The "Records of The Marlow Rowing Club 1871 - 1921." was published to mark the club's 50th year and records the founding of the club: At the first Dinner held by the Marlow Football Club (founded 1870), which took place at "The Compleat Angler" Hotel on March 30th, 1871, a discussion took place on the advisability of establishing a Rowing Club for Marlow. "A strong and unanimous feeling in favour of the proposal being manifested," Mr. W. J. Shone and Mr. A. C. Faulkner promised to take the necessary steps.
1871 The meeting at which the Club was founded was held at "The Compleat Angler" Hotel on May 16th, 1871.
Mr. O.P. Wethered [The Wethereds owned the main brewery in the town for many years.] was voted to the Chair, and there were also present Rev. T. G. Cree, Messrs. W. J. Shone, J. G. Crossman, A. C. Faulkner, C. M. Foottitt, T. H. Wright, S. H .Wright, J. Batting, C. E. Allum, and R. H. Smith.
It was proposed by Rev. T. G. Cree, seconded by Mr. C. M. Foottit, and carried, "That it is desirable to esablish a Rowing Club for the town and neighbourhood of Marlow."
Rules were passed, and the following elections took place:
President: Mr. T. O. Wethered.
Hon. Treasurer: Mr. T. H. Wright.
Hon. Secretaries: Messrs. C. M. Foottitt and S. H .Wright
Committee: Rev. T. G. Cree, Messrs. A. C. Faulkner, W. J. Shone, J. Batting, and C. E. Allum.
At the first meeting of the Committee on May 22nd, bye-laws were drawn up, and it was decided that the Club colours should be purple and maize [the club colour of cardinal was not adopted until 1880 - the 1879 Rules set the colour as scarlet]. Mr A. C. Faulkner was appointed Captain and Rev. T. G. Cree Deputy-Captain.
Quarters were secured at Haynes' boathouse under Marlow Bridge (Bucks side) and it was decided to hire the necessary boats.
The first Club race was rowed on July 21st, 1871, for prized presented by Mr. C. M. Foottit, [Batting and Batting won in a pair against Aldrige and Curtis]
Funds were raised by a few supporters of the Club to purchase the Monthly Challenge cup (value £20), and this was presented to the Club to be raced for by pairs until such time as the members were sufficiently numerous to compete in fours. The first competition took place on July 25th. [Gibbs and Haynes won by a length "Names of coxwains not recorded"]
Sir William Clayton, Bart., [The Claytons were owners of Harleyford and many other properties in the area and their coats of arms are seen in the church.] presented to the Club a trophy in the shape of a pair of silver sculls, to be called "The Clayton Challenge Sculls." [MRC still has these and they are generally presented at the club supper to the fastest member at Long Distance Sculls] As sculling boats were not available, the first contest (and a few in subsequent years) was made a pair-oar race for members who had not won prizes. It was held on August 2nd - Sir William's birthday, and in honour of that occasion, it was reported that "Marlow's tuneful bells were rung at early morn and dewy eve." [....]
In August it was decided to alter the name of the Club from the Great Marlow Rowing Club to the Great Marlow Amateur Rowing Club.
The first crew entered by the Club at a regatta was a four for the Town Challenge Cup at Henley Royal Regatta on June 29th, and the crew lost to Reading in the first heat. [...] The first race won by the Club was the Junior Fours at the Windsor and Eton Regatta on August 28th, the crew beating Eton Victoria in the first heat and Windsor Albert in the final.[...]
The first Club four-oared race was rowed on October 3rd, being the outcome of a discussion as to whether the crew which won at Windosr and Eton was the best which could have been selected [proof that arguing about crew selection and seat racing is as old as the club...] J. Batting selected the rival crew [...] The Captain gave a cup and silver pencil cases as prizes, and it was reported in the local press that the race aroused the greatest interest, "the bridge and banks being thronged with spectators." After a desparate race, during which "the people on the banks were almost hushed into silence by the uncertainty and pertinacity of the contest they were watching," Batting's crew won by 18 inches against the successful juniors.
1872 At the first Annual Meeting of the Club, held on March 28th, it was reported that the expenses for 1871 amounted to £90 12s. 8d. ....