Boat Club colours are a source of great pride- members of 1st VIIIs can wear them to show both their achievements and their sense of belonging with the other members of their crews. There is a sense of sharing a connection through time when these traditions are passed down year by year, and the sight of a Mays or Lents 1st VIII bow tie, or a Mays blazer, at alumni events manifests that sense of a community held together by their passion for this mad sport. Below, we see both the 1949 Boat Club and the 1977 Lents crew posing with two things in common: (1) the smiles that people wear when they have bonded as a crew by waking up horrendously early several times a week and propelling a heavy boat down a river using every muscle in their bodies, for fun, and (2) boat club wraps: woollen scarves in maroon for Lents 1st VIIIs and gold for Mays 1st VIIIs.
These boat club wraps seemed to disappear at some point in time, the tradition dissipating- we’re not quite sure when, but suddenly they weren’t around any more. Bow ties were still awarded to the men who rowed in M1, with silk in different patterns for Lents and Mays. The women of W1 were now awarded their 1st VIII colours in the form of silk garters in the SCBC colours.
That is, until 2015. The women of SCBC decided that it was time for a change- not to something new, but to something old. We wanted something more visible and, quite frankly, less sexist, something which would honour the athletic achievements of women in the 1st VIII equally with their male peers. Ryder & Amies informed us that they still had the design for the SCBC wraps in their records and would be delighted to start producing them again. We told them we would be similarly delighted if they did so. And so the wraps are back, for good this time.
We’re happy to inform any women or men who are eligible for Lents or Mays 1st VIII colours (including those who have now left Selwyn) that they can buy the wraps from Ryder & Amies directly, or can contact the boat club to be included in the next order.