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Relatives of famous rower Harry Clasper set for reunion ahead of play

The show will be a tribute to famous rower Harry Clasper
The show will be a tribute to famous rower Harry Clasper

Relations of champion rower Harry Clasper are to meet in South Tyneside ahead of a play in his honour.

Clasper, who was raised in Jarrow, won the World Championship nine times, the first of those in 1845.

Playwright Ed Waugh

Playwright Ed Waugh

A play, “Hadaway Harry”, to commemorate the 170th anniversary of he and his brothers winning their first world title, is to be performed in June and July.

It has been written by North East playwright Ed Waugh, and to celebrate it, a Clasper reunion will take place at South Shields Central Library, in Prince Georg Square, on May 30.

It is a prelude to a four-week Harry Clasper exhibition in Riddick’s, the former shoe shop in Fowler Street, South Shields.

Playwright Waugh said: “This is an amazing story. As well as being a champion himself, Harry trained North East world champions and designed the boats still used in the Olympics and boat races today. I keep getting approached by people who are either related to Harry or who know people related to Harry and we thought getting members of the family together would be a fantastic way of officially launching the play.”

We thought getting members of the family together would be a fantastic way of officially launching the play

Playwright Ed Waugh

Clasper was one of 14 children, and had 12 children himself. Entry to the event, which starts at 12pm, is free, and anyone with Harry Clasper memorabilia is asked to bring it.

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.