ON THIS DAY – Episode 15

Club historian and founder member Mike McD writes: Ten years ago today, a rowing club was born.

SCRP-Q held the Public Meeting ‘to determine whether there is sufficient support to set up a Rowing Club in Queensferry, and if so, to elect a committee and office-bearers.’

24 people attended, with apologies from 3. After a brief summary of the project to date, and thanks to the builders – John Watson and Malcolm Meikle, Mike McD introduced members of Boatie Blest from Cockenzie and Port Seton. They told us how their first boat, Boatie Rows, was funded and built, enhancing community spirit. Their Club now had 60 members.

The resolution to start a Rowing Club was proposed and unanimously agreed. It was suggested that the name should contain the word ‘Community’. After discussion, ‘Queensferry Rowing Club – A Community Project’ was agreed

The only office-bearer nomination was for Treasurer – Peter Locke. The following Committee were elected – Siobhan Johnson, Denise Havard, Alan Meldrum, Billy Scott, Neil McPhail and Graham Sutherland. It was agreed that all meeting attendees were ‘members’.

The dates for future events including the launch were reported as well as the six local Regattas that we had agreed to take part in.

The Rowing Club committee were thereafter invited to attend SCRP-Q committee meetings. The next to be on 7th March.

Happy birthday QRC!

Club captain Dónal writes: I felt it would be remiss of me to let today go without putting out an email regarding the foundation of our Club. Thanks to Mike McDowall for posting the on-this-day emails, they have been very interesting.

With today being the Birthday of the Club it has been a shame that we haven’t been able to get the boats out on the water to have a proper celebration with a Row under the now three Bridges.

The Zoom “virtual shed” back in March – still held every Saturday at 10am

We should thank the founding members of the Club and the first Committee for getting the Club together and making sure that the Community were involved from the outset. On a personal level the Club gave me the opportunity to feel part of the Community shortly after I moved to Queensferry, for which I will be forever grateful.

Early members at the very start of the QRC project

The Club has given us the opportunity to travel the length and breadth of Scotland competing in many Regattas with varying degrees of success, this has also included three World Championships, one of which was overseas.  

The last ten years has seen the Club grow with members coming and going as the years progressed. Unfortunately we also lost some of the members and great characters of the Club. Founding member and first Vice Captain, Alan Meldrum, Andy Jarvis and John Gray, RIP.

Andy, second from left, on a jaunt on the Forth back in 2016

We look forward to the next ten years of Rowing in our idyllic spot on the Forth and reacquainting ourselves with the Skiff Community throughout Scotland and beyond, of course the Next World Championships are in the Netherlands so that is something to mark in the diary.

Competing at Woudrichem in the Netherlands in 2017

The strength of the Club at present is testament to the members and their desire to see it succeed. We have a vast array of talent capable of promoting the Club and raising funds when necessary and for this we are very lucky.

Of course I couldn’t let this email go without mentioning that QRC shares its Birthday with a member of the Club, as it’s Sharon Homan-James’ Birthday today too. Perhaps next year we can have a joint celebration on the day. 😊    

Happy Rowing everyone (Eventually)

ON THIS DAY – Episode 14


Mike McD writes: The Project committee held their 11th meeting tonight, when it was noted that the boat had had its final coat of varnish and was now complete (see below). During the day we had a visit from a very enthusiastic Echline Primary 3 and their teacher, Miss McCulloch. In the following weeks they sent us drawings of the boat which we put on display, and suggestions for names which went into the ‘hat’.

Photo by Mike McDowall

We discussed the final arrangements for holding a Public Meeting on the 22nd, to start a Rowing Club, and agreed that the present Project committee would continue until the AGM in June. it was agreed that we would invite members of Port Seton to the meeting to describe their experience of forming a Club. While John H was still looking for a suitable trailer, Stuart offered the use of his trailer so that we could put the boat outside on the Saturday before the meeting.

On the matter of oars, Mike had been given a contact at Edinburgh Rowing Club by David Rennie, a member of QBC, about some old/broken oars in a store at Broxburn. (We subsequently picked up 10 oars for a small donation.) Mike had also arranged to buy six lengths of timber from Inzievar, Fife, which Ranald and he later collected.

We also discussed the programme for the official Launch and naming ceremony on Sunday 17th April, with invites to be sent out by 4th March. This would be preceeded by a parade of the boat round the town, and a Ceilidh on the Saturday night. We also planned for another music night on 4th March (Music to Rock your Boat 2) to keep the funds coming in.

Ranald and Mike had been exploring Port Edgar, and found an empty shed in an ideal location. They would make further enquires with the Council..

Your club needs you!

Marianne writes: Below is the subgroup paper that went to the Committee at the last meeting for your input.  

Your Actions Are:

  1. review membership
  2. sign up for subgroups

  The point of this exercise is to update the groups, so let me know using hollycherry1004@hotmail.co.uk where your name should/shouldn’t appear and I’ll amend the paper so we have an accurate record.  Feel free to give yourself a new challenge and join a new group!

Subgroups are a valuable way of getting tasks done, and allow club members to use their skills, expertise and enthusiasm to contribute positively to the Club. Some subgroups will be permanent (standing subgroups such as the Technical subgroup), others may be time-limited to tackle specific tasks, e.g. Regatta subgroup.

Guidelines for operation of subgroups
All subgroups must:

  1. be approved by the Committee;
  2. be open to all members to join;
  3. report to each Committee meeting by email (nil return is fine) via a nominated person;
  4. ensure ALL expenditure is approved by the Committee prior to spending (and receipts provided to the Treasurer).

Prior to the AGM, all subgroups will submit a report of the year. It will be up to the new Committee to re-establish subgroups as required, though most groups are likely to continue.

The existing groups are:

1. TnT Group
(Technique and
To develop and improve club training activities. Crew selection for regattas etc. Anne P, Anne F, Mel, Marianne, Maria, Lesley
2. Cox/Skipper
To advance cox and skipper skills.Peter, Rachel H, Mike McD, John H, Donna, Rory
3. ITTo support the club in IT mattersMike B, Barbara
4. Social/fundraisingTo organise social and fundraising events.Lorna, Tracey, Val, Steph, Marianne
5. TechnicalTo carry out boat and accommodation maintenance and repairs as well as alterations, improvements, additions etc.Anne F, Steph, Mike B, Mark, Douglas, Alistair, John H, Keith, Alan S
6. QRC Regatta/ RowAroundTo organise the QRC regatta/ RowAroundDónal, Stevie W
7. Youth
To develop and promote youth rowing, and the integration of youth rowers into club life.Peter, Louise, Rachel H, Marianne, Dónal
8. GreeningTo continue and coordinate club greening effortsRachel, Keith, Stevie W, Gabe
9. Club DevelopmentTo investigate and make proposals for: amending constitution, SCIO charitable status, funding options, new premisesAlan S, Steph, Anne F, Beth, Keith
10. QRC 10th
To mark this milestone in the club’s history.Dónal, Peter, Stevie W

The Return to Rowing group will continue as John H, Maria, Anne P, Anne F, Marianne, Dónal. The remit will remain to be ‘to establish and revise Covid-19 procedures and protocols with respect to rowing and the Shed’.