Marlow Rowing Club severely damaged in fire

Marlow Rowing Club, a Thames rowing club that dates back to 1871, was seriously damaged in a fire in the early hours of this morning.

The fire, which broke out shortly after 4.15am, severely damaged the oldest sections of the clubhouse before finally being brought under control by a team of 55 firefighters.

Investigations by the Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service are currently underway, but arson is not suspected at this time.

Di Ellis, Chairman of British Rowing, who is at Dorney Lake today for the opening of the World Rowing Junior Championships, said “I was so saddened to learn this morning about the fire, and I know how devastating this will be for Marlow members.  It is one of our oldest boathouses and has been home to some of our greatest oarsmen and women.”

A number of past and present Olympians have strong links to the Buckinghamshire club, including five times gold medallist Sir Steve Redgrave – who was born in Marlow – and three times silver medallist and 2012 hopeful Katherine Grainger, who trains with the club.

“It is totally devastating,” Sir Steve told the Maidenhead Advertiser. “The first time I went on the water was at Marlow Rowing Club.

“We are talking about every boat that the club owns… It’s going to take a hell of a lot of time to replace them.”

Marlow Rowing Club Chairman Peter Hunt has confirmed that no one was injured in the fire, and members of the committee have been working hard to salvage the club’s precious memorabilia.

“It is a wooden boathouse and there has been a history in this country of wooden boathouses catching fire,” Hunt also told the newspaper.

“This was always going to happen… I have been dreading this call, but sure enough it has happened.”

Marlow would be very appreciative of any local support and loan of equipment while they assess the full extent of the damage.  Any rowers or clubs wishing to offer assistance, please email secretary@marlowrowingclub.org.uk.

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