Saturday 3 July saw Norman and Lorraine Jones present the Andrew and the Two Ronnies cup. Plus some club history from 90 years ago.

The race was brought forward from October, so Tim Outen had to swim 880 yards for the cup instead of a mere 220 yards

A bit of fixture juggling saw us race 880 yards (800m) in memory of Ron Miller, his son Andrew and the club's great friend from The Royal Albert Hall, Ron Hammill.  No speeches or prizes, so the traditional "Jones's Lucky Dip" multiple prize giving was replaced by a box of chocolates for the cup winner. 

Tim Outen was first home, followed by Chris Hatcher, Debs Byatt and Fiona Campbell.

The 4 x 50 yard Bridgeman Team race was the scheduled fixture, but it was felt the annual "cat herding" event was not suitable for the current Covid19 constraints.  Hence Norman and Lorraine nobly stepping in.  As a consequence, we will be able to hold a race on 16 October in memory of Alan Lacy, whose 2020 and 2021 races were cancelled due to the suspension of fixtures.

Poppy Lenton and Mat provided a lovely spread of individual cakes to celebrate their wedding last weekend

2021 winner Tim Outen

2021 winner Tim Outen

Looks like Tim is very much determined not to drop the cup

Norman and Lorraine brought forward their "Lucky Dip" race for the Andrew and the Two Ronnies cup from October

Originally billed as the Bridgeman 4 x 50-yard team races, an 880 yards (800m) race was substituted as it was felt the relay event would not fit with our Covid precautions.  A bit of last-minute fixture juggling resulted in Norman and Lorraine's race being brought foward from October, allowing us to race in memory of three very valued and treasured members from the not too distant past -  Ron Hamill and Ron Miller and his son Andrew.

This will allow us to hold the Alan Lacy race for the Clary Reed cup on 16 October.  A club member since 1948, Alan passed away in March 2020.  For decades Alan sponsored a race in April each year and, due to our fixture suspension, we have not presented the cup since 2019.  The fixture swap means we can celebrate a race for Alan in the presence of his daughters and granddaughters rather than allow another year to go by.

Tim, with Al Edirisinghe, Norman Jones, Celeste Gilbert and Lorraine Jones

Tim, with Al Edirisinghe, Norman Jones, Celeste Gilbert and Lorraine Jones

Al, a club member, was a very close childhood friend and neighbour of Andrew. They spent many happy summer afternoons at the Serpentine Lido, "supervised" by dad Ron. Celeste, Mary Gilbert's daughter, also benefited from Ron Miller's duties in his role as "nanny" to Mary's children. (photo, Anthony Wood)

We were also treated to a cake-fest by Poppy Lenton and Mat, who met at the Serpentine and married last weekend

We were also treated to a cake-fest by Poppy Lenton and Mat, who met at the Serpentine and married last weekend

President Alan Mitchell assisted Handicapper Dani with the task of counting them out and counting them in

President Alan Mitchell assisted Handicapper Dani with the task of counting them out and counting them in

Mike Harris on his way, watched by Brian and Rod

Mike Harris on his way, watched by Brian and Rod

For 880 yards the starters are quite well spaced out

For 880 yards the starters are quite well spaced out

Many thanks to Anthony Wood for his atmospheric B&W photos.

A few memories from recent decades

A few memories from recent decades

1989, relatively new to the club Norman Jones with Captain Norman Saxby, Ron Hammill and Handicapper Frank Simms

Ron Miller helped revive Ron Hammill one spring morning when he suffered from a stroke under the lakeside shower

Outward bound Andrew

Norman joined the Club in 1983. He won the Bridge to Bridge in both 1989 and 1994, the Christmas Day Peter Pan race in 1991 and has been club champion multiple times. He was Club President 2013-2016, a current committee member and a vice President. Norman is a qualified swimming teacher, first aid trainer and RLSS lifeguard trainer and assessor.

Norman and Lorraine met in the late 1960s whilst both were Pontins holiday camp Bluecoats.  Lorraine is also a club member and a regular friendly, smiley, chatty presence Serps-side.  Lorraine has a marvellous singing voice, as those that have heard the Serpentine choir can testify.

Ron Hammill was a club regular from the late 1960s to the early 1990s.  A foreman at The Royal Albert Hall, Ron would swim most days before work.  Many members were grateful recipients of complimentary tickets to events courtesy of Ron, ranging from Proms concerts to wrestling and boxing.

Ex-paratrooper Ron Miller ran a local plumbing and central heating company.  He was a daily regular at the club throughout the 1980s, 90s and into the 2000s -  tea making and general chit-chat a speciality.  During days off work (it was his company) Ron would act as "nanny" to Mary Gilbert's children.  This accounts for the nickname of Nana, coined by Mary, with respect to the Newfoundland dog in Peter Pan.

Andrew was also a daily regular, though not a regular racer.  He was a gifted woodworker who produced many treasured items for his friends.  Sadly, Andrew drowned whilst swimming off Brighton beach in 2014.  He was in his late-thirties.

The 880 yard race replaced the scheduled Bridgeman team race. This relay race was first swum in 1931 in memory of Paul Bridgeman, who died in a tragic accident in 1930. Paul's wife and children continued to support the race through nine decades.

The 880 yard race replaced the scheduled Bridgeman team race.  This relay race was first swum in 1931 in memory of Paul Bridgeman, who died in a tragic accident in 1930.  Paul's wife and children continued to support the race through nine decades.

Jutland veteran Paul Bridgeman receiving the Colin Cooper cup in 1928.

1931, the first Paul Bridgeman team race

1931, the first Paul Bridgeman team race

This photo from the mid 1930s shows son Gerald presenting trophies to the winning team. The table is still in use by the club to this day (currently in storage)

This photo from the mid 1930s shows son Gerald presenting trophies to the winning team.  The table is still in use by the club to this day (currently in storage)

2009, Gerald and wife Rosie present the team trophies from behind the very same table

2009, Gerald and wife Rosie present the team trophies from behind the very same table

Rosie died just under 10 years ago. Gerald passed away in March 2018. His long term carer, Dinknesh, is still in contact with the club and does attend the Bridgeman team event.