The decision was made to start a rowing club in the Lake District. Sites for the rowing club were sought.
The club, Lakeland Rowing Club (LRC) was formally set up with 11 members, affiliated to and with a constitution based on the Amateur Rowing Association (ARA - now British Rowing). Second-hand boats were acquired.
A pair of stable quadruple skullers were ordered and used from a temporary site at Cunsey, Windermere. Plans were drawn up for a site on Bassenthwaite.
The local planning authority said that the plans for the site on Bassenthwaite would not be approved.
Derwent Water Marina, Portinscale agreed to keep the boats at the marina. Some boats were moved from Cunsey to Portinscale.
Still only 11 members.
Only 12 full members. Fees did not cover costs. Limited activity due to poor conditions. Some boats unused at Cunsey for three years. No progress with the Bassenthwaite plans.
Subscriptions increased. Some boats sold. Cunsey site abandoned. Following pro-active recruitment, membership picks up.
Three members qualified as 'Learn to Row' instructors.
Second site established at Fell Foot Park at the south end of Windermere, and Lakeland South is established.
Membership expands to approximately 50 at each site. Two members became fully-qualified UKCC Level 2 coaches. Links established to Keswick School (North). LRC crews row in regional regattas and head-to-head river races.
In July, LRC North joins forces with the National Trust to run the Lakeland Sprint Races at the 2015 Derwentwater Regatta. In August, LRC South organise a Sunday League regatta.
Lakeland South becomes an independent club: Windermere Rowing Club, and Lakeland Rowing Club remains in Keswick.
Up until 2007 there were no rowing clubs between Brampton and Lancaster, a distance of hundreds of square miles, stretching to the West Cumbrian Coast, and including some of the most beautiful stretches of water in the Lake District.
Lakeland Rowing Club was set up by a small group of rowers in retirement in 2007. The club remained a small and relatively unknown entity for many years, stuggling, for the most part, to find a suitable site whereby the could establish a permanent club base.
For many years, LRC rowed on both Windermere in the South Lakes and Bassenthwaite Lake in the North, storing boats at home and transporting them between sites wherever necessary.
Eventually, thanks to the hard work and determination of the original members, membership at the club begain to steadily increase, and as it did, a base was established at Derwent Water Marina in the North of the Lake District, and a second site at Fell Foot Park on Windermere estalished for its members in the South.
By 2015 the club had sufficient members using both Derwentwater and Windermere that it was decided to split into two independent clubs: with Lakeland Rowing Club continuing to operate on Derwentwater and the South Lakes members becoming Windermere Rowing Club in January 2016.
To date, no permanant site has been found, but Lakeland Rowing Club is happy to call Derwentwater our home and we are immensley grateful to our hosts at Derwent Water Marina for allowing us to make use of their excellent facilities whilst the club is still is in its infancy.
Today, we have a thriving rowing club with juniors, womens, mens and masters sections. We have an ongoing programme of Learn to Row courses, which teaches both adults and juniors from the local area to learn to row, with satellite club links to both Keswick School and Cockermouth School.
Across the membership we have a wide range of ages and abilities from 16 to 76. There are those who wish simply to be recreational rowers and enjoy the simple pleasures of rowing amidst stunning scenery, to those who choose to move into competitive rowing, enter regattas and train accordingly.
More members means more boats, and the club is now in the process of trying to raise funds for new boats, a safety boat to aid coaching, and a new trailer to transport our boats to more competitions.
Our search for our forever home is ongoing, and our dream is that one day we will be able to establish a permanant base and setup clubhouse facilities on the shores of Derwentwater.
LRC Founding Fathers: (top left to right) Ian Hill, Roger Heise and John Knox, (bottom) Nick Cowan.
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