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Established 1890 | Affiliated to British Rowing and CSSC


Historic Photo Archive

Welcome to the Cygnet RC photo archive. Partly a project to help celebrate the club's 125 year history but also to accompany the newly updated Illustrated History book - as well as for general interest of course!  

Photographs taken between 2000 and 2010 are available on the Old Cygnet Website (Events > Older Events). Photographs taken from 2010 until the present day can be seen in our photo albums and also our various social media platforms. All the photos in the archive were with taken by club members or purchased from professional photographers on behalf of the club. 

Little is know about some of these photographs so if you have any information or spot any errors please do contact the club historian and we will make the necessary alterations. He would also be interested in any suitable photos that you may want to donate to the archive.

All the photos are low resolution. Scroll down to browse between decades or click the links below if you know which decade you want to view. Use the 'More News' button at the bottom of each gallery to return to this archive homepage.

1890s  1900s  1910s  1920s  1930s  1940s  1950s  1960s  1960s (Bung) 1970s  1980s  1990s  Video

Articles per page: 10 | 50 | 100 | All
  • Talking history

    Vic Reeves and Ronnie Lambe reminisce about the 'good old days' at Cygnet, during a recording made in 2009 (if it doesn't play in your browser, click the YouTube button, bottom right) ...

  • 1990s

    This decade opened with extensive celebrations to mark Cygnet's centenary, reaffirming an erstwhile club historian, 'Dusty' Miller's view that 'Cygnet had ever been a Club to foster the social side'. The 1990s would also see Cygnet aspiring to new heights on the water, ultimately surpassing the...

    • The Captains' Eight: Winners of the Veteran pennant in 1990 Business Houses Head
    • Toasting the Centenary at the Palace of Westminster, 1990
    • 1990_CM2.jpg
  • 1980s

    The 1980s broke the mould in the sense that the club no longer concentrated exclusively on racing in Vllls, but graduated to 'small boats' (lVs, lls and sculls), setting the stage for a highly successful era in the mid-1980s. Still, the goal of winning a heat at Henley Royal Regatta in any...

    • 1980_ club.jpg
    • 1983b.jpg
    • 1983c.jpg
  • 1970s

    In contrast to the previous decade, the 1970s began with a large, active membership, the promise of a strong racing presence and a determined administrator-cum-captain, M.A.Arnold-Gilliat. Racing in Vllls remained the name of the game and in 1972 Cygnet entered Henley Royal Regatta (HRR) for the...

    • 1970.jpg
    • 1970sa.jpg
    • 1970sb.jpg
  • 1960s: Rebuilding the Second Estate

    One of the greatest club achievements of the 1960s was the rebuilding of 'Cygnets', the somewhat rudimentary structure constructed out of two 1914-18 Nissen huts on Hamhaugh Island, Shepperton. Work began on the demolition of the old bungalow in February, 1964 and the grand opening of the new...

    • 01.jpg
    • 03.jpg
    • 02.jpg
  • 1960s: At the Boathouse

    The 1960s were less successful than the 1950s: membership numbers declined and the club passed through some very lean years. Nonetheless, the decade was not without its high spots on the water with wins in Junior Vllls at Metropolitan in 1961 and Twickenham in 1962. On land, Cygnet gained a new...

    • 1966a.jpg
    • 1966b.jpg
    • 1969a.jpg
  • 1950s

    By the early 1950s, Cygnet was starting to get back into its stride and the club had high hopes of reclaiming the 'Glory of the Thirties'. While this was not to be, Cygnet won more events in Junior and Junior-Senior-Vllls throughout this decade than ever before, effectively putting civil service...

    • 1950s.jpg
    • 1950sa.jpg
    • A Crew Chat
  • 1940s

    During the Second World War, the Civil Service Boathouse was requisitioned as a mortuary (although it was never used as such) and remained 'off limits' to Cygnet members until July 1946. The remainder of this decade may best be characterised as a period of rebuilding, as members drifted back from...

    • Finish of Invitation Scratch Vllls, 1946
    • 1946b.jpg
    • Heat of Civil Service Invitation Scratch Vllls
  • 1930s

    Cygnet was in its element in the 1930s: it had a new boathouse, new equipment and a hard core of experienced oarsmen anxious to make the grade in open competition. Successive victories in Junior and Junior-Senior Vllls throughout the mid-1930s set the stage for wins at Thames Cup class in 1938 ...

    • 1936.jpg
    • 1938g.jpg
    • 1930s_3.jpg
  • 1920s

    The 'roaring' twenties were a time of great evolution for Cygnet and civil service rowing. The Civil Service Rowing Association was formed in 1922, along with the first Civil Service Regatta. Long sought-after affiliation to the ARA in 1923 gave Cygnet access to 'open events' on the Tideway and...

    • 1900s_1d.jpg
    • 1900s_1c.jpg
    • 1920s_CampFlyer.jpg
  • 1910s

    This decade opened with high expectations and the official club photograph of 1910 conveys an image of a club anxious to spread its wings and make its mark on the wider rowing world. However, successive overtures to the ARA were rebuffed and the outbreak of the First World War proved highly...

    • 'Rudy' Lehman
    • Official club photograph, 1910
    • The Grand Reunion, Hamhaugh Island, 1911
  • 1900s

    By 1904, Cygnet had outgrown its existing premises at Aylings Boathouse, Putney, and a decision was made to move to Biffin's Boathouse at Hammersmith. R.B.Etherington-Smith, an outstanding oarsmen of his time, became president in 1902 and Cygnet began to compete at open regattas. Upriver rowing...

    • Early camping days at Hamhaugh Island, 1909
    • Sarsons, sausages and cider, Hamhaugh Island, 1909
    • Raymond Etherington-Smith, President 1902-1913
  • 1890s

    Relatively few photographs have survived from the first decade of Cygnet's existence, Perhaps the most iconic is an official club photograph taken on the Putney Embankment in June 1891. Most of the other pictures relate to upriver rowing excursions that were popular in the 1890s, glamourised by...

    • First official club photograph, Putney Embankment, June 1891
    • Early Upriver Expeditions 1894-96
    • Early Upriver Scenes
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