Sculling race antique print.
On 18th. May 1867 ‘The Illustrated London News’ carried a woodblock engraving with the caption “The Great Boat-Race at Newcastle-on-Tyne: Finish of the Race at Lemington Point.”
Henry ‘Harry’ Kelley (1832–1914) was a famous professional oarsman on the Thames. He became the Tyne, Thames, English and World Sculling Champion, a title he won four times.
On Monday 13th. May 1867 Henry Kelly, Champion of the Thames, raced against Robert Chambers of Newcastle, for the Championship of the Tyne.
Each sculler had beaten the other on previous occasions and both were professional rowers.
“The stakes were £400 on each side, and the winner … was to be hailed champion of English scullers.”
The course was from the High Level Bridge to Lemington Point, a distance of four miles.
Taking place at five o’clock in the evening, the spectacle was witnessed by fifty thousand people.
Kelley was the favourite and “from the very start Kelley took the lead, and at Skinner’s Burn he took Chambers’s water; at the Shot Tower he was three lengths ahead … in answer to the calls of his friends on shore (he) put on more steam and went far ahead.”
Kelley won the race “by above 100 yards.” Covering the four miles in a time of thirty-one and a half minutes.
After the race, “the gangway of the Tyne Ferry Landing stage, which was crowded with spectators, broke down suddenly, and nearly a hundred persons fell into the water. Six of them were drowned.