Photograph: Werner Schmidt

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Blackie's Rowing Partner Harry Tate

When I wrote about Harry Blackstaffe’s charming little drawing of a sculler after his name on the dinner list of the winners of the Wingfield Sculls in 1930, I could not remember where I had seen it previously. But the other day, when I was going through some old rowing post cards, I came across Blackstaffe’s signature again. Blackstaffe, or ‘Blackie’ as he was called, rowed and sculled for Vesta RC, and in the photograph above, we can see him together with Harry Tate in a pair. Looking in H. B. Wells’s Vesta Rowing Club: A Centenary History (1969), I can only find Blackie’s partner mentioned twice, in the Foreword, written by Thames RC’s Freddy Page, and by Wells, who writes, “The No. 2 in the crew was R. M. Hutchison, later a famous figure on the music hall stage under the name ‘Harry Tate’.” [p.5] But maybe that is not Blackie’s partner in the boat, although the name is the same. Anyone who knows?

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