The committee met on Monday 8th August to consider routine business and progress of the fire situation. Our thanks to the Compleat Angler for the meeting room. They noted with thanks the great efforts put in by club members to clear up the club and the support from the community, not least in the financial collections. This post summarises some of the structure now in place and responds to questions about the need for fundraising given our insurance.

Structure for the Future

In view of the significant work now required to take the club forward, the committee has created a number of sub-committees which will run the different strands of the response and operations. The committees that now exist are:

  • Operations Continuity: Led by Sally Reay, this group will deal with facilities management including any temporary works to the current boathouse, equipment, salvage, restoration of club memorabilia, temporary accommodation and gym provision and operational matters to ensure that the club has the infrastructure it needs to continue.
  • Rowing: Led by Sally Reay. This pre-existing group, which includes coaches and squad reps, will continue to deal with boat allocation, boating arrangements and other on-the-water, coaching and safety matters.
  • Funding: Led by Chris Lenton. This group will look at grant applications, donors, relationships with councils, funding bodies, sports governing bodies and other central and large funding routes.
  • Member and Community Fundraising: Led by Jonathan Walne. This group will co-ordinate fundraising by members and in the community which involve large numbers of people, sponsored events, street collections or which are about member and community engagement.
  • Insurance: Led by Alistair Johnston. This group will manage our insurance claim and dealing with the loss adjusters and engineers assessing the state of the current structure for insurance purposes.
  • Property: Led by Peter Hunt and Ed Phillips. This group will deal with seeking to secure our position on the current site, assessing what kind of facility the club could (re)build on the site in the future, and tendering and contracting for the works if/when they are agreed upon.
  • Bar: Led by Marie-Lou Stephenson. The existing bar committee will be asked to help Operations Continuity with provision of catering facilities and the fundraising groups with events, such as the Club Supper.
  • Strategy: Led by John Yeatman. To assess the effect of the fire and the actions arising on the club’s future and strategy.

In addition, Ed Phillips (Secretary) and Jonathan Walne (Membership Secretary) will organise a secretariat to manage the website, PR and administration of membership management and renewals. Administration and IT support welcome.

The main committee will continue to manage these committees and provide the overall direction and control, and expertise and support to individual sub-committees. Vince Wood has agreed to be club Treasurer. Simon Fisher will continue as Safety Officer and both he and Alistair Johnston (insurance) have been co-opted to the committee. The committee is confident that this structure will provide the club with the functions it requires to rebuild.

Those who have already volunteered specific relevant skills will be contacted about being involved with the relevant sub-committee/secretariat but if you have a particular relevant interest or expertise to one of these areas then please contact us. If you have been doing something that falls into one of these areas (e.g. street collections) please contact the group involved so that your activity can be co-ordinated properly.

Fundraising and Insurance 

We have been asked why, if we had insurance, we are fundraising. Insurance will pay for the nominal reinstatement cost of the building. Our insurance group will of course be negotiating with the insurers what that might be – but while we had “new for old” insurance on our boats, we cannot just claim for the real cost of rebuilding. Equally insurance does not provide for the loss of income from the bar and facilities, or for some of the increased costs arising from operating for months from temporary facilities. Finally, if we are going to spend significant sums on rebuilding, or going to seek grants from funding bodies, we will have to show that we have long term security on the land, for which we assume that there will be a cost. That is not a loss from the fire, so would never have been insurable. 

Next Steps

Maidenhead Regatta is coming up this weekend and the club will be competing and fundraising there. Our thanks to Maidenhead Rowing Club for their support.

A lot of work has been done on the site already and this is continuing.

The various sub-committees will be meeting in the next few weeks to start their work and we will report updates in due course.