The 1909 Ball

Join the University of Bristol Boat Club friends, alumni and sponsors for the inaugural 1909 Ball on Saturday 30th September 2017, aboard the beautifully restored, iconic SS Great Britain. The Ball is held in association with the TVE group and Student Minds, and promises a wonderful evening of excellent company, champagne and dancing in the elegant first class dining saloon of Isambard Kingdom Brunel’s flagship vessel.

The evening will begin with a champagne reception upon the weather-deck of the liner, which boasts striking views of the Bristol waterfront from which guests will enjoy a row-past from the current UBBC senior first eights. There will be a delicious three-course dinner in the sumptuous dining saloon, followed by a speech from Olympic Champion and 3-time Olympic medallist, Matt Langridge MBE. The entire ship will be open for guests to explore, including the galley, steerage and the impressive working engine. Dancing and a silent auction will follow among the Victorian opulence of the other suites of the world’s first luxury ocean liner.

Arrival: 7:30pm
Carriages at Midnight.
Dress Code: Black Tie and Henley Blazers.

Tickets are available at £130 per guest, or tables of 10 can be purchased for £1200. For enquiries and more information, contact

We would love the pleasure of your company in celebrating the past successes and the bright future of the University of Bristol Boat Club, for what promises to be a truly spectacular, memorable evening.

Q. Why are we hosting the 1909 Ball?

1. In light of recent growth in size and performance, the club is currently in a renewed push to work on a number of fundraising projects geared towards expanding and improving the UBBC racing fleet (details on Alumni Website).

2. A number of UBBC Alumni have approached us to express their support and interest in the club, yet are unable to keep an active involvement in Nonesuch BC. We would like to use the 1909 Ball as a unique opportunity to bring together old boat club crews and friends to celebrate the successes of the past 108 years. The occasion offers the chance to reconnect with old friends and engage with the club at a pivotal time in its development.

3. We feel it would be appropriate to associate the event with STUDENT MINDS, an organisation working toward mental health awareness and support in memory of the recent, tragic loss of a boat club alumnus to suicide. A percentage of any profits made from the event will be donated to this truly deserving cause.

Q.  Why the “1909” Ball ?

A. The University of Bristol Boat Club was established in the year 1909, and a recent growth in both size and performance has prompted us to return to the past and those who have been involved in UBBC’s tremendous success. It seems fitting to acknowledge the club’s history right from the roots, through hosting an event that offers the perfect opportunity to look back, and move forwards together to support a more prosperous future for UBBC.

Q. Why the SS Great Britain?

A. This unique venue, complete with spectacular waterfront views overlooking UBBC’s Varsity course, was launched in 1843 as the world’s first luxury ocean liner. Steeped in tradition, we feel the venue aptly reflects the importance of engaging with the rich history of the club, allowing Alumni and friends to return to Bristol and reconnect with their University city and boat club.

Q. Can I get help tracking down my old crewmates?

A. We have a growing number of contacts for various generations of the boat club’s history, and would love to help if we can. We are also hoping to use this contact to help fill gaps in our history. For enquires, contact alumni site via