Wolfson College Boat Club, Oxford

Recollections of Wolfson’s First Cox

In the summer of 2014, Douglas Johnson, one of Wolfson’s first coxes, visited the Isis for the first time since 1971. In the intervening time, Wolfson had moved from the bottom division of the bumps charts to contesting strongly in the top! He was kind enough to share his thoughts:

I was a second year undergrad at St Peter’s, where I had been the First Eight cox for two Torpids and a Summer Eights, getting a few bumps. However, for the 1969 Eights, I had been sacked after some differences with the coach. A couple of scratch crews used to ask me to take them out, but I was otherwise unemployed.

At the start of Trinity, a man from Wolfson approached me to cox their boat, and I was happy to do it. We were, of course, in the lowest division. I cannot remember the man’s name (although I can picture him), nor how he lit on me (was he ex-SPC? Did he have a friend or contact there?).

Anyway, we had a good time, and a while later there was a very civilised dinner at Wolfson at which one of the dons advised me that strenuous exercise should be avoided as leading to long term damage!

Having effectively lost contact with Oxford for so long, I had no idea of Wolfson’s prowess at rowing. I am delighted to see that things have advanced so far.