Lancaster University Boat Club was the first sports club to be established at the University. The University admitted its first students in October 1964. It was in this first year of the University’s existence that an appetite for rowing first developed amongst the Student Body. Rowing was already present on the River Lune before 1964 and had been since the early 19th Century, with LUBC becoming a new member of the Lune Rowing Community.
A small group of students from the University were headed by David Cooper, who became the first Club Captain. They began the task of assembling the necessary equipment for the foundation of a University Boat Club which could stand independent of the local club, Lancaster John O’Gaunt. Due to the expensive nature of a sport such as rowing, the students sought help from outside the university sphere.
This help came in the form of a wealthy philanthropist, Sir Harold Parkinson (1894-1974). He was described as “hard-headed but ultimately generous” and proved to be a welcome benefactor . Sir Harold provided the club with the funds to purchase it’s first boats and a coaching launch. The enduring John O’Gaunt Rowing Club, with David Cartwright as their President, offered their facilities as a temporary home for the newly formed University Boat Club and from 1964-1966 both clubs cohabited.
The old Lancaster John O’Gaunt boathouse, roughly on the site of the current one, proved too small for both clubs to share harmoniously. The result was the relocation of the University Boat Club to our current home at the Halton Railway Station building. The current building dates back to 1907, and is a Grade 2 listed building. Again, Sir Harold Parkinson was to thank for the acquisition of our current home, converting and renting the building as the University boathouse. With the boats and boathouse now acquired it could be said that the fledgling Lancaster University now had its very own Boat Club.