History of the club

WSPC is one of the best kept sporting secrets in the area, but we’d like to change that by introducing more people to what we have to offer. Formed by a group of keen river sports enthusiasts back in the summer of 1931, the objectives of the Club were to promote and encourage the traditional sports of racing in Thames skiffs and punts, and this is still true today.

The end of the 100 mile row in 1977 with our most senior members in the boats. To celebrate opening of the “new” (now previous) clubhouse on Runnymede.

The end of the 100 mile row in 1977 with our most senior members in the boats. Celebrating the opening of the “new” (now previous) clubhouse on Runnymede.

The Club still uses equipment donated by its first benefactor Eric Haines of Haines Boatyard on the Straight Road in Old Windsor, who provided a clubhouse and both skiffs and punts before the Club could buy its own.

Why Wraysbury? The minutes of the first meeting shed no light on this question and the Club has never actually been located in Wraysbury, always being on the opposite bank. Perhaps those who lived in Wraysbury held the majority at this meeting.

In 1975, the Club left Old Windsor and relocated some two miles downstream to its current location on a picturesque site adjoining the historic Runnymede Pleasure Grounds, the site of the signing of the Magna Carta.

English: Wraysbury Skiff and Punting Club boat...

English: Wraysbury Skiff and Punting Club boat house on the River Thames (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In 2007, the Club opened its new modern purpose-built clubhouse and boathouse, providing a valuable sports facility to the Borough of Runnymede and the surrounding area.

The Club is first and foremost a racing club and participates in leagues for all three sports offered; skiffing, punting and dragon boat racing. The skiffing and punting season runs from May through to October, when some 20 regattas are held at various locations between Henley and Teddington on the River Thames. The season starts and ends with long distance races with the town and club regattas offering sprint racing in the middle part. The Club hosts 4 of these regattas (2 town, 1 Club and 1 long distance) the oldest of which, Egham Amateur Regatta, dates back to 1909.

9 Comments on “History of the club”

  1. Karl Rubinstein
    October 15, 2015 at 5:55 pm #

    I was a member around 1957, and or 8 and or 9. I’m an American and was there as a military dependent living in Old Windsor. I was coaxed into the club by my fellow American Richard (Dick) Cunliffe, who was a very good punter. I wasn’t very active, but was just writing a little article for a different publication and, since I was mentioning Dick, I wanted to check the spelling of the club’s name. As a bonus, I discovered this web site. Glad to learn the boats still float.

    • Jeeves
      October 15, 2015 at 6:45 pm #

      Thank you for contacting us. It is really good to hear from past members from around the world. If you ever come back to UK please dropdown and admire our ‘new’ clubhouse! If you have any photos of the old days we would be delighted to have copies – we’re always trying to document the long history of the club.

    • September 14, 2016 at 9:54 pm #

      I was friends with Richard. Joan Williams nee Creedon sent me a cutting from the Windsor & Eton Express showing me Richard, Joan and Judy Clinch on the WSPC float in the Old Windsor Carnival.

  2. Marilyn Morris
    August 4, 2015 at 9:58 am #

    I used to spend time at the club house in the 1960s and I remember going to lots of regattas. I won a punting race once but only because I was the only competitor and I completed the course!
    I remember Ivan Jones. Did his brother Murray row?
    It would be great to hear if anyone else has memories of those days.

    • Jeeves
      August 9, 2015 at 10:56 am #

      Ivan & Murray are certainly active at the club and many from that time are still members. Murray was at the regatta yesterday (Wraysbury & Old Windsor) and works with dragonboating and Ivan continues to do a great job coaching skiffing at all levels. I’ll make sure they see your comment.

    • John Wakley
      September 14, 2016 at 5:36 pm #

      Murray stopped skiff shoving when he joined the Army. He did many things in the Royal Corps of Transport including working with the Ghurka Transport Regiment and becoming a “Ship Driver” ie a Captain in the Army Fleet (Royal Fleet Auxilary). During an exercise in Germany (I was an RCT(V) Officer) we met up in a forest barn at one o’clock in the morning for a brief chat after many years. During the first Gulf War I worked in Colchester and met a fellow “Ship Driver” who allowed me a brief computer contact with him in Nepal where he was a welfare Officer.

  3. Bob Allen
    July 8, 2013 at 12:45 pm #

    Equally I was a member joining in 1963 to 1973 when the club was in Straight Road, Old Windsor. I cannot remember much other than the bar was often frequented by John Crevald whom had the chandlers next door and possibly John Treasure who was on the committee. I certainly could not keep up with a) the training and b) the drinking, I was very young at the time. I often coxed the club 8 being very light and was taught how to punt. Great times
    I’m rowing the Great River Race this year Sept 7th comemorating 50 years since I started rowing at WSPC, would love to hear from somebody at the club or simply make contact

  4. Sheila
    June 21, 2013 at 2:32 pm #

    I was an active member back in the early 70’s, but for the life of me I can’t remember the names of the guys who ran the club (chairman etc.). I can only remember Ivan Jones whom I partnered once or twice. Any additional info to your history would be great.

    • November 5, 2016 at 5:08 pm #

      Maimy(?) Wheller comes from the back of my old brain.

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