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WATCH: Mini documentary celebrates life of legendary rower Harry Clasper

The history of champion Tyneside rower Harry Clasper has been brought to life in a short film ahead of a play marking his achievements.

Richard Flood has created a four-minute video about the Jarrow-raised sportsman who won the World Championships nine times, the first of those in 1845.

Launch of touring play Hadaway Harry, by South Shields playwright Ed Waugh (L)''Tribute story to North East sportsmen Harry Clasper. Harry and his brothers brought the world rowing title to the North East for the first time in June 1815 - 170 years ago this year

Launch of touring play Hadaway Harry, by South Shields playwright Ed Waugh (L)''Tribute story to North East sportsmen Harry Clasper. Harry and his brothers brought the world rowing title to the North East for the first time in June 1815 - 170 years ago this year

Mr Flood made the film to help promote a play “Hadaway Harry”, written by Ed Waugh, to commemorate the 170th anniversary of he and his brothers winning their first world title.

The pair had advertised through the Gazette for Clasper’s relatives to meet at a reunion at Central Library in South Shields.

Mr Flood, from South Shields, who runs Riverside Video Productions, said: “Before I got involved with making the promotional video I knew of Harry Clasper’s name, but I didn’t know much else.

“But after I researched his achievements I became very interested in his life and I was keen to get involved, I’ve met some fascinating people along the way.

I’d really like to make a full length documentary on him now.

Richard Flood, filmmaker

“I’d really like to make a full-length documentary on him now.”

Clasper is the man whom the ‘Blaydon Races’ song was written for, with 130,000 people cramming the streets of Newcastle to pay their respects when he died in 1870.

He is also behind the designs of today’s Olympic rowing boats. Mr Waugh from Law Top said: “Movies have been using promotional videos for some time now, so I thought with the way social media works these days that a short video would be ideal,

“The reunion at the library, where it was filmed, was brilliant, 53 of Harry’s descendants came along, which was absolutely incredible.

“Considering this play is not being performed in theatres and there’s no brochures to advertise it, tickets are going really well.”

The play will be shown at North East Maritime Trust, in Wapping Street, South Shields, between June 29 and July 1, and Bede’s World, in Church Bank, Jarrow, on July 10 and 11. For details, call 0191 4247788 or 0191 4892106.

Rower Harry Clasper, whose story is being told in an exhibition at the former Riddick's shoe shop.

Rower Harry Clasper, whose story is being told in an exhibition at the former Riddick's shoe shop.