Papers of the Agecroft Rowing Club

Scope and Content

Extant archive of the Agrecroft Rowing Club, a leading amateur rowing club in the Manchester area.

The information which can be found in the papers is very varied indeed. As one would expect from a rowing club, there is much information on the development of the sport, particularly in the log books, rowing notes book and correspondence files; rowing styles, techniques and boat design are all commented upon. The polluted state of the River Irwell and the building development along its banks also feature quite strongly in the Club's records. The collection is surprisingly rich in photographs, not just of the Club members and of rowing activities on the Irwell, but also of the social aspects of the Club. The regatta and various boating holidays Club members undertook, most notably along the River Wye and River Dee, feature strongly, along with detailed written accounts. Members' lives outside the Club also feature in the records, particularly their war service.

The papers of the Agecroft Rowing Club are rich and engaging in their variety: through them can be charted the development of the sport of rowing, but more colourful perhaps is the picture they paint of those who "liked messing about in boats".

Administrative / Biographical History

The Agecroft Rowing Club was founded in 1861 by Ishmael Lythgoe to provide a place where inhabitants of Manchester who enjoyed the sport of rowing could gather together and practice their chosen sport. Its original home was in an old boiler house belonging to one of the dye-works which lined the banks of the River Irwell in Salford at that time. It moved twice subsequently, first in 1867 to the Irwell Road near the Douglas Green Weir, and again in 1935, upstream to the playing fields near Kersal Cell. Although the Agecroft Rowing Club held regattas throughout its life, offering cups and trophies to competing teams, and participated itself in the regattas of other rowing clubs, even as far afield as Germany and Norway, it was not a centre of rowing excellence. Rather, it was a social club for enthusiasts of the sport of rowing, where a member could practice his sport (women were not permitted as members) among like-minded individuals. The records of the Club reflect this enthusiasm and love for the sport.

The Club is still very active in the sport of rowing.


There are seven classes of material:

  • ARC/1 - Club Committee and AGM minute books, 1864-1966;
  • ARC/2 - Regatta Committee minute books, 1913-1954 ;
  • ARC/3 - Correspondence files, 1912-1951;
  • ARC/4 - Log books, 1865-1954;
  • ARC/5 - Agecroft Regatta records, 1922-1959;
  • ARC/6 - Miscellaneous records including a history of the Club published in 1960, 1928-1980 ;
  • ARC/7 - `Travel Notes' or travel diaries of R.W. Blakeley, compiled in 1946, recording his travels in Europe between 1900 and 1938 and profusely illustrated with photographs.

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open to any accredited reader.

This finding aid may contain personal or sensitive personal data about living individuals. Under Section 33 of the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA), The John Rylands University Library (JRUL) has the right to process such personal data for research purposes. The Data Protection (Processing of Sensitive Personal Data) Order 2000 enables the JRUL to process sensitive personal data for research purposes. In accordance with the DPA, the JRUL has made every attempt to ensure that all personal and sensitive personal data has been processed fairly, lawfully and accurately, according to the Data Protection Principles.

Individuals have the right to make a request to see data relating to them held by the JRUL which falls under the provisions of the DPA. Access requests must be made formally in accordance with the provisions set out in the DPA and all enquiries should be directed to the University's Data Protection Officer.

Conditions Governing Use

Photocopies and photographic copies of material in the archive can be supplied for private study purposes only, depending on the condition of the documents.

A number of items within the archive remain within copyright under the terms of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988; it is the responsibility of users to obtain the copyright holder's permission for reproduction of copyright material for purposes other than research or private study.

Prior written permission must be obtained from the Library for publication or reproduction of any material within the archive. Please contact the Head of Special Collections, John Rylands Library, 150 Deansgate, Manchester, M3 3EH.


Further accruals possible.

Related Material

The University of Manchester Archives has custody of the Archive of the University Athletic Union, which includes records of University rowing clubs.

Corporate Names

Geographical Names