Wolfson College Boat Club's Tom Davies reflects on the club's first 50 years

Wolfson College Boat Club's shared boat house
Wolfson College Boat Club's shared boat house

The College having been founded in 1965, John Shaw, a Fellow of University College (to become Wolfson), founded the Boat Club in 1968. At this time there was very little rowing by members, and no opportunity for women to row or take part in college races at all. The bumps did not include mixed crews, and Wolfson was a mixed College, and had very few students, male or female, who were able or interested in rowing. Therefore WCBC had no option to have a mixed crew, and the Colleges (CUCBC) did not have events for women or mixed crews to enter.

By 1969 things had changed and mixed crews were allowed, and thus started Wolfson’s appearance in the records. By 1973 women’s divisions were created and mixed crews were no longer allowed, but by this stage men’s and women’s Wolfson crews existed, although a long way down the river. However, once established, all crews climbed up the order, and development increased, and boats and crews moved into boathouse of their own in 1993.

Since then, numbers and achievement in all crews has resulted in them taking their places in the ranking of College crews. The increase in the number of boats was almost entirely achieved because of generous donors, who included Lloyds Bank, The Sports and the Arts Foundation, Alan and Custis Wright, Elizabeth Friedman and Henry Rogers. There were equally generous donors who preferred not to have their names published.