The Spreadbury Cup is a large silver trophy. It was instituted shortly after World War II by Bob Spreadbury. The Cup is awarded annually to the person who, in the opinion of the retiring Captain, has contributed most to the Club's well-being over the past year.
Here is its story...
Outside his professional career Mr. Robert Cleveland (Bob) Spreadbury was a keen musician and bandmaster of the Weybridge Military Band and Tarrrant's Band of Byfleet. The Cup which bears his name was presented to him by the members of Tarrant's Band in recognition of his services to them as their conductor. 'Bob' became Honorary Treasurer of the Club in the late 1920s, a post which he held until his death in March 1950 at the age of 77, having seen the club successfully through some of the bleakest financial periods in its history. As a mark of appreciation, in September 1944, he was made an Honorary Life Member and presented with a silver tankard to mark the occasion.
On his death the 'Tarrant' cup was presented to the Club in his memory to be awarded annually to the member who is adjudged to have made the most meritorious contribution to the wellbeing of the Club during the preceding year. Indirectly, this Cup is a fitting tribute to the contribution made collectively by the Spreadbury family to rowing over a long period of time.
Bob's elder son, Eric, was a keen oarsman and sculler. He, too, was a keen musician but, tragically, was killed in a motorcycle accident in 1926. Bob's younger son, Cyril, was also well known in rowing circles for his outstanding dedication to the sport both at Weybridge Rowing Club and at St. George's College Boat Club, where he taught many boys the art of rowing. Cyril was Club Captain for 8 years in the 1930s and 1940s and a stalwart of the Club in the middle part of the 20th Century. He was a hard-working individual, always willing to coach and help the crews. He was Vice-President in the 1960s.
Bob's daughter, Joan, was also a lifetime supporter of the Club, commencing with selling regatta programmes at an early age and graduating to organising meals and other supporting functions at both club and open regattas. Her husband, George Kenyon, was a distinguished oarsman and highly-respected member of Weybridge Rowing Club. Their son, Robert, rowed for Weybridge in the 1970s and has returned to the Club in recent years, appearing in a variety of Masters crews.
The winner of the Spreadbury Cup is chosen by the retiring Captain. That person will have followed in Bob's and Cyril's footsteps by advancing the Club's interests beyond his/her own. It is rarely presented to a current officer, who by definition, should be a hard-working person; it normally goes to a 'rank-and-file' member whose work might have gone largely unrecognised. It is not normally awarded more than once to the same person.
It is purposely not aimed at recognising rowing or athletic prowess. The Club's highest achiever at regattas will already have a set of pots to show for that effort. Previous winners have included those running the bar or events, maintaining the boats, towing the trailer, keeping the club spick-and-span, or coaching or coxing at all levels.
Winning the Spreadbury Cup is more than keeping custody of the trophy for 12 months; it permits "membership for life" of a team of people who have made a real difference at Weybridge Rowing Club over the years. To that end, Cup winners are invited to enjoy a biennial dinner at the Club where the latest winners can be welcomed to group. Moreover, like-minded people, young and not-so-young, can enjoy exchanging stories of club life over the years. These gatherings occur in the Spring of 'even-numbered' years and have been organised since their inception in 1988, by Greg Jones (winner in 1976).
The ethos of the Spreadbury Cup is to recognise exceptional effort, not necessarily length of service. Several winners went on to become Club Captains after receiving the Cup, including the 50th recipient, David Grayston. The Cup has only twice been jointly awarded, and only three times has it gone to a previous winner.
In 2000, Mark Johnson (winner in 1990) kindly provided a delightful oak board which is mounted in the clubroom and bears all of the winners' names.
2022 marks the 75th anniversary of the Spreadbury Cup.
Keep swiping or scrolling down to 1948, or use the arrows for the 'Year' column to reverse the order