Swimming - Little is known of history

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I wonder if your readers could help. As well as acting as press officer for the Otters Swimming Club, I am also researching the history of swimming clubs in Horncastle.

From internet access to old newspaper editions, I have established that Horncastle Bathing Club must have existed here in 1875, as it bought what was the old canal dry dock from the Navigation Company for £135 and converted it for its use.

The next sign of swimming was a record of the first annual general meeting of the Horncastle and District Swimming Club that mentions the club forming in June of 1908.

Further on in the minutes, the secretary records that “The president, the Hon R P Stanhope, very kindly presented a handsome challenge cup for competition among the members”.

The next record is in 1950, detailing prizes presented by Mrs B C Morrison of Greetham following an annual swimming event organised by the recreation committee of the urban council at the Horncastle pool.

The Willoughby Cup for the best all-round performance by boys 15 and under was won by T Harrison, and the Stanhope Cup for the best girl went to G Blenkiron.

The Morrison Cup for life-saving was won by G Swallow, who had a two-second margin over Pc F Midgley (Baumber) and D Holmes.

So far, I have found little between then and the formation of the Otters Swimming Club in 1962 and certainly no mention of the Stanhope Challenge, Morrison and Willoughby Cups.

Although Otters have several cups with historical ties that are still presented to members to reward their efforts, there is no trace of these older cups.

If any readers know anything about the early history of swimming in Horncastle or what happened to the Stanhope Challenge, Morrison and Willoughby Cups, I would be most grateful if they would get in touch.

As our next annual Otters presentation night is on November 27, it would be great to have any information before then.

John Fearon

By email