Just saw your post on Richmond Bridge. It reminded me that four years ago on a visit to London we rented a rowing skiff there (above) per your advice, and I wanted to thank you. A few pictures from that trip are in a Flickr album here.
Up near Teddington we ran into this bunch out training (below), and had a little race (they beat us eventually). I never found out who these guys were, do any look familiar to you?
All the best,
Viking is a very interesting boat. She belongs to the 14th Richmond 'Viking' Scout Boating Centre and was their first boat, bought back in 1932 for ten bob - roughly £180 in today's money. She was originally built as a lifeboat for the liner Worcestershire, which was launched in 1904 and tragically sunk by a mine off Ceylon in 1917.
The crew are a great bunch, the 14th Richmond Old Rovers, average age now over 70. They compete every year in the Great River Race, where every year they are beaten by Langstone Cutters' Codger Crew in Gladys. But our average age is something like 65 so we have an obvious unfair advantage.