please empty your brain below

I saw my first boat race in 2010, a year and a half after I first moved to London. I watched in Furnival Gardens, just up river from Hammersmith Bridge. I was disappointed that the Oxford and Cambridge pub was closed (which has now been turned into flats, naturally).

In 2013, I moved to Hammersmith, and now have watched all the boat races since (that have been held in London) as it passes by my flat. Every year something new seems to pop up to pander to the masses. Yesterday, on my wanders, I spoke to a Chinese woman who was excited to video the entire event on her phone, and a Slovakian man who happened to be in London as he and his wife were at an Ed Sheeran concert at the O2 the previous night.

Thank you for your continued wanderings and reportings on them.
Watched my first boat race in 1984 when I lived off King St and could just wander across to the river. Agree that it is best seen on TV. Bike races are a similar event to consign to tv entertainment.
Well done for 20 years of excellent content.

It reminded me of an early job in 1991, where someone in the office, using his Daily Mirror, popped out to the bookies at lunchtime to place one small bet, and then didn't check the result until he read the next day's paper when he got to work. The complete opposite of today's instant information world!
Just enjoyed reading the flashmob entries. When you mentioned a few weeks ago you’d done flash mobs i picturesd the big dance numbers which became popular a few years later - I’d forgotten about those mundane flash mobs! It’s a shame the links to news reports are dead; so much historical information is lost in the digital age.
Gosh, I'd completely forgotten about the boat race. When I was growing up (in what seems like pre-history now), it was a major event.
Why is the nation is still supposed to be gripped by this elite and minority event? That the BBC has televised it for so long might have something to do with it - and it is a uniquely televisual event - but why not the many other rowing events across the country? Who realised, come the Olympics, that there were many other teams besides these two? The Henley Regatta might also be a bit 'posh' but at least the rowers come from all over the world to compete, with the only TV coverage provided by a private live stream. And on the Thames but the weekend before 'The Boat Race' was the Heads of the River Competition, with hundreds of crews from all over the world taking part. If the BBC's 'impartiality' is being question over the preponderance of Oxbridge teams on University Challenge, then their obsession with this particular Boat Race should be called into question.
Always seems to be the same two teams in the final...
2012 was the year I had a friend visiting and suggested going to see the race: I think we took up position somewhere near Mortlake. With the Olympics due to come in the Summer there had been plenty of news reports about heightened security at all major sporting events through the year, so it was no surprise to see Police ribs patrolling the river.
We knew the race had started from the radios of people nearby... but then it all went mysteriously quiet. It took quite a while to learn what had happened, ie. the swimmer who had somehow managed to get within touching distance of one of the boats, near Chiswick.
My first thought was that the crews had been lucky it hadn't been a suicide bomber with a waterproof device.
My immediate next thought was that Mr Oldfield had also been lucky - seriously lucky - that the Police patrols seemingly didn't include a marksman.
It wasn't broadcast on TV in Canada this year, but at least the good guys (and gals) won! (Sorry dg).
Just wanted to add that the small flotilla directly behind the race is mostly coaches and family... it's the much bigger ones that are moored at Putney and Mortlake which are the champagne fuelled supporters.
How quickly we forget how things used to be. This is why your blog is/will be so useful to social historians.
43 years of living in Hammersmith, and not once have I felt even vaguely compelled to watch the Boat Race live, or on TV for that matter. As a significant sporting event of national interest it ranks right up there with cheese rolling or hide & seek.I suspect even the majority of Oxford and Cambridge alumni have less than a passing interest in it.

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