A SPLASH was made to mark the 90th birthday of Stratford Boat Club stalwart Bill Collins.
Down the decades Bill served as captain, honorary secretary in the 1980s, was president in the early 90s, and also coxed, competed and coached for many years.
Bill, an expert in heraldry and local history, taught for many years at Henley in Arden High School.
One of Bill’s many legacies was a history of Stratford Boat Club from its inception in 1874 through until 1974, and a copy is lodged with the River and Rowing Museum at Henley on Thames.
Bill was also instrumental in the organisation of the Ball Cup South, encouraging local school entries
A surprise party at the club this week was attended by many former rowers and friends who had trained and competed with Bill over the years
Bill and wife Gwen lived in Stratford for many years before moving to Lincolnshire to be close to his family, daughter Kate and son Giles, and four great grandchildren, and soon to be five.
Current club president Paul Stanton said: “We celebrate almost weekly the successes of today’s club athletes – it is a useful lesson to remind ourselves that such success is built on the hard work not only of the current coaches and the athletes themselves but also the efforts of those more senior club members who paved the way to the club’s early and continued dominance and gave us an example of sportsmanship and camaraderie. Their example is still very much alive today”