Welcome to the KRC News page.

This is where you find our latest news plus link pages on lots of useful information…………..So worth checking on a regular basis.


Horse racing like you’ve never seen before!

A night at the races with Kingswear Rowing Club.

Saturday 23rd September 7.15 for 7.30pm.
Venue: Kingswear Village Hall

Visit our events page for more details.


Naming our Paired Oared Dinghies

All club members have now received an email asking for you to help with our rowing plans for the Kingswear Family Fun Day which is being held on Saturday 2nd September. As part of those plans we intend to name our paired oared dinghies.

Two names have been nominated so far which are Fly and Dart…..here’s an article previously produced by Don Collinson and Chris Ryan on The Village Heroine.


On November 26th, 1824, in a raging storm, the look-out on Froward Point, seeing a large vessel, partly dismasted, trying to make harbour, ran into the village, thundering,“A wreak, a wreak, great distress”. This alerted Mr Hamilton, the chief pilot, who made for Collin’s Quay, (adjacent to R.D.Y.C.) where villagers, prepared to risk their lives forothers, had assembled. Phil Farley, blacksmith, Tom Avis, shipbuilder, Phil Narcombe, tailor, Will Smith, coffin maker, and Tom Short, builder. But there was one missing Nancy Tarran* – second in command and superb oarswoman. This was not surprising, as three weeks previously, she had given birth to a baby, but she soon came hurrying down Kittery stairs, (today in Kittery Court grounds) buttoning up her oil-skins.

Soon, Kingswear’s six oared pilot gig “Fly” was launched, and proceeded seawardagainst a ferocious gale, during which, the Dartmouth gig’ “Dart” overturned* – but all aboard were saved. Soon, “Fly” reached the vessel, a large Newcastle Brig, “Atalanta” in from Brazil, but she was flying the dreaded yellow flag, known to seamen as the “Yellow Duster”. This denoted disease was aboard, so they cautiously approached and hailedfor a rope ladder to be thrown, and eventually a sick seaman appeared and stated the captain was dead, his wife was ill, and there was disease among the crew, then he just managed to drop a ladder over the side. Now countrywide, the fear of plague and disease meant strict rules governed diseased ships – and breaking them carried the death sentence,. The basic rule was that no one should go aboard, other than those legally appointed (quarantine laws only allowed the pilot and doctor aboard) Mr Hamilton and the doctor clambered aboard and when they returned they would be isolated and fumigated. Mr Hamilton was to guide the diseased ship to an isolated place at Noss Point, under guns of H.M.S. Howe. He hardly had taken position, when to his anger, Nancy appeared on board Atalanta, and he furiously shouted “How dare you disobeyand break the laws of your country, you will be arrested and hung”. Nancy replied, shewas sorry to offend, but considered the laws of God before the laws of the country, and proceeded to minister to the crew, one of whom was dying, then proceeded to the state-room, to help the captain’s wife.

The Atalanta now entered the harbour, and people watched as she approached her station under the guns of H.M.S. Howe. Immediately, Mr Hamilton, the duty officer, had to report the disobedience of his second officer, Mrs Tarran for boarding the fever ridden ship, violating the country’s and the Kings laws. The naval officer ordered she be placed under arrest, and not leave the Atalanta – if she tried to escape, she was to be shot.

Meanwhile, Mr Hamilton was censured for allowing her to board the stricken ship, while Nancy asked if she could be allowed her newly born baby on board Atalanta, as her conscience acquitted her.

In due course, the doctor came aboard. Thanks to Nancy, things had improved, one sailor had died, but the rest of the crew were making progress, and Mrs Turnbull, thecaptain’s wife was recovering. Authority was given for Nancy’s baby to join her – andCommander Upright, H.M.S. Howe’s chief officer, drew alongside in a smart Gig, demanded her presence and read the sentence.

In the name, of his most gracious majesty, King George, the Fourth, I command you,Nancy Tarran, wife of Thomas Tarran, of the Parish of Kingswear, before me, Francis Augustus Upright, to answer the charges made by Charles Hamilton, that you boardedthe “Atalanta” against orders of your superior officer”. I command you to be arrested, thepenalty for breaking the law being that you be hanged from the yard arm of his Majesty‟sGuard Ship Howeor shot by firearm, of your choice, till you, the said Nancy Tarran, be dead. God Save the King!”

