David Semple was a founder member of Upton Rowing Club which was formed in 1995. Throughout the life of the club he was a stalwart and enthusiastic supporter of all aspects of club activity. He was chairman of the club for a number of years before taking on the role of president. He will always be remembered for his wit and good humour and was always ready to help the club with fundraising.  He will be dearly missed.

The club recently acquired several new boats including an eight – all of which needed naming. It was thought that the eight should be called ‘David Semple’ but in seeking his permission he suggested that it should be called ‘OK Dave’ which is how his granddaughter Eleanor greeted him and became a family catchphrase.

The boat was duly named ‘OK Dave’ by Eleanor on Sunday, 30th April at a ceremony held at the clubhouse and attended by family and many members and friends. Though David was much missed it was a happy event with many stories being told about David’s adventures.

David’s family, from left to right back row:  His wife Wendy, Beki, Cardboard Cutout of David, Marc, Andrew Front Row: Jacob, George, Eleanor and Imogen.

Following the approval of outline planning permission for houses on the Upton marina, the committee would like to be clear that the rowing club continues to thrive and grow, having just finished one of the most successful racing seasons in the club’s history. We expect to be able to continue at our current site with the support of Ting Dene marina and look forward to working with Ting Dene as detailed plans are prepared to ensure both the housing development and the club can happily coexist.

We have some concerns about this development, specifically on how it might impact on the rowing club’s ability to operate and grow, both during the development phase and once the houses are occupied. Our concerns were outlined in our letter to the planners and haven’t changed.

  1. URC have heard that the marina development plans have been approved with conditions applied. We have not yet been able to review the conditions to see how this development might impact on the club in the near and long term.
  2. Depending on the eventual details of the development, the club might have to explore possible relocation sites in order for the club to continue to thrive and grow. However obtaining planning approval and relocating the club boat house would have a cost which is significantly beyond the club’s resources.
  3. It was noted that the town council have made recommendations for the open space contribution funds from this development which includes improvements to local sports facilities. Unfortunately it does not include the rowing club, despite the rowing club potentially experiencing significant impact from this development.