We use cookies in order to understand how the site is used, and we only collect data that is not of a personal nature, e.g. general location, operating platform, browser type, time of day etc. They are only held for 30 days.

We also operate a privacy policy in line with GDPR, select the MORE button if you would like to read our policy. Select the CLOSE button to accept cookies

Back to Top


Well it was fine sunny weather for five or six days after the initial deconstruction of the archway, and some of the items that needed to be taken off site for professional shotblasting, were removed on Wednesday 18th. The good weather meant that the members could crack on with doing the cleaning and undercoating of the remaining parts on site in the avenue gardens.

The workers pose for a group photo


Monday the 16th September 2019, sees the commencement of the refurbishment of the Middleton Arch at the entrance to the Royal Avenue Gardens.
Numerous members of the The Old Dartmothians' Association, along with the creator and manufacturer of the arch, Mr Alan Middleton (centre), gathered to go about the dismantling process.

Once the dismantling has been completed, (under the watchful eye of Alan Middleton, left), the parts will be taken away for shotblasting and priming on Wednesday the 18th September.

arch8 arch5 arch6
Photos - Barry Morris


The recent spell of bad weather relented in time for Members of the Old Dartmothians Association to gather on the jetty at Coronation Park on Sunday morning, 18th August, to witness and participate in the launching of the newly refurbished regatta whalers.
A few weeks ago a cry for help was received from the Regatta committee, who were concerned that the whalers were not in a useable condition for this year's forthcoming events. The whalers are now thirty years old, and were in a sorry state. So, with the material costs covered by the Regatta Committee. Our members volunteered their time, and skills, to bring the boats up to a fitting standard, spending many hundred of hours on the project, as can be seen in our earlier article Whaler Refurbishment.
Our President, Mr Ron Lambden, thanked everyone involved in the project, and in particular Paul Hodge for his huge commitment and logistical support by allowing the use of his premises at Bugford Nurseries. Ron went on to say that he was particularly pleased that members were keeping up with the fine traditions and ethos of our Association, which was founded on the Friday of Regatta in 1923 following a day of especially good rowing.
Ed Botterill, the Regatta Chairman, graciously accepted the handing back of the pristine and fully serviceable whalers, "Britannia" "Friends of Bayards" "Clifton" "Hardness" "Townstal" "Wayhard Castle" and thanked everyone involved, saying he was mightily impressed, with the huge commitment and quality of work, which clearly demonstrated members affection for the town and Regatta. Ed concluded by saying “In truth you have saved the Regatta's bacon

Photos submitted by member Barry Morris


whalers restoration July 2019

Some members of The Old Dartmothians' Association are taking time out to start the refurbishment of the Regatta Whalers, in order for them to be ready in time for this year's annual Royal Dartmouth Regatta, being held at the end of August. Any members with a few hours to spare, and who live locally, would be most welcome if they can come along to lend a hand. The work on the whalers is being done under protective covering at the Bugford Nurseries, run by association member, Tony Hodges. So give Tony a call on (01803 832535) to arrange a visit.

Association Secretary Richard Rendle, said "If you are someone who would like to participate in helping to fulfil the aims of the association, then please read the information contained on the association's membership web page at https://www.dartmothians.org/index.php/membership. If you would like to drop in at one of the meetings and find out more, then you could attend one of the following meetings that are held at the Dartmouth Amateur Rowing Club, Sandquay Road, Dartmouth. TQ6 9PH. Meetings are held bi-monthly on the last Tuesday of the following months commencing at 7:30pm as follows, January, March, May, July (AGM) September, November. Also, any potential new member who would like to just have an informal meet and greet chat could join several of the present members who meet at the Royal Castle Hotel on a Friday morning from approximately 10.30 am."

Middleton Arch - Royal Avenue Gardens

Dear Members,

 You may recall that in 1992 the Old Darts, along with the Middleton family, replaced the archway leading into the Royal Avenue gardens, which had been previously scrapped when the gardens were redesigned by the South Hams District Council. Well time has taken its toll, and the arch now in need of some TLC.
Members have been giving this project some thought and have priced up the idea and come up with some fixed price quotations for the work.

