Riverside plaque marks ar-sme achievement

PUBLISHED: 10:45 28 February 2008 | UPDATED: 22:01 03 May 2010

Geoff Cross, of Ivett and Reed, installing the plaque.

Geoff Cross, of Ivett and Reed, installing the plaque.

A PLAQUE cmmemrating the tw men wh inspired the Oxfrd and Cambridge University Bat Race has been installed n the riverside in Ely s Jubilee Gardens. Made by Cambridge stnemasns Ivett and Reed, it will be frmally unveiled during a day f celebrat

A PLAQUE cmmemrating the tw men wh inspired the Oxfrd and Cambridge University Bat Race has been installed n the riverside in Ely's Jubilee Gardens.

Made by Cambridge stnemasns Ivett and Reed, it will be frmally unveiled during a day f celebratins n March 8 - the bicentenary f the birth f Charles Merivale, frmer Dean f Ely Cathedral.

He and Charles Wrdswrth, wh were friends at Harrw Schl, came up with the idea fr the Bat Race while they were studying at Cambridge and Oxfrd respectively.

They bth rwed in the first race at Henley in 1829 befre ging n t achieve high church ffice. Charles Merivale was Dean f Ely frm 1869 t 1893 and Charles Wrdswrth became Bishp f St Andrews, Dunkeld and Dunblane.

Replicas f ne f the tw gigs used in the first race will be brught t Ely fr the celebratins and descendants f the tw funders will rw in a race n the Great Ouse belw the Ely railway bridge at 1.30pm. The gigs will then make their way t Jubilee Gardens fr the unveiling f the plaque at 2.30pm.

There will als be an exhibitin in Ely Cathedral that will include the Cambridge gig, Bat Race histry panels frm Henley's River and Rwing Museum, Merivale and Wrdswrth family trees, phtgraphs and perid bicycles prvided by the March Veteran and Vintage Cycle Club.

Afterwards, the exhibitin will mve t the Tithe Barn at Oliver Crmwell's Huse and then t Ely Museum.

The inaugural meeting f the Bat Race Funders Sciety will be held in the cathedral at 4.45pm ahead f a special Evensng service at 5.30pm. This will be fllwed by a Cambridgeshire bangers and mash supper in the Lady Chapel, fr which a few tickets are still available at £30 each.

INFO: jack.waterfall@ntlwrld.cm - Tel: 07767 795895.

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