The history of Lancaster University Boat Club (LUBC) begins in 1964 during the year Lancaster University was founded. It is the University’s oldest and most prestigious sports club after being active for over 50 years. Rowing was already taking place on the River Lune prior to LUBC’s arrival in 1964, and had been since the early 19th Century. Despite being over 50 years old, LUBC is still one of the newest members of the Lune Rowing Community.
During the initial 2 years LUBC boated from and shared equipment with a local club, Lancaster John O’Gaunt, with the help of a wealthy benefactor, Sir Harold Parkinson (1894-1974) a “hard-headed but ultimately generous” man, the club was able to develop and move to new facilities.
LUBC moved in 1966 to the Halton Railway Station building, much thanks to Sir Harold Parkinson, in which the club resides to this day. In return for the generosity, Sir Harold Parkinson strongly urged LUBC to focus its efforts on victory at the Roses Varsity race, upholding the values expected of student oarsmen in this aim.
The Roses Tournament, originally a boat race between the two universities is now the largest inter-university sports tournament in Europe. The first crew, a coxed four of Bow Mike O’Sullivan, 2 Ian Askin, 3 Tim Cape, Stroke David Cooper, Cox Chris Paynter beat York by 10 lengths. Lancaster can be seen modest in victory with York in the foreground below:
Photo Courtesy of Tim Cape, Mens Captain 1965
LUBC has a long and prestigious history representing Lancaster at the largest rowing competitions across the UK competing against national level of competition. Lancaster’s first foray into this level competition was in 1967 in the infamous Head of the River Race. A crew ofBow Mike Crawford, 2 Rob Rose, 3 Bernard Thain, 4 Brian Denmark, 5 Tim Cape, 6 Ian Askin, 7 Pat Sinnott, Stroke Alan Bookless placed an impressive 84, showing impressive form in gaining 200 places and cementing Lancaster’s name as a premier rowing institution.
To this day LUBC continues the tradition of representing the university at the highest level, with recent results in both the men’s and women’s squad showing the level that Lancaster is capable of competing at. 2011 saw a W4+ of Stroke Hoose, 3 Tonkins, 2 Allen, Bow Lees and Cox Kate win Lancaster’s first BUCS medal. 2012 saw a M4+ of Stroke Morgan, 3 Lyons, 2 Tarrant, Bow Bibby and Cox Kirtley-Paine achieve LUBC’s highest ever finish at Fullers Fours Head of the River, a race which saw Olympic gold medallists among the field.