In 1963 South London Swimming Club contacted all the open water swimming clubs in London to ask if they would like to take part in a gala. Only the Serpentine Swimming Club responded and a tradition was born. For many years now the middle Sunday of November has seen members of the two clubs meet at the SLSC's spiritual home, Tooting Bec Lido, to compete for the Doug Smith cup. Doug was a popular member of both clubs. Doug was very much involved in charity work, not just within swimming but also with youth clubs in south London. Aside from the cup for the SLSC v SSC gala, both clubs have a Doug Smith race in his memory on their fixture cards. The Serpentine's race is sponsored by Eric Carter over 440 yards in the spring.
November would also normally see the commencement of the Winter Series for the Fettes cup. Heats are held every Saturday up to Christmas
The Doug Smith cup
SSC team 2016
SLSC and SSC competitors 2011
Clapham Manor Baths
From the early 70s to the mid 2000s the gala was held midweek at the Clapham Manor baths, SLSC's squad training venue.
1971 Bob Patterson presents the cup to SSC president Jack Peckham. Watched on by Alan Titmuss.
1977, SSC Hon. Sec. receives the cup from SLSC president J Gadbury
Clapham Manor Baths, 2004
SSC captain Deirdre organising the team at Tooting Bec
Post race banquet. The real reason we Serpies turn up.
November would have seen the commencement of our Winter Series heats, held each Saturday up to Christmas.