Dick Anderson's new book describes London's second river as it became the playground for the burgeoning population of East London in the 19th century. The increased leisure time available to Victorian workers created the opportunity to develop a pleasure boat trade alongside the industry which relied on the river's water for its transport and its processes. Despite terrible accidents, the trade prospered and races were sponsored by the local inns. Rowing clubs were established for amateurs and professionals and local men began a century long battle to make the sport accessible to all. East End missions, churches, political clubs, factories and inns all had rowing clubs - more than 150 have been identified. The book describes the boatmen's and clubs' struggle for survival on an appallingly polluted river and through two World Wars, leading up to the creation of Lea Rowing Club at Springhill in 1980.
Published in Black and white the book has 176 pages and 42 photos, maps and illustrations from local archives, families of boatmen and past club members.
All the proceeds from the sale of the book through this website, after deducting printing and distribution costs, will be donated to Lea Rowing Club's redevelopment fund.Priced at £15.00, with UK delivery at £2.50, each book sold will generate approximately £11.00 for the redevelopment fund.