A mention of the name “Waterloo” just about anywhere will normally produce a link of some sort. For instance, in the city of Durham you will find an intriguing connection between the Battle of Waterloo, two pubs and a local rowing club.

Within a few years of the Battle of Waterloo two inns on the same Durham street had been named “Waterloo” in its honour. Later they came to be called Thwaites’ Waterloo Hotel and Ward’s Waterloo Hotel, after the owners. In 1860 Durham Amateur Rowing Club was founded at the latter establishment, which exists today as the Royal County.

But the Waterloo connection runs deeper than simply the name of a pub. The Durham Regatta originates from 1834 which makes it the second oldest in the country, and the Durham Amateur Rowing Club of today is a major part of the organising body. In the constitution of the Durham Regatta Committee there is an item which has been retained from the original constitution of 1834. Under item K you will find;
Any man presenting himself to the Secretary who can prove he fought at the battle of Waterloo will be entitled to free ale for the day at the Committee’s expense.

Further evidence then, if anybody ever doubted it, that well into the 19th Century the Battle of Waterloo was of inestimable importance in the public perception.