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Reading this article about this four-day regatta, which has been rowed almost every year since 1815, except 1820, 1821, 1823, 1829, and during the War years, reminded me that I had an old programme, or ‘race chart’, from 29 May, 1929, showing the order of starting for the different crews.
One fun thing with these old ‘charts’ is the advertisements. In mine from 1929 you will find ads from ‘Grimbly, Hughes & Co.’ the food experts and wine & spirit merchants; the ‘New Theatre, Oxford’ is presenting “The Desert Song”; ‘The Oriel Restaurant’ on High Street has a full page ad; and so has ‘Arthur Shepherd & Woodwards’, the tailors, who has a special ‘flannel trouser offer’; E. M. Staniland is pushing for ‘King Weed’, which should be smoked in one of his ‘natural briars’; a couple of car dealers are selling ‘dependable used’ cars; buy flowers and fruit at ‘John Mattock’; or have your photograph taken by ‘James Soame’; or stay at ‘The Castle Hotel’ or ‘Becket House Hotel’, or see the Eights from ‘Salter’s Steamer’ where you of course can obtain tea on board; and ‘Elliston & Cavell Ltd.’ in Magdalen Street, which was established in 1823, offers ‘Everything for Ladies and Children’s wear’.
I am ashamed to say that I have only witnessed Eights Week for half a day in May 1998….