Hawks Newsletter December 2023

President’s Introduction

Gentlemen Hawks,

The Hawks’ Club has enjoyed a particularly busy Michaelmas Term, with a record 193 Resident Hawks and 152 Resident Ospreys enjoying our home at Portugal Place. Hawks returned in September to a preseason House Party and a packed bar showing the Rugby World Cup, the sorrow of England’s semi-final defeat drowned in pints of Tomahawk. The pace continued through the term, with the Dining Room regularly booked out for sports club dinners while the Resident Members enjoyed a healthy diet of the Triple B (beers, burgers and brownies) from the Bar. My thanks go to Lauren Bland (Steward) and the Committee whose hard work has made the place so lively and enjoyable!

Sporting success has continued this term, in September we received word from Belgrade that Freddie Davidson (Emmanuel) had won a second consecutive Rowing World Championship in the Men’s Four, while Tom George (Peterhouse) and Ollie Wynne-Griffith (Peterhouse) won a Silver medal in an all CUBC/Hawks Men’s Pair. We wish Freddie, Tom and Ollie the very best in their preparations for Paris, as they join a rich history of Hawks’ Club Olympians

Meanwhile, in Cambridge, Grange Road was packed full for the 75th Steele-Bodger Match, a fixture first played in 1948 when Mickey Steele-Bodger, a legendary Hawk and England international, brought an invitational side to play the Blues in a pre-Varsity warmup. The standard of the game has remained high, with the Bodgers running out 52-17 winners, the Bodgers enjoyed a bit of Hawks’ magic with Old Blue Tom Lovelace (Hughes Hall) scoring a hat-trick for the visitors. 

At the end of term, the CUBC ran their Trial Eights on a particularly rough Tideway course, the heavyweights rowed a shortened course while the lightweight race was re-run the following day after one crew (coached by the Hawks’ President!) sank 300m in. Both races were raced to a high standard and will provide valuable experience for the Blue Boats in March.

December saw the start of the 2024 Varsity season, with the Hare & Hounds kicking off the annual challenges against the Dark Blues. On a cold Wimbledon Common, the Men’s Blues out ran the Other Place in the 132nd University Cross Country Match, unfortunately the Women’s Blues lost in a tight race. The following weekend, our skiers won both the Men’s and Women’s Blues Races in the 101st Varsity in Tignes. These strong results bode well for 2024 as the rest of our Resident Hawks do battle with Oxford in their respective sports.

Finally, the Club continues to be much more than the Resident membership and it has been a pleasure to meet so many alumni this term. The London Dinner at the Savoy and Golf Day were both great successes and there has been a steady flow of vintage Hawks dropping into the Clubhouse to meet the current students and trade stories. We look forward to the Welsh Dinner and Varsity fixtures next term. You will also find pieces below about the Club’s rich history covering two former Presidents, Arthur Smith (1956-57) and Paul Marsh (1964-65). Please do drop in for a drink next term, we would love to welcome you back to the Club.

The Club has maintained its position at the forefront of Cambridge sport, uniting Light Blue sportsmen and women, and remains central to the busy student lives of the Resident membership. Thank you for your support in 2023, I wish you and your families a very Happy Christmas and New Year.


Felix Craig-McFeely (Fitzwilliam, CUBC)

Hawks’ Club President 2023-24


London Dinner

It was a great pleasure to see many familiar faces at the Annual Dinner, including a particularly sizable contingent of recent graduates and Residents. We had members elected in 1959 alongside those elected in 2023, with strong reunion tables from 1980s CUAFC, 1990s CUBC and 2010s CURUFC. James Furber (Gonville & Caius) ran proceedings from the Chair while Philip Collins (St John’s) gave an excellent speech drawing links between the Club, Cambridge sport and a life in politics. Many thanks to the London Dinner Committee, particularly the Dinner Secretary Ed Hyde (Jesus) for their hard work in organising another fantastic evening at the Savoy. We would be grateful to receive any pictures taken during the evening for our next newsletter and look forward to seeing you again next year.

