Boathouse destroyed by fire

Colin LawsonNews

Van Mildert boathouse was devastated by a fire on the evening of December 21st which destroyed the building as well as all the boats, blades and other equipment stored there. No injuries were sustained.

Two appliances from County Durham and Darlington Fire & Rescue Service attended the scene and were able to extinguish the flames within 90 minutes.

The boathouse on the banks of the River Wear opposite Dunelm House had been the home of Van Mildert Boat Club since the founding of the College in 1965 and held countless memories for generations of students.

A police investigation is underway into the circumstances of the fire and Durham University is working closely on this with Durham Constabulary.

The building itself and most of the equipment was covered by Durham University insurance but there will be a need to replace smaller items of equipment. Boat Club Treasurer Jess Scott has estimated the damage at around £100,000, and a GoFundMe fundraiser has been established through which contributions can be made by anyone who would like to help.

The club will be looking for new boats and aiming to get back to action as soon as possible.

Practical assistance has been offered by the Regatta and by the local rowing community to enable the club to recover.

Van Mildert Boathouse in 2020