Ha’penny Crew ex­hi­bi­tion made me so proud

Rutherglen Reformer - - News - Staff re­porter

A Burn­side man beamed with pride as mem­o­ra­bilia cel­e­brat­ing his fa­ther’s suc­cess­ful row­ing ca­reer was dis­played at a Glas­gow mu­seum.

Wil­liam Penny ( 69) is the son of Thomas Penny, a rower who won mul­ti­ple tro­phies with the Clyde Am­a­teur Row­ing Club.

Thomas, how­ever, or Tommy as he was bet­ter known, is only one of FIVE brothers who graced the club dur­ing the 1920s and 30s, win­ning a whole host of hon­ours.

Thomas, Lau­rence, Alexan­der, Wil­liam and James Penny all have their place in the sports’ his­tory.

They be­came af­fec­tion­ately known the ‘Fourpence Ha’Penny Crew’,

And Wil­liam, who lives on Vic­to­ria Road, has do­nated an old club shirt and a host of tro­phies won by the brothers to a spe­cial ex­hi­bi­tion which was opened in the River­side Mu­seum at the end of Oc­to­ber.

In fact, one of the brothers, Jimmy, who is 92-years-old, made the trip from down south to open the ex­hi­bi­tion.

And the oc­ca­sion was almost too much for Wil­liam, as the dis­play brought mem­o­ries of his fa­ther flood­ing back: “I was nearly bub­bling when I saw it! It was very emo­tional.

“A lot of my rel­a­tives and friends came to see it, there was a lot of peo­ple there. They all loved it.

“They had told me roughly how the dis­play would look , but I didn’t think it would be that im­pres­sive.

“I’m glad I could add to the dis­play, and that other peo­ple will get a chance to see the shirt and tro­phies.”

The Penny brothers were mem­bers of the Clyde Arc Row­ing Club in the 1920s and 30s.

Although it may have stood out that there were five brothers row­ing at the same club, the sib­ling’s soon boosted their reputations fur­ther by win­ning many pres­ti­gious events.

Lau­rie won the Hen­der­son Sculling Cup, the Pres­i­dent’s Prize for Pairs and the McArthur Cup in 1929. He also won the ju­nior pairs at the Scot­tish Cham­pi­onships with Tommy.

Tommy and Lau­rie won Ju­nior and Se­nior Pairs events at the Scot­tish Cham­pi­onships in 1930 and 1931.

Tommy and Lau­rie con­tin­ued to com­pete in the pairs, with Wil­liam, who joined the club in 1930 as their coxswain, in the coxed fours. By this time Alexan­der had also joined the Clyde Arc.

James is thought to have joined the club in 1932. It paved the way for all five brothers to row as a coxed four crew. The Penny crew raced promi­nently dur­ing the 1932 sea­son and won the McLay and Vogt Cups.

The dis­play is now open at the River­side mu­seum on Point­house Road in Glas­gow.

Proud Wil­liam at the dis­play with his grand­daugh­ter Jessica (7)

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