On January 11th 2024 Ian Shepherd achieved the remarkable milestone of 71 years membership of Durham ARC which was marked with a celebratory paddle in a double with Barry Hudson.
Ian joined the club in 1953 and can be seen in the above Club photo of that year on the back row 5th from the right (captioned with the wrong initials!).
Also in the photo the first four who won the Grand Challenge Cup at the 1953 Durham Regatta are seated on the front row either side of the trophies; left to right H Smith, M Turner, JH McGregor and A Beecroft, with cox B Thompson in front of them (centre).
During Coronation week that year the Durham Regatta Committee organised a Durham Coronation Regatta, at which the above four also won the Queen Elizabeth II Cup.
The years that followed saw a golden era for the club, in which Ian was a key player. At the 1954 AGM the Club President, Mr.L.H.Mackay (middle row 5th from right) wished to continue in an honorary capacity only, so the position of Chairman was created, the first Chairman being Mr.J.F.H.Veitch (centre) who was replaced as Captain by Mr.J.W.Golightly, on his right.
The following year marked the start of a 9-year winning streak during which DARC won the Grand Challenge Cup each year between 1955 and 1963. The 1955 crew was H Middlemas (back row, centre), JM Thornton, M Turner, PH Mills (2nd left back row) and cox J Biglands (front, centre).
In a long and illustrious career Ian was still competing 60 years later in the Masters quad at the 2016 Durham Small Boats Head, the same year in which as Club President he welcomed Jess Eddie back to the club with the silver medal won in the Women’s eight at the Rio Olympics.