Royal Avenue Gardensb Oct 2018Disassembling, and taking down the arch, to be undertaken by members.

Shot blasting and hot zinc spay, and spray with two pack primer, (all to be done off site by contractors)

Members to reassemble, and paint in its original colour, with two part paint.

The price for this work including transport is £9,125.

Members met on Thursday April 25th at the Rowing Club, and talked over the idea, updates on this project will be posted as they become available.

It is again a lot of money which needs thoughtful consideration, we can pay from funds, or maybe start an appeal?

Its your association, what do you think? If you were unable to attend the meeting, then please contact the secretary via email with your thoughts.

Refurbishing the fountain in The Royal Avenue Gardens - March 2018

Fountain Upgrade March2018 2

odafountain2018The fountain in Royal Avenue Gardens is being refurbished by the Old Dartmothians' Association. President of the Old Darts, Bob Waycott was joined by Tony Hodge, Jan Cowling, Ernie Chase, Mark Strudwick and John Mitchelmore and Barrie French, to remove the railings for cleaning and galvanising.

Tony Hodge said: “The railings are going to Gampton where they will be shot-blasted and then zinc coated and spray galvanised rather than hot dipped. It’s better for us as we are going to paint them the same colours.

Bob Waycott added: “The Old Darts are paying for all of this. Our labour is free and the rest of the work should be done for less than £1,500. The pump is now working and the fountain itself will be cleaned and the green mould removed.

“We are aiming to get the work done by about the middle of April.”

Article reproduced with the kind permission of South Hams Today, part of the Tindle Newspaper Group - Independent Family Owned Newspapers.

Royal Avenue Gardens Fountain - 2012

Richard Rendle at the Fountain March 2012

Dartmouth is getting an entirely new Royal Avenue Gardens fountain as a royal jubilee gift. The town’s old Dartmothians Association had been looking at giving the existing fountain a major makeover as part of the royal diamond jubilee celebrations later this year. But they have decided to fund an entirely new fountain instead.
The Dartmouth organisation is planning to spend up to £10,000 on the new fountain, and has already lined up a volunteer team of skilled tradesmen to carry out the work, revealed Old Dartmothians secretary Richard Rendle.
Part of the old fountain will be saved and set up just a few yards away next to the town’s war memorial, he explained. He pointed out that parts of the old fountain are cracked, and the large bowl at the base where visitors throw their money is made up of old rubble and concrete, this large bowl originally cost the old Dartmouth Borough Council just £21 when it was constructed. He said the second tier bowl – which is the only original piece of the fountain when it was built in 1888 to mark Queen Victoria’s golden jubilee celebrations – was being saved and set up elsewhere in the gardens. ’The idea is to remove the whole fountain, concrete the area to make it flat with a new base and then put the new fountain there,’ said Mr Rendle. ’It will include new services, new water supply, new electricity and lighting.’ He said that local councillors Jonathan Hawkins and Hilary Bastone were contributing £500 each to the project, while fellow councillor Melvyn Stone was handing over £400 from their respective council funds. Mr Rendle said: ’We have had a love affair with the old fountain for the last 20 years to try and keep it going, but it is a hotchpotch of repairs and it is malfunctioning and losing water. ’The new fountain will be something the Old Dartmothians want to celebrate the jubilee with.’ He said it would be unveiled in time for the national diamond jubilee celebrations later this year. Visitors throw up to £700 a year in to the old fountain, which is collected by the Old Dartmothians some four times a year. Over the years it has been subject to vandals’ attacks and thefts, which, on one occasion, even saw the statues around the fountain stolen. Last year the old fountain’s water pump failed and it has not been operating since. The Old Dartmothians are looking for donations for the new fountain project from their members and are also inviting any members of the public to help out.

 This article has been reproduced by kind permission of South Hams Today, part of the Tindle Newspapers Group - Independent Family Owned Newspapers


This image has been submitted by member and former Treasurer Paul Darby, and was taken in 2003, it shows all the fountain coins donated over a six month period, put out to dry in the sun, making ready for counting and banking.


Page 2 of 2