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March 20, 2020

Coronavirus Update

Coronavirus - Club Policy



This note sets out the policies the Committee has determined following discussion in the light of the latest Government advice known to us as at 19 March. These policies have been approved by the Captain and the Safety Officer.

The situation – and the Club’s response – may change significantly, with little or no notice. Please refer regularly to the Bedford Rowing Club Facebook page which will be our principal vehicle for communicating with members. We will also post notices on the noticeboards in the Clubhouse and on the website where practicable, but we may not always be able to do that immediately.

Please also keep up to date with the latest Government guidance and requirements via the usual media channels, and comply with it.  As at 19 March, see:


  • In line with British Rowing’s strong advice, our Small Boats Head on 5 April is cancelled. Bedford Regatta, scheduled for 9 May, has also been cancelled. We have also just learned that the River Festival scheduled for 18 and 19 July 2020 has been postponed until 2021. (Though not a rowing event, the Club typically derives significant income from facilities we offer at the biennial River Festivals).


  • If you, or anyone with whom you share a home or whom you are looking after, are in any of the vulnerable groups identified by HM Government (see link above) please keep yourself safe and healthy and stay away from the Club. Likewise if you have any symptoms of the virus.


  • If you are coming to the Club:-


  • Observe the Government’s ‘social distancing’ advice to keep 2 metres away from all other persons whenever practicable.
  • You should arrive at the Club suitably dressed to row, and should go home to change. The changing rooms and showers are to be used ONLY in the event of capsize.
  • Juniors should be dropped off at the Club and collected from the car park at the end of the session. Parents etc. are not to wait on the Club’s premises, other than in the car park or on the balcony.
  • 8s, Octos and stern-coxed 4+ are not to be used.
  • 4x -, tub 4x+, 4-, BOW-COXED 4+ and smaller boats may be used with the agreement of the relevant coach.
  • Cox boxes are not to be used.
  • Rowing under the auspices of Bedford Rowing Club is to be undertaken by BRC members only. BRC boats may not be used for composite crews with non-members of BRC.
  • The gym and ergo room are now out of use for members. Ergo machines may be used on the balcony, if your coach agrees.
  • Coaches and/or the Captain may require squads to schedule outings so as to keep the numbers using facilities at any particular time to a minimum. Any issues about who may use any facilities or any boats at any given time will be determined by the relevant squad coaches, or ultimately by the Captain (Mike Baker) whose decision shall be final.
  • You must clean the ergo before and after you use it. Cleaning spray and paper roll are provided, but please bring your own products as the Club can’t guarantee continuous supply.
  • For rowing, wash blade handles before and after use – bleach and a bucket are provided. NB bleach must be used strictly in accordance with the instructions on the bottle. Never use in excessive concentration.
  • Likewise thoroughly clean the seat as well as the outside of the boat after rowing.


  • The bar will be closed from 9 pm Thursday 19 March until further notice. Private hire bookings will continue to be taken and honoured, unless and until higher authority prohibits or advises us to cease doing so. Otherwise access to the Clubhouse will be solely via the boat bay doors and (for fob holders) the back door from the car park.


  • The Committee will keep these arrangements under close review, and may amend or update them from time to time. We may need to tighten the restrictions in line with advice or instructions from HM Government, British Rowing or the Club’s insurers. Subject to that, it is our intention to keep as many of the Club’s facilities open as is consistent with those requirements and for as long as possible, and to bring the full facilities back into use just as soon as the current emergency allows.


  • Subscriptions continue to be payable in full. In short, we need the money. Our overheads still have to be paid, and the cancellation of our two Heads, the Regatta and the River Festival represents a considerable loss of anticipated income. We are very grateful for your continued support for your Club through this difficult period.


  • We had been planning a number of social occasions for your enjoyment and to help raise funds. While these are necessarily postponed for the time being, we very much look forward to putting them on as soon as possible, and to seeing you there.



President, on behalf of the Committees of Bedford Rowing Club and Bedford Rowing Social Club

19 March 2020