The Isis

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Punting on the Isis at Oxford. River thames oxford.jpg
Punting on the Isis at Oxford.
Map of Oxford c. 1900, with the river labelled as "River Thames or Isis". 4516-Oxford-map-1510x1384.jpg
Map of Oxford c. 1900, with the river labelled as "River Thames or Isis".
Rowing on the Isis opposite the Oxford college boathouses. Rowing on the Isis.JPG
Rowing on the Isis opposite the Oxford college boathouses.

"The Isis" is an alternative name for the River Thames, used from its source in the Cotswolds until it is joined by the Thame at Dorchester in Oxfordshire. It derives from the ancient name for the Thames, Tamesis, which in the Middle Ages was falsely assumed to be a combination of "Thame" and "Isis". [note 1] [1] Notably, the Isis flows through the city of Oxford.

River Thames river in southern England

The River Thames, known alternatively in parts as the Isis, is a river that flows through southern England including London. At 215 miles (346 km), it is the longest river entirely in England and the second longest in the United Kingdom, after the River Severn.

Cotswolds protected area in south central England

The Cotswolds is an area in south central England comprising the Cotswold Hills, a range of rolling hills that rise from the meadows of the upper Thames to an escarpment, known as the Cotswold Edge, above the Severn Valley and Evesham Vale. The area is defined by the bedrock of Jurassic limestone that creates a type of grassland habitat rare in the UK and that is quarried for the golden-coloured Cotswold stone. It contains unique features derived from the use of this mineral; the predominantly rural landscape contains stone-built villages, historical towns and stately homes and gardens.

Oxfordshire County of England

Oxfordshire is a county in South East England. The ceremonial county borders Warwickshire to the north-west, Northamptonshire to the north-east, Buckinghamshire to the east, Berkshire to the south, Wiltshire to the south-west and Gloucestershire to the west.

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Rowing

The name "Isis" is especially used in the context of rowing at the University of Oxford. A number of rowing regattas are held on the Isis, including Eights Week, the most important Oxford University regatta, in the Trinity term (summer), Torpids in the Hilary term (early spring) and Christ Church Regatta for novices in the Michaelmas term (autumn). Because the width of the river is restricted at Oxford, rowing eights normally have a staggered start near Donnington Bridge and must then aim to "bump" the eight in front (i.e. catch up and touch or overlap with it sufficiently). The leading eight aims to "row over" (i.e. finish the race without being bumped).

Rowing (sport) Sport where individuals or teams row boats by oar

Rowing, often referred to as crew in the United States, is a sport whose origins reach back to Ancient Egyptian times. It involves propelling a boat on water using oars. By pushing against the water with an oar, a force is generated to move the boat. The sport can be either recreational for enjoyment or fitness, or competitive, when athletes race against each other in boats. There are a number of different boat classes in which athletes compete, ranging from an individual shell to an eight-person shell with a coxswain.

University of Oxford Collegiate research university in Oxford, England

The University of Oxford is a collegiate research university in Oxford, England. There is evidence of teaching as far back as 1096, making it the oldest university in the English-speaking world and the world's second-oldest university in continuous operation. It grew rapidly from 1167 when Henry II banned English students from attending the University of Paris. After disputes between students and Oxford townsfolk in 1209, some academics fled north-east to Cambridge where they established what became the University of Cambridge. The two 'ancient universities' are frequently jointly referred to as 'Oxbridge'. The history and influence of the University of Oxford has made it one of the most prestigious universities in the world.

Eights Week

Eights Week, also known as Summer Eights, is a four-day regatta of bumps races which constitutes the University of Oxford's main intercollegiate rowing event of the year. The regatta takes place in May of each year, from the Wednesday to the Saturday of the fifth week of Trinity Term. Men's and women's coxed eights compete in separate divisions for their colleges, with some colleges entering as many as five crews for each sex.

There used to be ornate wooden barges on the river bank here at the southern end of Christ Church Meadow to house rowing facilities and for viewing races. Now the barges are gone and there are boathouses instead a little further down the river near the confluence with the River Cherwell. Poplar Walk in Christ Church Meadow is used as a route to and from the boathouses.

Barge flat-bottomed boat, built mainly for river, canal transport of heavy goods, usually pushed by tugboats

A barge is a flat-bottomed ship, built mainly for river and canal transport of heavy goods. Some barges are not self-propelled and must be towed or pushed by towboats, canal barges or towed by draft animals on an adjacent towpath. Barges contended with the railway in the early Industrial Revolution, but were outcompeted in the carriage of high-value items due to the higher speed, falling costs and route flexibility of railways.

Boathouse building for storage of boats

A boathouse is a building especially designed for the storage of boats, normally smaller craft for sports or leisure use. These are typically located on open water, such as on a river. Often the boats stored are rowing boats. Other boats such as punts or small motor boats may also be stored.

