Our race on Saturday 10 October would have been over 220 yards for the Sid & Gladys Stovold memorial cup, with prizes presented by Tory and Jonny Long.
Sid was a national standard high diver and had been a member of the SSC for only five years when he sadly passed away far too early in 1962, aged 51. Gladys continued to support the club and present the cup each autumn up to her passing in 2011. Channel swimmer Tory Thorpe (now Mrs Long) has presented the prizes ever since.
Stovold cup 1994
Sid and Gladys Stovold
Sid was a high diver of national standard, being a member of the Highgate London Diving Club. Sid had an incredible sense of balance and there are stories of him walking out from the changing room on his hands, onto the Serpentine diving board and then gracefully entering the water. On their seaside honeymoon in 1955 Sid performed his handstand act on a cliff edge. Gladys recalled that she did not react as her normal quiet and graceful self. It is safe to say that Sid never repeated it again (at least not on a clifftop).
After Gladys died the club discovered that she had left us a very generous bequest in her will. This was put to very good use, which ensured club members would have ample supplies of hot water for our post-swim teas and coffees.
Tory joined the club in 2008, after moving to London and needing somewhere to swim. The first person she met was the then president, Eric Carter, but that did not put her off and Eric encouraged her to continue to swim into the winter months. On 13 August 2013 Tory completed an English Channel crossing in a very respectable 12 hours, 14 minutes and 10 seconds. Tory's other noticeable swims are Lake Zurich, 2011, and Rottenness Island (Australia), 2015.
Jonny and Tory, January 2018
Tory married Jonny Long in January 2018 and they now have a son Archie, who recently turned one. Jonny is very technically proficient, having flown helicopters with the Army Air Corps and now pilots passenger airliners. However, he is often as flummoxed as the rest of us when it comes to the weird and wonderful workings of the payment metres in the Serpentine car park.