once a johnian,

always a johnian.

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the lmbca

The Old Johnian Henley Fund was formed in 1913 by PL Lewis, (Capt, 1905 & 06), as an initiative to support LMBC boats wishing to race at Henley.

Lewis had stroked the winning trial VIII for two years, and had it not been for DCR Stuart (one of the best strokes Cambridge ever had), Lewis would have stroked the Blue Boat. He came back in 1913 to coach our winning Wyfold IV at Henley Royal Regatta. He was assisted by LHK Bushe–Fox, President of LMBC 1897-1916, and a Trial cap in 1888; and the Secretary was GL Day the only surviving member of the winning Wyfold IV, the others having been killed in WW1.

The fund was formed to assist Lady Margaret with the expense of sending a crew to Henley. Annual subscriptions, donations and legacies were requested, primarily from former LMBC members. A committee was formed with the Master as Chairman. It still meets annually, normally during the week of the May Bumps. The captain presents his proposal for Henley with a budget for his expected expenditure. The committee decides if the crew is capable of doing credit to the College and if so what level of grant should be offered.

In 1913 the expenses were £60, a significant sum in those days. An appeal signed by a large number of past captains was sent to two thousand old members of the College, this met with a very good response and formed the Capital Fund. The policy was that that all new contributions would go to the Fund Capital and be invested. Any grant would be made from the Fund's dividends.

December 2001, M1 row under the Bridge of Sighs (From:  The Eagle Magazine).

December 2001, M1 row under the Bridge of Sighs (From: The Eagle Magazine).

In the 1980s the role of the Fund changed; LMBC was going through a difficult financial period and the Fund now looked to support LMBC as a whole and contribute to the purchase of boats, oars and equipment. It developed a rolling 10 year forecast for the financing of new equipment. Over the 30 years most equipment in the boat house has been funded in total or in part by the LMBCA.

More recently the role has been further widened to include funding of rowing camps and for coaching. The Fund's name was altered to the Lady Margaret Boat Club Association in order to reflect its wider role. After the arrival of women in the Club they have also been supported and won the College event at Henley Women's regatta in 1990 & 1991. The LMBCA is run by Sandy Black as Treasurer and Ben Richardson as Secretary. In the past an annual newsletter has been circulated, and this is to be revived.

As important as the funding, the LMBCA represents a valuable body of support made up of past captains who also have been through the mill; they include two Olympic oars. It has also assisted in the production of the Lady Margaret History, of which Vol 4 (1982-2010)  was recently published.

The LMBCA thrives and relies on the support of all who have benefited from it.

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Through the generosity of the LMBCA and the St John’s Annual Fund - we have been able to reach new heights as a boat club.

Picture: The 2015 M1 Empacher purchase and naming ceremony.


support the future

Lady Margaret Boat Club not only represents a group of people rowing today but also symbolises a global family who have rowed for the Club in the past. It is only with the kind support of our alumni that Lady Margaret remains a competitive club on the Cam which is capable of welcoming anyone who wishes to row.

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If you are interested in supporting the Club, please browse the brochure below, make a secure online donation or complete our donation form.

If you have any further queries, please email our Development Officer, Rachel Green (ridg3@cam.ac.uk), the Development Office, or write to them at:

Development Office

St John's College





If you are interested in returning to college for a Boat Club Dinner, or want to know more about any upcoming events we host for Alumni, please do not hesitate to contact our Social Secretaries via the contact form.

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