The guard-ship gig then approached the stricken ship, Nancy’s baby was gently thrust into her arms, then the gig pulled aback, to allow Nancy’s husband, Thomas to address her. He gently rebuked her for leaving her family, but in response Nancy said she hadno regrets in doing God’s Will, and as the “Fly” had nearly overturned, her skills in righting her had been needed.

The gig then departed, and Nancy, with her baby on board the Atalanta, joined thecaptain’s sick wife, both women in tears, Mrs Turnbull, (the late captains wife) bitterly regretting they were the innocent cause of Nancy’s predicament. Meanwhile, there wasmuch grief in the village, for Nancy was well liked, so a petition was made, signed by everyone and presented to Governor Arthur Howe Holdsworth, the local M.P, who lived in Kingswear, at Brookcliff, (just below the present day Brookhill). With his London associations, he progressed the petition through the Government, onward to the King.

Feeling in the village was strong, and the Ladies decided that if the reply was unfavourable, they would go to London to plead with the Queen for Nancy’s life. Mrs Turnbull, also wrote to King George, pleading clemency.

Two weeks after these the tragic events, all aboard the “Atalanta” had fully recovered, thanks to Nancy’s sacrifice. The guard-ship’s gig again approached with the Port Doctor and the guard-ship commander aboard, who demanded the chief officer and crew of the“Atalanta together with Mrs Tarran, should assemble forthwith.

He then read out, that, after fourteen days of observation, and convalescence all were now declared free from the contagion of fever and disease, and as officer in charge,
“I announce you thereon, are free from quarantine. God Save the King!

He then demanded Nancy come forward, (which she did with her child in her arms), and made the following declaration. “Nancy Tarran, you have been found guilty of a great crime, in disobeying the country‟s Quarantine Laws, and that of your superior officer, thepunishment for which is death, or transportation. However, I have this day received from His Majesty‟s Government, a dispatch stating that in consideration of all the petitions seeking clemency, signed by all of Kingswear „s inhabitants, His Majesty‟s Branch Pilot, Mr Hamilton, and his crew, and the officer and crew of the “Atalanta” - and in consideration of your known bravery and skill in handling the management of the boat in that fearful gale, when you proceeded to the rescue of the Brig “Atalanta” and hercrew, who were in great danger as the ship was in a wreaked condition, which resulted in, both the ship and crew being saved. Also, believing you were animated by humanity, and regardless of the consequences, you administered to the comfort of the crew stricken by fever. Therefore, His Majesty has been graciously pleased to order your release and forgive your offence. I further take the opportunity to warn you as to future conduct. God Save the King!”.

Nancy had received King George IV’s Pardon. Then her husband and all the villagers gathered at Passage Slip to welcome her home. First was Charles Hamilton, Chief Pilot, who bitterly regretted having had to report her, and declared she was “The bravest of the Brave”, and evermore, would be known as “The Village Heroine”.

A few days later, a gig with the ships officer, Mr Lovegrove and a smartly dressed lady landed at Old Kittery, on the ferry slip, and enquired of Mrs Tarran’s dwelling. Then, with a young boy leading, they proceeded out of the square, up the new road, then upFrench Mill Hill, passing the church on the left. Then turning “out-long” passed the homeof Mr Geack, the schoolmaster, then proceeded along the lane, (today, Beacon Rd) to the two cottages, opposite Kittery steps. One was the home of Mrs Marchant, head ofthe Dames school, the other, Nancy’s home.

Here a joyful reunion took place, with Mrs Turnbull, embracing Nancy and expressing her thanks and gratitude for her bravery, in nursing her and the ship’s crew to back tohealth.

Then, after giving Nancy a substantial monetary reward, said they were sailing in two days for their original destination, Hamburg, with their cargo. Finally, two months later she received a post from her new friend stating she had married the chief officer, and was now Mrs Lovegrove! …./ends

This article was first published in the Dartmouth Chronicle in 1824 and was republished December 1964

Produced by Don Collinson and Chris Ryan for the Kingswear Historians



Sent from Graham and Kay Sowerby from our iPad

New Committee in place

At our recent committee meeting a new committee has been appointed until our next AGM.

