After another fantastic performance from the British crews in the 2012 Olympics, there is no better time to be part of the fervour that has spread throughout British Sport and take up the wonderful sport of rowing and sculling!
Due to the successes of Sir Steve Redgrave, the annual University Boat Race and the Henley Royal Regatta, rowing is a sport that many people have heard of but have unfortunately never had the opportunity to try.
"If you are a philosopher, and not in too much of a hurry to stop and dream a little, picture yourself as an oarsman, in the calm of early evening ...gliding along through the clear water, arms, legs and back moving in near perfect rhythm, the silence complete but for the regular click of the oars in the oarlocks, and the water rippling and swirling away from the shell... Your silent passage discharges no poisons on the water nor harms a living thing. You will not be in a hurry, for you are already where you want to be. You will not be bored, for the challenge of the river is eternal. You will not be worried, for there is no room in the boat for the heavy burdens of life ashore...You will feel humble in the grandeur of your surroundings, but you will be envious of no man. You will be completely alone, but not lonely. You will have an inner glow...that cannot be duplicated. You will be living......."
(From ‘A life in the slow lane’ by Arthur E. Martin)
Being a historic riverside town, Erith has always had a close affinity with rowing, from the wherries used to unload ships in the Middle Ages right through to Erith Rowing Club’s racing activities of the present day. Many older residents of the town can remember the Erith Town Regatta, which started in the 1890s and was held each August Bank Holiday until the 1950s. Local Social Clubs, pubs and firms from the area would have a few scoops and race each other regularly at weekends. There was always great competition between the apprentices of Frasers and Vickers with big write-ups in the local papers. Erith Rowing Club was founded in 1943 and remains the only Rowing Club on the Thames between Greenwich, and the last club on the estuary at Gravesend.
Since its foundation the Club has always welcomed members from all walks of life and all levels of society. Erith Rowing Club has taught many people from different and diverse backgrounds and occupations to row and race with considerable success but with little publicity. There is an excellent fleet of boats catering for men and women of all shapes, sizes and ages and all levels of expertise from complete novices to those who may have experienced the sport at university and want to continue it into their later lives. Club members compete right across the country in different regattas and head races and we are a regular supporter of events in the surrounding area - particularly on the Medway at Maidstone where it has had many successes. Erith Rowing Club has entered crews at Henley Royal Regatta and a former member represented Australia in the Olympics.
The Club has a number of experienced and friendly coaches. We use Danson Lake in Danson Park (just off the A2 at Bexleyheath), to teach people to scull and row before they can take their new skills onto the awesome and expansive Thames at Erith.
There is a smart, modern Clubhouse on the High Street at Erith, where winter circuit training takes place on several evenings a week and where we congregate for weekend outings. The Clubhouse is next to the causeway for easy access to the river. There is plenty of parking nearby and we’ve always got the kettle on!