Our History

St Hilda's rowers 1919

1900s - 1930s

The women of St Hilda's College, were the first on the river, and started rowing in the early 1900's. The club purchased it's first VIII+ in 1911, over 100 years ago. The first varsity race against Cambridge was held in 1927, with the crews being judged on both speed and style. This boat was comprised of the five Oxford colleges accepting women at the time; Lady Margret Hall, St Anne's, St Hugh's, Somervillea and (of course) St Hilda's.

1940s - 1968

Juliet Margaret Rogerson shares her experiences of rowing at St Hilda's and for O.U.W.B.C in 1946-7 along with some photographs from the time.

This photo was kindly sent to us by Angela Anderson (nee Harvey) and her husband Richard. Angela was one of the legendary crew to take on men at Summer Eights 1969.


St Hilda's made rowing history by becoming the first crew of women to ever compete in Oxford's Summer Eights. They sucessfully 'Rowed On' against the men's boats and continued to compete in Division VIII.


In 1976, following several more men's colleges going mixed in 1974, women had their own division in Summer Eights. There is little information about St Hilda's Boat Club specifically during this time, however the crew lists are available to us. Women's divisions in Torpids quickly followed in 1978; after cancellation of the 1977 Torpids due to flooding.

St Hilda's 1st VIII in Summer Eights 1977


In the 1980s, the world saw what St Hilda's rowers had to offer with 2 ex-St Hilda's rowers, Alison Gill and Pauline Janson becoming Olympians.


St Hilda's Boat Club enjoyed a great deal of success in the 90s, including 1st Division blades and more than a scattering of St Hilda's representatives in OUWBC, OUBC and OUWLRC.

St Hilda's Novice VIII in Christchurch Regatta 1995

2008 Blade winning "Hildabeast" boat


A bumper year during this time for Hilda's rowing was 2008. Not only did we reach our highest position ever in Summer eights, 3rd on the river, but our "Hildabeast Beer Boat" also won blades, and for the first time, St Hilda's entered a Men's crew in Summer Eights!


Some exciting wins for St Hilda's in external Regattas. Just last year we, yet again, made SHCBC history with the first set of double blades for both W1 and M1 in Torpids. With a healthy number of bumps for all four crews in Summer Eights last summer and an amazing double overbump for the M2 boat we are excited to see what the next year brings! For more recent updates please see our News section or our Gallery .

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