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Lea Rowing Club has made a planning application proposing the demolition of The boatshed, Spring Hill, Hackney, E5 9BL. The application is 2012/0669.

This is what Hackney web site says: "Partial demolition of single storey boatshed; rebuilding of boatshed and erection of extensions at ground and first floor level; refurbishment to existing rowing club boatshed to facilitate the provision of a new gym and support facilities; associated new refuse and recycling facilities and new cycle storage; external alterations including new windows, new balcony, new entrance, new skylights and solar panels to roof.

Tyrrell's boatshed (between the café and the two storey boatshed) is the most historic building on the site. The Hackney Society is believed to be nominating the building for the Council's local list, so presumably will be making their views known on the application.

Tyrrell's boatshed is the historic part of the club. It is a single storey brick and slate former boat builder's premises, dating from late 19th century and is now used only for boat storage, predominantly members single sculls. It is proposed to construct a stand alone plant/boiler room to serve the re-developed premises. This is located at the back of the Tyrell's boatshed and is linked to the new entrance lobby. This building is of a scale and materials similar to Tyrell's boatshed. It is proposed to introduce a number of Velux style rooflights into the roof of Tyrell's boatshed and carry out a schedule of repairs and maintenance to preserve the existing features of the building.

This building is the sole survivor of the era when Clapton riverside was known as the "Henley of the Lea". There were numerous boatsheds along Clapton riverside during the nineteenth century, and the Lea Regatta was an important annual event in the rowing calendar at this time.The first women's rowing club in England was established by Homerton College and operated from Clapton riverside.

This boatshed was also notable for being a Royal Humane Society receiving house, as recorded in Dickens's Dictionary of London, 1879. Thomas Cogan, a founder of the Royal Humane Society, owned land in Clapton and was buried in Hackney. The Royal Humane Society was established in 1774 to recover people from drowning by the placement of receiving-houses with life-saving equipment along the River Thames, London canals and public parks. It bestowed honorary rewards on those who carried out heroic rescues. Tyrrell's boatshed is featured in "The London Borough of Hackney in Old Photographs" by David Mander (although known under its historic name of Vernon's boatshed).

The location has inspired the celebrated artist David Downes
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