Lancaster University Boat Club

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Lancaster University Boat Club
Image showing the rowing club's emblem
Halton railway station, Lancashire.jpg
Image showing the rowing club's blade colours
Location Halton, Lancashire
Coordinates 54°04′26″N 2°45′32″W / 54.074°N 2.759°W / 54.074; -2.759Coordinates: 54°04′26″N 2°45′32″W / 54.074°N 2.759°W / 54.074; -2.759
Founded 1964 (1964)
Affiliations British Rowing
Roses Tournament
Notable members
Frances Nicholls

Lancaster University Boat Club (LUBC) is the rowing club of Lancaster University. The club was founded in 1964 with the inception of the university by Sir Harold Parkinson and is the oldest sports club at the university. The club is based in the old Halton railway station and trains on the River Lune, north of Lancaster. Parkinson also funded the building of the weir on the river, east of the club's boathouse, in order to enable better conditions for rowing.


The university opened to students in October 1964. A group of students from the university began the task of assembling the necessary equipment for the foundation of a University Boat Club which could stand independent of the local club, Lancaster John O' Gaunt Rowing Club.

Due to the limited available assistance of the university and the students' union, the group decided to seek outside help to get the club moving. This help came in the form of a wealthy benefactor, Sir Harold Parkinson, who provided the club with the funds to purchase its first boats and a coaching launch. John O' Gaunt Rowing Club offered their facilities as a temporary home for the newly formed University Boat Club and from 1964 to 1966 both clubs cohabited.

After two years of sharing John O’Gaunt’s boathouse, the club moved to its current location, the old Halton railway station. This acquisition was entirely down to Parkinson again; after the station had been closed to the public in 1966,[1] he rented the building on behalf of the club. It was converted into suitable quarters to operate from. The location of this building proved ideal as it is located less than 100 m from the river, and the first 4 miles of the old railway form the Lancaster - Caton Cycleway, an illuminated cycle path leading into Lancaster city centre, along which members can cycle.

In 1982 the free-hold of the boathouse and the surrounding land was secured to be administered by the university as a part of the university's estates. From 1996, the club allowed Lancaster University Canoe Club to use the premises to store their boats.


Boat house[edit]

The Lancaster University Boat House takes the form of the disused Halton Railway Station on Denny Beck Lane, a mile North of Lancaster. Closed in 1966 to passengers, the old platform is now used for ergometer workouts, and the station building itself houses the changing rooms and racking. Racking exists for up to ten rigged larger boats (eights or fours). There is also racking for the club's small boat fleet. Plans did exist in the late 20th century for a shared boathouse with the other clubs using the river, John O' Gaunt RC and Lancaster Royal Grammar School BC.[citation needed]


The stretch of river used by LUBC is around 3 km, and is situated between the Halton road bridge, situated 100 m west of the weir funded by Sir Harold Parkinson, and the Skerton Weir adjacent to John O' Gaunt RC, which marks the upper extent of the tidal Lune. The river passes below the Grade I listed 18th-century Lune Aqueduct. The Lancaster City Regatta takes place upon this stretch of the Lune, as do the regular Red Rose head races and sprints, organised by John O' Gaunt RC.


A list of races the club has competed in:

Head races[edit]


Varsity race[edit]

The club was the founding club of the Roses Varsity race with York University. This originated in 1965 when the Vice Chancellor of York suggested a boat race between the two institutions. This varsity race developed into the Roses Competition, which sees scores of York and Lancaster athletes compete across a wide range of sports, alternating the venue between the universities annually. In 2009 the Victor Ludorum of the competition was York, taking 12 points of a possible 20 in the rowing events. In 2010 York failed to field a squad for the rowing, causing some controversy.[why?]

The Francis Russell Trophy is also fought for each year between Lancaster John O' Gaunt RC and Lancaster University BC. This originated in 1989 when club captain Francis Russell lost his life after going over Skerton Weir in a November training session. The trophy takes the form of a mounted rudder, that of the boat that went over the weir.


Lancaster's fleet is composed mainly of eights and fours.[5]


  • Francis Russell - 2009 KIRS
  • HRH Princess Alexandria - 2007 Wintech
  • Sir Christian Bonnington - 2005 Sims
  • Tom McNerney - 1997 Aylings
  • Sir William Harpur - Janousek


  • Sir Harold Parkinson - 2005 Sims
  • Don Moore - 2001 Janousek
  • Ernest Bigland - Aylings
  • Harry Lightfoot (Hairy Foot)- Aylings
  • Ironwal - Janousek
  • Aaron Scholer - Sims
  • 284 - Stampfli


  • Diatessaron
  • Progress - 2013 Wintech
  • Barry Choddington - Single Scull


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Disused Stations: Halton Station". Retrieved 12 December 2016. 
  2. ^ "Dee Autumn Head - About Us - Grosvenor Rowing Club". Retrieved 12 December 2016. 
  3. ^ "York Small Boats Head 20/11/2016". 22 October 2016. Retrieved 12 December 2016. 
  4. ^ "North of England Head". Retrieved 12 December 2016. 
  5. ^ "Lancaster University Boat Club". Retrieved 12 December 2016. 

External links[edit]