A number of our committee members decided after many years of hard work on behalf of the club that it was time from some new faces. We thank them all for their hard work over the years.

The new committee are as follows and i’m sure you with thank them for stepping up to the challenge and that you will support them all.

Chairman:  Graham Sowerby

Sec: Alexa Paddock

Asst Sec and New Member Liaison:  Sarah Osborne

Treasurer:   Rosemary Taylor

Clubhouse and Pontoon Bosun:  Ian McClelland

Boats Bosun:  Bob Fureaux

Social Sec:  Jan Trevorrow.

Safety Officer:  Hilary Bussell.


Work Parties and Projects

Pontoon Refurbishment

The project to refurbish the clubs pontoon, replace the existing walkway with a new one and finish building the plinth for the walkway to be supported on has now been completed. A huge thankyou to Hauley Lodge Masons of Dartmouth who made a  donation of £1,500. We also received a donation of £1,250 and £750 from Jonathan Hawkins Devon County Council towards the project costs!

Many club members has helped support the project by buying a pontoon board at a cost of £15 per board…..My thanks to them. If you would like to buy a board please let me know.
Obviously the perfect present for a loved one! All purchases will be very gratefully received.

Ian and Jo McClelland made a superb job of tidying of the area around the clubhouse with fantastic results……

Also a big thanks to: Ian, Chris, Bob, Anita, Ken, Sue, Sunil, Kay and Alexa for their help with tidying up the area and helping Bob build the walkway plinth.

This pontoon refurbishment project will benefit all members, it will make our club pontoon  access safe and will make the clubhouse area more useable for future events.



KRC Curry & Skittles Evening

Great night at the Ship. A big thanks you to Colin and Heather for donating £2 per meal served. Including monies from killer skittles and the raffle we made over £145. Thanks to the team at the Ship, those who donated prizes and of course everyone who came along.

Watch this space for another skittles evening in November.

Happy Rowing

Graham & Kay


Flat Owers Challenge

“Flat Owers Challenge”  a timed row from the Higher Ferry up and around the Flat Owers mark (off Galmpton) and back to the Higher Ferry. Sunday 2nd July. 12.30 start.
This proved to be a very popular event with the winning team winning by just 2 feet after a 55 minute race.

Following the challenge over 30 people headed to our clubhouse and pontoon for a BBQ and the opening of the clubs refurbished pontoon and walkway.


Not on our Facebook page?

No, then why not  join the Kingswear Rowing Club Facebook group?

Many of our club members have signed up to our clubs facebook page, but there’s still a number of club members out there who have not signed up yet and its sad to say that you are missing out on all the lastest club news. So sign up without delay!

Click on the Facebook link (F) which can be found in the top right hand corner of this page. If you would like to be part of the group apply. Your request should normally be Ok’d within 48 hrs. Our Facebook page is updated on a regular basis….It’s your chance to catch up on the latest news…..Plus your chance to add your own comments, questions and provide feedback.

If you know anyone who isn’t already in our group and you think they should be please invite them to join.


Did you know?

A brief history of the Seine Boat

Original by Syd Hook

Traditional River Teign Seine Boats are seventeen feet long and clinker built with English Elm bottoms and larch topsides. They were propelled by oars or sails and were usually named after the owner’s mother or wife.

These boats have been used in the Teign Estuary for hundreds of years working salmon seines. A salmon seine is a net that is two hundred yards long and over half a ton in weight. A seine boat carries the net and a four-man crew and is rowed by two fourteen-foot oars. The boats must be able to carry a ton of shellfish and still float in less than eighteen inches of water. In the past the seine boats were also used in the winter months for catching herring and sprats. The conditions would be hazardous when working over the bar entrance of the River Teign and the seine boat, with its excellent safety record, was ideal.

Boat-builder, Mr Alan Chaney, was a builder of traditional wooden boats who converted to building fibreglass boats. On finding a damaged wooden seine boat built by Hook Brothers, who were builders of dozens of wooden boats, he repaired the damage and brought it back to its original condition. From this seine boat he then made a mould for the fibreglass boats, which have become the Seine Boat Class for racing at various clubs in the area.

So now you know.