Century of regattas recalled at Bideford exhibition

TIME and tide wait for no man, but Bideford s rowers have turned the clock back with their exhibition at the Burton Art Gallery, which opened on Saturday. More than 100 years of regattas and rowing in the town and glimpses of the carnivals which have acc

TIME and tide wait for no man, but Bideford's rowers have turned the clock back with their exhibition at the Burton Art Gallery, which opened on Saturday.

More than 100 years of regattas and rowing in the town and glimpses of the carnivals which have accompanied them are captured in pictures and memorabilia drawn together by local friendly rivals Bideford Amateur Rowing Club and Bideford Amateur Athletic Club, with the help of local people.

Scenes of yesterday show just what a prominent role the regattas played in the life of the town, with huge crowds lining the banks of the river to watch the spectacle.

There are prestigious trophies on display and pictures of famous victories, highlighted by the Bideford Reds crew who won the National Senior Fours Championship in 1955, and scenes of memorable moments for a host of other local crews and local athletes in the Blues' Harriers section.


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Less familiar scenes include those of the once-popular horse racing on the sands at low tide.

The fate of one poor Herman Richards in 1860 highlights just how important the annual event was viewed. He was prosecuted for causing a bow wave with his vessel, which interfered with a boat, and fined 45 shillings and made to have a public apology published in the local paper!

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Burton curator Warren Cullum said this was a social history exhibition, showing the rich history of the rowing clubs and their important part in the Bideford community."

The rowing and regatta exhibition runs until September 29.

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