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
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.
Memories and background to the "Andrew and the Two Ronnies cup" can be found in the "race we missed" report from October 2020 -
Tim, with Al Edirisinghe, Norman Jones, Celeste Gilbert and Lorraine Jones
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
Mike Harris on his way, watched by Brian and Rod
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
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.