I was born in Lancaster and attended the Lancaster Secondary Technical School leaving in 1960 at the age of 16, going on to the college on Morecambe Road to take my HNC in Electrical Engineering.
I was an apprentice with the North Western Electricity Board with fellow apprentice John Pendlebury. We were both keen motor bikers. John lived on his father's farm (manager of the HM Prison Farm) high up on the Ridge Estate. Derek Mawson and Mike Gibson joined the crew probably due to our meeting up on friday and saturday nights at Morecambe Central Pier dances. Derek Mawson had a material stall in Lancaster Market, Mike Gibson lived opposite the rowing club in Halton Road, his younger brother used to be the cox.
We used to meet on Sunday mornings and one evening a week for rowing practice. "Bant" was the boathouse keeper, he was an elderly chap of huge proportions. We used to train whatever the weather even when there were ice floes on the water threatening to flip you over, especially in a skull. A highlight in the calendar was rowing down towards Glasson Dock whenever the tide covered the weir. Peter Lockley and Mike Gibson along with JJ Billington and GG Beaty with D Gibson as cox won Lancaster Regatta Maiden Fours in 1963. John Steiger, who was working at the Electricity Board whilst studying at Cambridge University, took us under his wing and punishingly trained us. He used to cycle on the opposite bank with a megaphone screaming out commands. You had no time to be sick, which you might wish to be after a hectic saturday night. The crew went on to win various races thanks to John Steiger. At times Edgar Coates would sometimes row with us and act as coach. We used to race the head of the river at York and something on the River Irwell (Inkwell).To fall in was not to be recommended.
Eventually I got a job with English Electiric and moved away and finally ended up with the CEGB at Hinkley Point Nuclear Power Station in Somerset, and am now retired living in Spaxton, Somerset.
1st photo: farthest boat from left Mike Gibson, Peter Lockley, ?, Edgar Coates, -- Gibson cox. Nearest boat - ?, ?, ?, Walsh, cox
2nd photo: The photo 1962 shows from left hand side Peter Lockley, John Pendlebury, ? Gibson -cox, Derek Mawson, Mike Gibson.