8th Dec, 2016

Boat from Second World War moved out of storage

Stratford Editorial 25th Dec, 2015 Updated: 28th Oct, 2016

ROWERS in Stratford have finally had to deal with the problem of the boat in the loft.

Work has just started on a £440,000 revamp of Stratford Boat Club, but before it got underway members had to clear out the headquarters on the banks of the Avon, including moving out the coxed pair boat which is at least 70 year-old.

Committee member Glynn Hawkins said: “We’ve always known that there was a boat in the loft but the drama of getting her out has stopped us over the years from doing anything about her.

“How on earth our forefathers got her into the loft all those many years ago or why the put her up there, no one knows!”

After much thought, planning and head scratching, out came the saws, crowbars and rope. A large hole was cut in the ceiling and the boat was manhandled down into the club room, out through a narrow fire door, ready for the final descent.

“We had a few anxious moments as we lowered the boat down from the first floor balcony,” said Captain of Boats Oliver Smith.

“After proper inspection in daylight, we found that we had a traditional and historic coxed pair, something that is comparatively rare and unusual in modern rowing. Sadly, we won’t be adding her to our current fleet.”

After cleaning, the name ‘Cordelia’ was uncovered. The club has a long tradition of naming their boats after women sprites, spirits and fairies in Shakespeare’s plays.

The boat was put in the loft soon after the end of the Second World War and has been there ever since. The plan ios to sell it, with proceeds going towards the revamp, but the club is keen to first found out more about it.

Anyone with information about the boat is urged to email glyn.hawkins@btinternet.com