Neleus Rowing Club

In December 2017 we were contacted, via this website, by the Great Great Grandaughter of John Alfred Rorke. John was one of the founder members of the Neleus Rowing Club. She was tracing both the history of him and that of the club. Unfortunately we were unable to help her trace the history of the club as our records only go back to the origins of Neleus Lodge which was consecrated in 1904 and furthermore her Great Great Grandfather was not one of the founder members of the lodge.

However, she has supplied us with the copy of a sketch of the 1st Neleus Club House. On the reverse of the sketch are the words, "This is the rowing club founded by my Grandfather". It suggests that the Club House was in use from 1850. She was always told from her family that it was at Lambeth, as they lived on the river by Lambeth Bridge.  She didn't believe that it was in Lambeth and after some research found a photograph taken at Chelsea before the Embankment was built. The pub in the photo is the The Adam and Eve that was demolished at the time of the building works where the copy of the sketch was found.

Compare the two pictures, you can see the similarity, particularly with the church in the background.

Click picture to enlarge

Click picture to enlarge

John Alfred Rorke was obsessed with rowing and the river and took his large family down the river, first to Putney and then to Thames Ditton. The photgraph below is of him wearing his boater and regatta clothing and was taken at Thames Ditton.

He was a carver and gilder who made reproduction furniture and picture frames from premises at 104 Fulham Rd. He was contracted to do a huge amount of restoration work at Buckingham Palace in about 1896. He had a lot of children, several of whom were successful actors.

Click picture to enlarge

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