubroom photographs: historical record
– What makes Lea “The Lea”?

Click here to download a pdf summary of lessons which can be leant from other London-area rowing club redevelopment projects.

Head of the River 1982

Head of the River 1982

Lea Rowing Club, c1914

Lea Rowing Club, c1914

Trophies from past races

Trophies from past races