Henley Memories by George Parsonage

George Parsonage’s Henley memories

Being there to see Sean Drea win his hat trick of Diamonds
Watching 17stone+ Vladimir Eshinov in the pair
Stroking the Scottish Rowing 8 against Cornell University
Beating Dick Findlay in the Diamonds
Racing in the finals of the Double Sculls
Getting turned away from the Stewards because my kilt was above my knees
Watching Patrick Delafield catching champagne corks in his cap
Managing to blow up the engine of my caravanette just as I parked in the Leander car park and being allowed to live in it all week while the engine was fixed
Signing 400+ people into the pub I was staying at as my guests on finals night
Looking after Sean Drea’s Pineapple Goblet for a night after one of his wins
Being held upside down and having my head dipped by the Russians into the Grand Challenge Cup
Winning the Minors Bowl for spare pairs, rowing with a complete stranger, beating the Harvard spare men
Coxing the Boatmen’s/Watermen’s 8 over the Henley Course
Watching the Americans paint 150BMA on the Leander wall
The Tri Colour fly above Leander when the Garda won the Thames Cup
Lending my scull to youngsters to compete in the cox-boys race
Finding one of my sculling blades broken on the morning of the race and having to scull with a borrowed pair
Cold showers
Being coached by Charlie Newens
Asking 2 young boys not to run about the Boat Tent, not realising they were Royals
Dining the night before finals in the Catherine Wheel pub
Asking Alberto Demidi if he had a 2,000m straight to train on and being told the river he trained on was over 2,000m wide.
Watching east end of London boys doing their traditional “runner” at the end of a meal
Holding a sculpture Exhibition at the River and Rowing Museum
Trading with Timoshinin and Korshikov for Black Sea caviar
Downing College celebrating my sculls win
Practicing in the double with Sean Drea before we went later in the month to race in Dublin
Becoming friends with Peter Coni
Listening to an American who on being asked to say grace at a Henley Lunch stood up and said “rub a dub dub thank God for the grub”

Support the Glasgow Humane Society’s work rescuing people from waterways

Learn about George Parsonage’s life on the water

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