Shrewsbury School

The 151st Bumping Races

Monday 1 July 2019

The Bumping Races have been the climax of our inter-house rowing races at Shrewsbury since 1867. They have lost none of their excitement over the years.

In an excellent article published recently on the rowing blog “Hear The Boat Sing”, Tim Koch wrote about the Summer Eights at Oxford ( He quoted OS Richard Hillary who called Oxford “the city of beautiful nonsense”, concluding that rowing, and bumps racing in particular, was “beautiful nonsense”.

After the flooding on Thursday, we reached the hottest day of the year. Oldham’s and The Grove were looking good to retain the Headships, but the Bumpers Cups were all up for grabs.

Division 3

Radbrook remained Head of the Division after rowing over in every race. Mary Sidney maintained their position ahead of The Grove to finish as the highest placed girls’ house. Emma Darwin were the only crew to bump down in every race. Ingram’s continued their run of bad luck to finish at the foot of the divisions for the fourth successive year.

Division 2

The Grove successively defended the Elizabeth Cup as the highest placed girls’ house; they started the day in 4th (the highest place The Grove has ever achieved in Division 2 – including when it was a boys’ house).

Mary Sidney closed to within one place to tee things up nicely for next year. Moser’s top boat bumped every day to become the only crew to win ‘blades’.

Oldham’s took the Head of Division 2 away from Radbrook. Port Hill bumped down in every race. Ingram’s finish at the foot of Division 2 for the sixth successive year.

The Grove with the Elizabeth Cup

Moser's with the Birt Trophy

Division 1

Oldham’s continued their dominance and rowed over again to win the Head of the River trophy for the second year in a row – capping off ten years of Mr Johnson’s Housemastership. (When he took over as Housemaster, Oldham’s were bottom of Division 1.

Rigg’s, Radbrook and Ridgemount recovered to where they started in 2017.

Port Hill are now at the Foot of the Division (after challenging for the Headship in 2017), following a bump by Ingram’s.

Oldham's celebrating after remaining Head of the River for the second year running.  Cox Archie Duckworth (cox), Maarten Straube (stroke) , Ali Davies (3), Petr Rostokin (2), Angus Shepherd-Cross (bow) photographed by Dr Torsten Straube.


Prizes were awarded after racing as follows:

Bumpers Cups

- awarded for average bumping points per crew:

4th (Mill Cup) – Mary Sidney Hall
3rd (Dickens Plaque) – Oldham’s Hall and Radbrook (joint)
2nd (Bower Cup) – Oldham’s Hall and Radbrook (joint)
1st (Friends Cup) – Moser’s Hall

Head of Division 3 medals (boys) – Radbrook
Head of Division 3 medals (girls) – Mary Sidney Hall
Head of Division 2 medals (boys) – Oldham’s Hall
Head of Division 2 medals (girls) and the Elizabeth Cup – The Grove
Head of Division 1 medals and Head of the River Trophy – Oldham's Hall

Birt Trophy (overall girls' House rowing prize) – Moser’s Hall
Leadbitter Cup (overall boys' House rowing prize) – Oldham’s Hall

Round 4 confirmed bumps were as follows:

Division 1
R bpd Ch
S bpd SH
I bpd PH

Division 2
O bpd Rb
R bpd G
M bpd PH
Rt bpd I

Division 3
Ch bpd R
S bpd O
Rt bpd EDH


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