Clive Hole

Class of 1959

Michael Anthony Clive Hole, 1940-2020 (Mac’s, 1954-1959)

Michael A. C. Hole “Clive” died in hospital in Durham on 29th October 2020. A Rower, Dingy Sailor, Dragonboat Steersman, Teacher, Gardener and much more. His life was a great adventure. Now sadly taken by the virus. The below obituary was taken from the website that was set up by his family in his memory and dedicated to the life and times of Clive.

As a child Clive spent five years of the war in Grasmere and here he went out in a friend’s rowing boat. He said he was fascinated by the water, by the movement of it. Clive started rowing regularly aged 15.

Clive went to Cambridge University and studied Natural Sciences (Embryology, Anatomy and Physiology). He wanted to be a doctor and also considered being a pilot as two uncles were and a third fought in the war. At Cambridge he tried for the rowing crew but was not chosen, his favourite seat was stroke.

Clive got a 3rd at Cambridge and went on to become a teacher.

He taught Geography, Maths and History at a Sandroyd Prep School in Wiltshire for three years. He then taught at the Welsh School of Medicine in Cardiff for a few terms. Next, as a Supply Teacher, he taught Biology at Tulse Hill Comprehensive School in Lambeth, London and whilst there he rowed at Quinin Boat Club in West London. Clive said this was his most challenging job as he had a posh accent while the pupils did not!

Clive admitted he lost his focus at this time and unsure what to do, adventurous Clive saw an advert in a newspaper for a Primate Research Institute in Kenya and spent 4 months there! On his return he spent three years teaching Biology at St George’s College, Weybridge, Surrey. He continued rowing and would coach at Cambridge at least once a year. Clive was even an Outward Bounds sailing instructor one season on the Moray Firth.

In 1972 he came to Durham to teach Biology at Durham School and naturally he joined DARC and coached rowing. He taught in Durham School until 1980 and lived at Brown’s Boathouse from 1976 to 2000. With Paul Lishman and Eric Whiteley, they formed Brown’s Boathouse Ltd operating pleasure boats, their fleet was firstly joined by the ‘Dunelm 2’, an open river cruiser, then later the Prince Bishop in 1989. Eric and Paul built wooden racing 8’s, 4’s, pairs and sculls to a very high standard. The Prince Bishop was built in Norfolk and designed by Clive to fit through the bridges. When Milburngate Shopping Centre was built they wanted the Boathouse modernised, so it was sold and is now a pub.

Clive was instrumental in forming the Three River Serpents Dragonboat club. Chris Kenyon a fellow DARC rower liaised with the Hong Kong tourist board who wanted rowers from Great Britain to represent the country in the World Championships. Hong Kong donated a teak dragonboat to DARC so the crew could practise. Clive was the helm and Peter Duncan (from Blue Peter and Duncan Dares fame) joined the crew spending a week in Hong Kong for the World Championships. There was much press coverage and it was televised on Duncan Dares in May 1985.

The teak boat stayed at DARC for about 4 years and was then used by the Tynemouth Tsunamis, a club in Blyth and the Hartlepool Powermen. The Three River Serpents were formed in the late 80’s and the BDA formed in July 1987. Clive was an integral part of the club, helming the serpents to many victories in his colourful clothes and straw boater! He travelled extensively with the Serpents competing in China in 1992, India in 1994, South Africa (Serpents won!), twice in Canada and again in China in 2000 at three locations (Bejing, Hangzhou and Xiamen).

Clive said he first met Rita in 1989 and they got together some ten years later and that Rita has looked after him ever since!

Michael Hole – born September 7th1940, died October 29th 2020. 



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