River Cherwell tributary of the River Thames in central England

The River Cherwell is a major tributary of the River Thames in central England. It rises near Hellidon in Northamptonshire and flows south through Oxfordshire for 40 miles (64 km) to meet the Thames at Oxford. It adds a significant discharge to the Thames—when entering Oxford, the Thames's discharge is 17.6 m³/s, but after leaving and consuming the Cherwell it has increased to 24.8 m³/s. The river gives its name to the Cherwell local government district and Cherwell, an Oxford student newspaper.

The name "Isis" is also used for the men's second rowing crew of Oxford University Boat Club, who race against the men's second crew of the Cambridge University Boat Club, Goldie, before the annual Boat Race on the Thames in London.

Oxford University Boat Club British rowing club

Oxford University Boat Club (OUBC) is the rowing club of the University of Oxford, England, located on the River Thames at Oxford. The club was founded in the early 19th century.

Cambridge University Boat Club British rowing club

The Cambridge University Boat Club (CUBC) is one of the rowing clubs of the University of Cambridge, England. The club was founded in 1828 and has been located at the Goldie Boathouse on the River Cam, Cambridge since 1882. Nowadays, training primarily takes place on the River Great Ouse at Ely.

Goldie is the second boat of the Cambridge University Boat Club, which competes in an annual rowing race against Isis on Boat Race Day each year. The boat is named in tribute to CUBC's legendary President John Goldie who also gave his name to the Goldie Boathouse. The first official race between the two crews was in 1965, which Isis won. Since the race started Goldie has won 29 races, and Isis 22 races.

Angling

The Isis, like much of the Thames, has long been popular among anglers for its freshwater fish, including trout and crayfish. The Oxford region is home to several angling clubs. W. F. Wallett, a popular Victorian clown, shares in his memoirs his own humorous anecdote about fishing in the Isis with the celebrated circus proprietor Pablo Fanque:

Trout number of species of freshwater fish

Trout is the common name for a number of species of freshwater fish belonging to the genera Oncorhynchus, Salmo and Salvelinus, all of the subfamily Salmoninae of the family Salmonidae. The word trout is also used as part of the name of some non-salmonid fish such as Cynoscion nebulosus, the spotted seatrout or speckled trout.

Crayfish common name for freshwater crustaceans members of the superfamilies Astacoidea and Parastacoidea

Crayfish, also known as crawfish, crawdads, crawlfish, crawldads, freshwater lobsters, mountain lobsters, mudbugs, or yabbies, are freshwater crustaceans resembling small lobsters. Taxonomically, they are members of the superfamilies Astacoidea and Parastacoidea. They breathe through feather-like gills. Some species are found in brooks and streams where there is running fresh water, while others thrive in swamps, ditches, and paddy fields. Most crayfish cannot tolerate polluted water, although some species such as Procambarus clarkii are hardier. Crayfish feed on animals and plants, either living or decomposing, and detritus.

William Frederick "W.F." Wallett was a popular circus clown in Victorian England, who also enjoyed modest celebrity in the United States. After he performed before Queen Victoria in 1844 at Windsor Castle, Wallett began promoting himself as "the Queen's Jester," and described himself this way in the title of his 1870 autobiography. For many years, he performed in the circus owned by his good friend Pablo Fanque Wallett also helped manage Fanque's circus.

For a few days I amused myself with Pablo Fanque fishing in the Isis. Pablo was a very expert angler, and would usually catch as many fish as five or six of us within sight of him put together. This suggested a curious device. You must know that Pablo is a coloured man. One of the Oxonians, with more love for angling than skill, thought there must be something captivating in the complexion of Pablo. He resolved to try. One morning, going down to the river an hour or two earlier than usual, we were astonished to find the experimental philosophic angler with his face blacked after the most approved style of the Christy's Minstrels. [2]

Christys Minstrels

Christy's Minstrels, sometimes referred to as the Christy Minstrels, were a blackface group formed by Edwin Pearce Christy, a well-known ballad singer, in 1843, in Buffalo, New York. They were instrumental in the solidification of the minstrel show into a fixed three-act form. The troupe also invented or popularized "the line", the structured grouping that constituted the first act of the standardized three-act minstrel show, with the interlocutor in the middle and "Mr. Tambo" and "Mr. Bones" on the ends.

Thame and Isis, carved by Anne Seymour Damer. Damer Thames and Isis.jpg
Thame and Isis, carved by Anne Seymour Damer.

The keystones of Henley Bridge depict carved faces intended to represent the Isis and the Thame. Thame is a bearded man, while Isis is female. [3]

The Morris Isis name was first used by Morris Motors Limited of Oxford on a six-cylinder car made from 1929 to 1931. It was resurrected on a six-cylinder car from the British Motor Corporation in the 1950s. The name died out in 1958.

HMP Isis is a Category C Young Offenders Institution in England operated by Her Majesty's Prisons adjacent to HMP Belmarsh and HMP Thameside near the River Thames in the Woolwich area of South East London.