The Resident Committee – Ryan Moss, Alex Mair, Seb Walton, Ehren Agarwal, Felix Craig-McFeely, Charles Kantolinna, Cam Mitchell, Max Loveridge, Samir Sardana


Welsh Dinner

The 50th Dinner will take place at the Cardiff and County Club, Cardiff on 19th January. 7.00 pm for 7.45. Black or Club Tie. Please email Stephen Whitehead (whiteheadstephen3@googlemail.com) if you would like to attend.


Club Shop

The *new* Hawks’ Web Shop is now LIVE, this new web shop will be open throughout the year with faster delivery. Hawks’ merchandise is a must have gift this Christmas with new Rab Gilets and Columbia Sweaters available!

Over the summer, we have implemented a new shipping system where delivery is managed externally, making delivery times much shorter (2 working days). Delivery will be to any address in the UK and there will no longer be the option to collect from the clubhouse.

We have limited stock on some lines so please order quickly to avoid any disappointment. Nonetheless, we will work to replenish any low stock levels as soon as possible.

Finally, if there are any suggestions for new items or issues with the ordering process, please email Seb Walton (Merchandise Officer) on sjw279@cam.ac.uk


CUBC Pennant – Paul Marsh (President 1964-65)

In response to the last newsletter in July, I was delighted to receive an email from Paul Marsh (Jesus, CUHC, CUCC), President of the Hawks’ Club in 1964-65 and now living in Christchurch, New Zealand. Paul was travelling to the UK in October and wished to meet the current President and see the Clubhouse, he also described a small pennant which originally belonged to the CUBC, which he wished to return.

The pennant had originally belonged to the 1938 Cambridge Blue Boat (crew introduction here), and had been flown on the bow of their boat as they were beaten by a strong Oxford crew in the first race televised by the BBC (race here). The crew was stroked by Denis Eadie who won a MC for bravery at the relief of Kohima. Alan Burrough rowed at 3 and was President in the winning 1939 crew, a legendary Hawk who lost a leg serving with the Royal Artillery in Africa yet continued to race in Henley finals and for Great Britain, bought a 999-year lease on Temple Island as a gift to the Regatta and sponsored the Boat Race through his company, Beefeater Gin. The President’s Room is named the Burrough Room in his memory.

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The 1938 Blue Boat trail Oxford past the Fulham Wall. BT Coulton Jesus (bow); AM Turner Corpus Christi; A Burrough Jesus; TB Langton Jesus (President); JLL Savill Jesus; G Keppel Trinity Hall; A Campbell Selwyn; DSM Eadle 1st Trinity (stroke); TH Hunter Trinity Hall (cox)

The story of the pennant relates to the 1938 President Tom B. Langton, a Jesus College oarsman, who rowed in the Boat Race for Cambridge in 1937 and 1938. During the North African Campaign in the Second World War, Langton and a group of the Special Boat Service made a grandiose escape from Tobruk to El Alamein. Lt Langton drove his men for two months across 400 miles of desert to reach the British lines after the failure of Operation Agreement, for which he received the Military Cross.

After the 1938 Boat Race, Tom Langton organised a tour to South Africa, it was agreed that the pennant would be given to the South African host who made the biggest contribution to the tour. Langton awarded it to Wilfred Marsh, President of the Witwatersrand University Boat Club. It was framed and hung in a prominent place at his home until his death in 1984. Tom Langton and Wilfred Marsh continued a long and close relationship resulting in Tom nominating Wilfred for membership of Leander Club. He rarely missed a Henley regatta and proudly wore his pink regalia whenever possible.

Most importantly, Tom encouraged Wilfred to send his son, Paul, to Jesus College. Paul flourished at Jesus, winning a Blue in Hockey, appearing for the Crusaders Cricket Club and was elected President of the Hawks’ Club in 1964 during their final years in All Saints Passage. Tom and his wife Lucy stood in for Paul’s parents when Paul married Ann in London in 1964.