We have passed a milestone with the new building, having reached "practical completion" stage with the builders. This means that while there are still minor works to do, and snagging to tidy up, the building is basically fit to go. This does mean that builders will continue to access the building over the coming weeks, including changing rooms, to remedy some known issues and to activate the lift.

Therefore the new club will be opening to the membership generally this weekend, to co-incide with the Long Distance Sculls on Saturday.

It is not fully kitted out yet; we still have a lot of kit in Computer House and fitting out in the Kitchen and Bar is far from complete. We will send emails in the coming weeks about how/when stuff will be moved. However, the process is starting and we can all start to enjoy the new building.

The new building operates on electronic locks which are controlled by key fobs. There is access control at the front door, the boatbay doors, the door to the middle floor (the floor with the gyms and changing rooms) and the doors upstairs (to the bar). Different membership categories will have different access rights: social members will not be able to access the middle (gym) floor, for example.

We will start issuing these fobs to members from this weekend from 7.30am to 10am on Saturday morning. We may also run a session on Sunday (TBC). Fobs will be issued as follows:

  • Juniors will not generally be issued fobs. Juniors may not be in the building unaccompanied by a coach. A small group of trusted senior junior rowers will be issued fobs at Bret's recommendation.
  • BNU Students will not get fobs this time around - please liase with Tom and we will sort this out when your groups are formalised.
  • Fobs will be issued to people who were fully paid members on 30th September (whether they have renewed or not) and new members who have joined since that date.
  • Fob issue will be free of charge if you return a Computer House key card. If not, you must pay a deposit of £5.
  • Fobs must be signed for. If you lose your fob you must report it and there is a replacement fee (currently £10)
  • Fobs will be limited to operating the doors relevant to your membership, which can be explained on the day. If you do not pay your membership renwals soon we will deactivate your fob, so if you have not yet renewed, please take the opportunity to turn up with a membership form and cheque (or renew online first).

The fobs have a second purpose: if you remember Sport England gave us £1 million towards the build, and as part of our obligations to them they want to track the level of use the facility gets. To help do that, there are two special register points. Whenever you use the club, please swipe these points with your fob and it will automatically track the footfall in the building, The two points both have a screen showing the Marlow logo: one is in the building foyer and one by the water tap outside the boat bays. Please use these and help prove to Sport England that we were worth the money!

I've also been asked to make some housekeeping requests: as with the old building the external cleaning company will come regularly but still the cleanliness of the building depends a lot on the members taking care of it. If you have muddy shoes after a run, or from boating from the Compleat Angler, please leave them in the lobby. Also, having lost the last building to fire it would be unfortunate to do it again: please do not prop open fire doors, whether with wedges or the fire extinguishers.

When we have properly moved in there will be formal opening events, but until then can I just remind you that the Club Supper is happening on 14th November - book online.

Ed Phillips