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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