Dean anniversary will take to water

PUBLISHED: 17:37 03 August 2006 | UPDATED: 11:56 04 May 2010

Three men in a boat with an historian. From the front, Martin Whitworth, Isle of Ely Rowing Club president, the Bishop of Ely, the Rt. Rev Dr Anthony Russell, Lynne Turner and the Mayor of Ely, Cllr. John Ison.

Three men in a boat with an historian. From the front, Martin Whitworth, Isle of Ely Rowing Club president, the Bishop of Ely, the Rt. Rev Dr Anthony Russell, Lynne Turner and the Mayor of Ely, Cllr. John Ison.

Plans are being made to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the birth of Dean Charles Merivale, the former Dean of Ely who helped launch the Oxford and Cambridge University Boat Race. The celebrations in 2008 could feature a replica of the Cambridge boat u

Plans are being made to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the birth of Dean Charles Merivale, the former Dean of Ely who helped launch the Oxford and Cambridge University Boat Race.

The celebrations in 2008 could feature a replica of the Cambridge boat used in the first race in 1829, following a visit to Eton's Dorney Lake by the Bishop of Ely, the Rt Rev Dr Anthony Russell, the Mayor of Ely, Cllr John Ison, and the president of the Isle of Ely Rowing Club, Martin Whitworth, who rowed in the 1944 Boat Race.

With them were Diamond44 stalwarts Cllr Jack Waterfall and historian Lynne Turner.

They were shown a heavy, pink and white, clinker-built gig modelled on the craft used in 1829 and a replica of the green Oxford boat.

Both gigs - built for a commemorative event before the 150th Boat Race in 2004 - could come to Ely in time for a special service in Ely Cathedral on 8 March, 2008. .

Among those present will be the Mayor of Ely and Cllr Jack Waterfall, who said: "Ely has strong links with the Boat Race and we think it's important to celebrate the lives of the two men who started it all.

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