Gig steals show at rowing club dinner

WHITBY Fishermen’s Rowing Club held its annual dinner and dance in October at the Stables Restaurant.

The evening was a continuation of the club’s 75th anniversary year and invited guests included members of Whitby Regatta, Friendship Rowing Club and Scarborough Rowing Club.

Three presentations were made by captain Alan Brown. Junior member of the year was presented to Leah Hunter. Coxswain Cup for most points awarded was presented to Kirsty Kemsley.

The Cooper Cup for the member who gives their time and contributes ideas and efforts for the club was presented to Jean Furgus.

All three received an engraved silver platter each.

A special anniversary cake featuring the club badge and iced in club colours, was cut by club captain Alan Brown, who said it was a privilege to cut the cake on behalf of all members and thanked everyone for an enjoyable season.

Members had a surprise when entering the venue – a new rowing gig had been secretly transported into The Stables from Goathland especially for the evening. It was built by Dave Winspear of Goathland for the club over the year.

The following Sunday, 7 October, made for a perfect day to christen the new gig, sunny and dry.

The gig was outside bathed in sunshine and looked the part.

Jack Lowther, a long and distinguished member of the club, acquired the gig to present to the club.

Jack’s son-in-law Stephen Crabtree, a past captain of the club, spoke on Jack’s behalf, saying how proud the family and Jack were to be able to present the club with a new gig, especially in the 75th year, and wished all members success in her.

The bill of sale was given to chairman Barry Brown, in turn Barry gave it to captain Alan Brown.

Alan thanked Jack on behalf of all members for such a generous gift and said that with it being the 75th year it made it really special.

He said how honoured and privileged he was as captain bringing another gig into the club for all members.

The gig had a traditional naming by pouring champagne on the bow and over the name Louise L in memory of Jack’s late wife Lou.

Both Jack and Lou have a long history with rowing and family members in both Fishermen’s and Friendship clubs.

All new gigs when christened display a pennant designed individually for each gig. Louise L displayed a No 75 in blue on a white background with gold embroidery edge.

Louise L’s crew had been made up of Jack’s family, Stephen Crabtree, Lee Crabtree, Josh Crabtree, John Lowther, coxswain club president Martin Reynolds. The crew rowed Louise L in the harbour to finish a very enjoyable day for all members and guests.

On 2 November the club held its AGM.

Reports read out by committee members included secretary and treasurer’s reports.

Captain Alan Brown reported on the past season and how much of a buzz there is within the club.

Membership has increased and plans are in motion to improve both the club house and storage of gigs within the boat house.

The boat house is being used as a gym, training area, with a variety of equipment and machine to allow members to prepare for the next season and hopefully be fitter and stronger, ready for the start of the next season.

This is a plan which has been talked about for several years and how has finally happened.

Some boats are in storage while others have been maintained within the club and elsewhere.

All the work is only possible by the hard work done by members working within the club, but mainly by members raising funds to allow improvements and maintenance.

The club is looking to acquire a building or shed large enough to hold several gigs, in order to store and maintain gigs all year round.

Barry Brown said: “We need such a place to repair and maintain boats and also for members and non-members to help learn how to build/repair these traditional gigs within the area in order to keep the tradition of gig rowing for the future.”

If any member or members of the public know of such a building either to rent, lease or for free to use, contact the club or ring (01947) 601659.