Each of the Formula Student cars manufactured by the Oxford Brookes racing team uses the name ISIS in the beginning of its chassis number.[ citation needed ] ISIS is then succeeded by the year number; for example, ISIS XII was the 2012 chassis, nicknamed "Miss Piggy".

The ISIS neutron source is named after the river Isis. [4]

See also

Related Research Articles

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Jesus College Boat Club (Cambridge) British rowing club

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Jesus College Boat Club (Oxford) British rowing club

Jesus College Boat Club is a rowing club for members of Jesus College, Oxford, one of the constituent colleges of the University of Oxford. The club was formed in 1835, but rowing at the college predates the club's foundation: a boat from the college was involved in the earliest recorded races between college crews at Oxford in 1815, when it competed against Brasenose College. In the early years of rowing at Oxford, Jesus was one of the few colleges that participated in races. Neither the men's nor the women's 1st VIIIs have earned the title of "Head of the River", which is gained by winning Eights Week—the main inter-college rowing competition at Oxford.

Brasenose College Boat Club British rowing club

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Putney Town Rowing Club British rowing club

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City of Cambridge Rowing Club British rowing club

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Balliol College Boat Club British rowing club

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New College Boat Club British rowing club

New College Boat Club (NCBC) is rowing club for the members of New College, Oxford. The clubs existence can be dated to 1840 when it first raced on The Isis in Oxford. It is one of the most successful college rowing clubs with 16 men's headships and two women's.

Exeter College Boat Club British rowing club

Exeter College Boat Club (ECBC) is the boat club of Exeter College, Oxford, England. The club trains on the Thames on the Isis stretch in Oxford and at Abingdon, Oxfordshire.

Wadham College Boat Club British rowing club

Wadham College Boat Club (WCBC) is the rowing club of Wadham College, Oxford, in Oxford, United Kingdom. The club's members are students and staff from Wadham College and Harris Manchester College. Founded some time before 1837, Wadham has had success both within Oxford and externally in regattas such as Henley Royal Regatta.

Green Templeton Boat Club British rowing club

Green Templeton Boat Club is a rowing club for members of Green Templeton College, Oxford. It is based in the Longbridges boathouse on the Isis, which is co-owned by the college and shared with Hertford, St Hilda's, St Catz and Mansfield. The club was established in 2008, after Green and Templeton colleges merged to form Green Templeton College, Oxford.

Oxford University Lightweight Rowing Club British rowing club

Oxford University Lightweight Rowing Club (OULRC) is the university rowing club for lightweight men at the University of Oxford which selects crews to race against Cambridge University Lightweight Rowing Club in the Henley Boat Races at the end of Hilary term. These races are usually held in late March each year.

Keble College Boat Club British rowing club

Keble College Boat Club (KCBC) is the rowing club of Keble College, in Oxford, United Kingdom. The boat club is based in its boathouse on the Isis, which is shared with Jesus College. Most of the year is spent training at the boat club’s second facility at the Godstow stretch to the North.

Trinity College Boat Club British rowing club

Trinity College Boat Club (TCBC) is the rowing club of Trinity College, Oxford in Oxford, United Kingdom. The club's members are students and staff from Trinity College and, occasionally, associate members from other Colleges.

St Peters College Boat Club British rowing club

St Peter's College Boat Club (SPCBC) is the rowing club for members of St Peter's College, Oxford. Founded in 1929, it is now based in the University College Boathouse on the southern bank of The Isis,

Merton College Boat Club British rowing club

Merton College Boat Club (MCBC) is a rowing club for members of Merton College, Oxford. It was established in 1838 and competes every year in Torpids and Summer Eights, the intercollegiate bumps races at the University of Oxford, as well as external regattas.

Lady Margaret Hall Boat Club British rowing club

Lady Margaret Hall Boat Club (LMHBC) is a rowing club for members and staff of Lady Margaret Hall (LMH), Oxford and was founded in 1899.

References

  1. The name is first recorded c. 1350 as Isa, and in its modern form in 1577. [1]
  1. 1 2 Mills, David; Room, Adrian (1998). A Dictionary of British Place-Names. Oxford University Press.
  2. Wallett, W. F. (1870). Luntley, John, ed. The Public Life of W.F. Wallett, the Queen's Jester: An Autobiography. London: Bemrose and Sons. p. 73.
  3. Kendal, Roger; Bowen, Jane; Wortley, Laura (2002). Genius & Gentility: Henley in the Age of Enlightenment. Henley-on-Thames: River and Rowing Museum. pp. 12–13. ISBN   9780953557127.
  4. STFC. "STFC explains the origin of ISIS name". YouTube. STFC's official YT Channel. Retrieved 14 June 2017.

Coordinates: 51°44′34″N1°14′59″W / 51.7429°N 1.2497°W / 51.7429; -1.2497