Babmaes Street, London, SW1. Photo ©RogerDean 2014
London and Londoners in the Eighteen-Fifties and Sixties – Alfred Rosling Bennett, 1924:
But the regatta I remember best, for it took place during the holidays and I followed it heat by heat, was a special one due to the enterprise of a tavern-keeper, landlord of the Three Crowns – a hostelry no longer extant in 1924 – at which “house” coal-heavers working at wharves in East Greenwich were wont to congregate. He offered a new suit of clothes and a purse of gold to be rowed for by six landsmen in the usual regatta style. So many coal-heavers (most men at Greenwich in those days knew something about rowing) entered that the ballot had to be resorted to. The suit of clothes and purse of gold were on view in a glass case in the bar of the Three Crowns for a month or so before the match and, depend upon it, well was that taverner repaid for his enterprise by the crowds that went to inspect them, and to look at the champions at their nightly training – which consisted chiefly, I imagine, of beer and skittles.