Ha’penny Crew exhibition made me so proud
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)