Collar Oars- going for gold again after 60 Years
Published: Wednesday, 27th July 2011
Supplying oars to the film industry has been a regular occurrence over the years. However, our latest film commission has certainly got us digging through the archives.
In the past, attention to detail and historical correctness was often not at the top of the list, but this is quite the opposite with the latest request from the BBC.
The brief was simple; to replicate a batch of oars identical to what would have been used in the 1948 London Olympics (more details about the film to follow soon), which have to be correct in every aspect, down to the leathered button and even the Union Jack painted on the blades. This provided the perfect opportunity to dig deep in all our patterns and templates, all of which any normal company would have thrown out years ago, but instead horded at the back of the workshop as a reminder of our oar making pedigree. Referencing pictures together with a discussion with John Collar, the perfect oar machining pattern was identified and ironically all the blade marking and profiling patterns were also found; impressive after 60 or so years in storage.
There was a little bit of initial head scratching to establish exactly how the patterns were to be used, as it was clear that over the years we have changed the techniques which were employed over half a century ago. When it comes to the hand shaping however, nothing much has changed and just maybe, one day soon, our oars may win Olympic Gold once again.