Trafford Rowing Club-Club History


According to British Rowing’s records, Trafford Rowing Club was founded in 1957. At that time the club was known as the MV Boat Club, a sports club created for the employees of the Metropolitan Vickers Engineering Company based in Trafford Park. The company also gave birth to other sports clubs in the area for its staff which are still in existence.


The MV Boat Club started with just four members of staff, however during the 60’s the club did grow and achieved success at a number of events in the north. MVBC was originally based further along the Bridgewater Canal at Dane Road, where the University of Manchester now boat from. However, at some point the old boathouse burnt down and the members relocated to the current boathouse in Walton Park Sports Centre in Sale. With the help of Trafford council the former MV Boat Club was resurrected in its present form as Trafford Rowing Club and it’s blade and kit colours became black and green – possibly an indication of Trafford borough’s industrial (black) and agricultural (green) heritage which also appears in the Trafford coat of arms. Although this sounds good, it is pure speculation!


During the 1980’s the club had very few members and very little success. The club was kept running by a small number of dedicated members including notable figures such as Ken Jolley and John Gill. But in the early 1990’s the club began to emerge from the difficult times of the previous decade. In 1990 the club had enough members to enter a crew at the Head of the River Race in London for the very first time, and since then the club has grown stronger and now has more members than at any time since 1957.


Trafford RC has always held its own race in the head season. The Bridgewater Head Race was originally started in 1959 and always held in February each year, and records indicate that the Bridgewater Head continued until the mid 1970’s when the history of the club becomes a little vague. In the early 1990’s the club resurrected its annual event, which has now been re-named Trafford Head and is held every November on the Bridgewater Canal. And in 2002 the club moved into the IT age with the creation of this website.


In 2007, the club celebrated its 50th year. Because so much is not know about Trafford Rowing Club this website will hopefully become the modern history of the club providing a mass of information about all aspects of the club and how we have grown and progressed in recent years.


Club honours can be found on our Club Awards page.


Details of previous Presidents, Chairmen, and Captain’s can be found on our Past Officers page.