Wednesday, 4 April 2012


April 7th 2012 sees the 158th Boat Race between crews from the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge. First raced in 1829 The Boat Race is one of the oldest sporting events in the world.

Watched by thousands along the banks of The Tideway, between Putney and Mortlake in London and by millions more on TV around the world, The Boat Race is a unique sporting event. With two very strong squads of athletes, expect to see another great race this year.

With such an illustious history it is no wonder that this great event has been depicted in print for many years. You can view our collection of rowing prints here
Or have a look at this rare item (Pictured left) , a scarce printed broadside ballad about the famous boat race, begging:
Hurrah for the boat race once a year,
From Putney to Mortlake,
The Oxford and the Cambridge lads,
Who row for honour’s sake...

The ballad was probably first produced for sale to the crowds in London watching the boat race itself, already a major national event by 1877. The sheet does not specify a tune as ballad sellers relied on their audience being attracted by the title, or wanting to take away a souvenir - whether from a boat race, a railway opening, a prize fight, or execution.

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