Yet another duplicate blade has just been completed and delivered. This was briefly mentioned in a blog post a few days ago but I can now show more detail.
In a now familiar scenario, two brothers were each keen to retain and display their father’s winning trophy oar. The old family house is now to be the home of the elder brother and the original oar is destined to return to the same spot that it graced for many years. The younger brother had custody of the oar for many years and had grown rather fond of it, so a copy was duly required!
The keen ones among you might notice that this is not a Boat Race trophy. The official records do not include the races held during the Second World War.
One interesting detail that I haven’t managed to fully investigate is the name at 4 seat. Many of you might have known that the actor Hugh Laurie rowed for Cambridge (as mentioned on Hear the Boat Sing recently) and that his father Ran Laurie was Cambridge Blue as well as an Olympian. Given the dates and that this A.W. Laurie was at the same college as Ran Laurie, I’m guessing that he was a younger brother or closely related. If anyone can help clarify I would be most grateful.
Getting back to the oar…I set to work armed with a number of photographs and measurements. The oar itself took some time to find and repair (see my previous note) but once I had a surface ready to work on things started to happen quickly.
The ‘new’ oar dated from 1960 and had slightly different dimensions. It was a few centimeters shorter and a tiny bit fuller in shape. The design was altered slightly to fit everything in and the changes are difficult to see unless pointed out.
Plenty of measurements, stencils, and chinagraph pencil marking out were needed along the way, but the final result was quite pleasing.