The annual regatta on the River Thames in Marlow is taking place this weekend, June 10 and 11. Its origins have a long history going back to 1855, although the modern Marlow Town Regatta and Festival dates from 2001. 

So this week we are showing some pictures of the spectators at regattas from the past.
Also included are contrasting pictures; one of one of the most successful Marlow Rowing Club crews, and another taken at what became known as the Marlow Rag Regatta.

This was held separately from the main Regatta. It began as the Fishermans and Watermans Regatta and included some “fun” events as well as serious racing.

Later this became The Rag Regatta with the “fun” events predominating, one of the most popular of which was competitors descending by ropes from the suspension bridge into waiting canoes below. This was at a time when the bridge was crammed with spectators before the weight restrictions became necessary, and “health and Safety” regulations came into force!   

 Top: A section of the spectators watching Marlow Regatta from near the enclosure, June 1951.

Centre left: The Marlow Rowing Club Coxed Eight, a successful crew in the 1913 and 1914 Regatta seasons; all then enlisted for service in WWI, 1914.

Centre right: A raft race at Marlow Rag Regatta, c1990.

Left: Some of the spectators watching Marlow Regatta from the Thames Towpath, June 1951.

Above: Spectators, many of whom are standing in boats, watching events at Marlow Regatta, c1895.