What we missed: Tooting Bec Gala - SLSC v SSC for the Doug Smith cup. Also the start of the Winter Series heats

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

The Doug Smith cup

SSC team 2016

SSC team 2016

SLSC and SSC competitors 2011

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.

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

1977, SSC Hon. Sec. receives the cup from SLSC president J Gadbury

Clapham Manor Baths, 2004

Clapham Manor Baths, 2004

Kevin Murphy and Anna Hillier (now Mrs Baker)

John Reid, Leslie Du Cane and Andrew Fuller await their call

SSC team, 2004

SSC captain Deirdre organising the team at Tooting Bec

SSC captain Deirdre organising the team at Tooting Bec

2019

Butterfly leg of the medley relay, 2011

Mary Olivari, 2019

2011 relay handover

Post race banquet. The real reason we Serpies turn up.

Post race banquet.  The real reason we Serpies turn up.

Doug's widow, Renee, was renowned over the decades for her superb post gala bread pudding. The SLSC culinary tradition continues.

Awaiting the bell

Robin Hunter-Coddington and Bob Patterson, 2011

November would have seen the commencement of our Winter Series heats, held each Saturday up to Christmas.