Levelling the Boathouse

After the date for work to begin on the boathouse was pushed back yet again this Easter term just gone, we were starting to wonder if it would ever start at all- if it had all been an elaborate ruse to distract us, or something. We had moved our boats to racks on the grass outside at the very beginning of the term, expecting bulldozers and cranes to move in the next week, but six weeks passed without event. Then came Bumps Week. Some boat clubs might have struggled in response to having their electricity suddenly turned off in the middle of Bumps, but not SCBC- we powered through, and sure enough work on the boathouse had begun.

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New racking arrangements

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“Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain”

The site was levelled at the beginning of the summer, and construction fencing built around the place where the Combined Boathouses once stood. Work has been gradual but constant- the old building torn down and the rubble removed, the site flattened, plumbing plumbed (yes, my technical knowledge of construction has no bounds). A couple of weeks ago I was greeted at the boathouse by a cheerful Roland- ‘We have water now!’

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The remains of the boathouse

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A week later, the rubble has been cleared

If everything goes to plan, we’ll have a new, shiny boathouse ready for use by the end of next Easter, complete with a shared erg room, college May Rooms, showers and changing rooms and a kitchenette for making that essential hot cuppa post-February-outing. Our last Mays campaign was rowed from racks on the grass and oars stacked in a metal storage container without much grief, but winter will be a very different situation; one of our main challenges will be to keep everyone (in particular, novices) motivated after outings in cold and rain when we can’t retreat to a warm May Room afterwards. That said, the difficulties we might have in rowing without a boathouse for one year are made worth it by the prospect of a fantastic new boathouse that Selwynites will be able to enjoy in years to come.

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