Oriel College CrestOrielenses Bibite  
...
Roger Hebblethwaite and the Oriel College Boat Club Song
Finally, the mystery of this Hebblethwaite's name can be revealed following an e-mail from his wife Marion Hebblethwaite.

Roger Percival Bristowe Hebblethwaite is the man in the song. He went up to Oriel as a mature student in 1971 and with his crew of 1972 took Oriel to Head of the River for the first time since 1930, and there they have remained for much of the next 32 years.

Roger and Marion first met in 1962 and were married on 10th May 2004. He had had cancer for many years and died sadly but happily at home 30th May, his daughter and wife with him to the end. He is buried in Northleigh churchyard.

Roger had contributed information to this site on Hebblethwaite War Graves (see link below) and was also founder of the George Cross Database: http://www.gc-database.co.uk

Hebblethwaite War Graves
PDF file 110KB

The full text of Orielenses Bibite is shown below:

....
Orielenses Bibite
.(Modified Version Circa 1972)

Orielenses Bibite!
This is our river, this is our day.
A finer fleet never entered these waters:
Tell the proud tale to your sons and daughters.

The first in a decade to qualify four;
Thirty-six men, no college had more.
On the second day a mighty surge led
To each boat moving up 'til the First Eight was Head.

"Cool professionalism" the newspaper said
And "Outstanding Oriel Sweep."
"My God, they look good," the other crews said,
And listened to Balliol weep.

Who are the nine who captured the Head?
Which powerhouse with the immaculate oar
Inspired such praise and inspired such dread
And added a page to Oriel lore?

If God was there on board,
We owe it to Bow and Seven.
The Shepherd is our lord,
And our Treasure is in heaven.

Mew at two is the quiet type:
He only talks to his oar.
Whatever he says, it isn't tripe:
His blade can sing and roar.

Dawson at Three and Crawley at Four
Made the old Isis beg them for more.
But even while Dawson rows his last stand
He has to remind Crawley not to row with one hand.

One person always afloat is Cliff Thring,
Afloat on the river, afloat with a drink.
We don't know how he rows with such ease
With a champagne cocktail between his knees.

Putting on the power was Hebblethwaite,
Orielís "heavy" and heavyweight.
Not bad for an old man, already worn
Before the rest of the First Eight was born.

Garethís a regular doozy,
A firm and brilliant cox.
With the women heís a smoothy;
On the river heís a fox.

Hawkins, it seems, had to give up the girls,
To Captain four boats from above.
We thank you, Phil, as our flag unfurls:
Lucky for us youíre unlucky in love.

Orielenses bibite!
This is our river, this is our day.
A finer fleet never entered these waters:
Tell the proud tale to your sons and daughters.

This originally appeared on the Song Pages of the Oriel College Boat Club site. However the link is no longer available.
I am indebted to Mona L. Radice for providing the full name of the author:
Kent M. Keith

Copyright Oriel College Boat Club

Return to Oriel Boat Club Song page