Another bright but chilly morning (water 9c, air 6.5c) saw many of us struggle with 200m (220 yards) of breaststroke in memory of Alan Lacy and Clary Reed.
First home was Leanne Ashrafian, followed by Victoria Rock and then Deirdre Ward.
A big turnout from the Lacy family, who presented some very useful prizes.
Alan Lacy, 1941.
Alan Lacy sponsored a spring race over 220 yards for the best part of 60 years. Originally a freestyle event the opportunity to change this to a breaststroke race arose in 1982. Alan grabbed this with both hands as it meant he would not have to race the stroke he said was "unfathomable". Another fixture card juggle in 2001 meant the Clary Reed cup was happily allocated to Alan's race. Alan had a very close connection with Clary, who invited him to join the club in 1948. Clary was revered within the club as the man who ensured the club's continuing survival during the difficult days of WW2 when many members were away on active and national service and anti-aircraft batteries were positioned in Hyde Park.
Alan was always very keen that Clary's memory and the debt owed him by the club would never be forgotten.
Today we raced for the Clary Reed cup.
Norman Jones had the honour of welcoming the Lacy family and speaking about Alan's 72 years with the club (1948 to 2020)
First home Leanne Ashrafian repeated her 2009 success
Victoria Rock sneaked in second
Deirdre Ward, third place
A bright but chilly spring morning
James, Lorraine and Deirdre listening to memories of Alan
The traditional three cheers
Lacy family group photo
Club stalwart Alan served as club President twice. First in 1974-77, and then had the honour of being the Millenial President 1999-2001
For further background on both Alan and Clary and their big part in the history of the club follow this link to the "race we missed" report from April 2021
In 1963 Alan Titmuss penned the following portrait of Clary Reed
Clary Reed, father of the (1963) Club Secretary, did perhaps more than any other man in the long history of the Club to keep things running smoothly during the most difficult period of the war, devoting nearly half a century of life to Club affairs. He joined the club in 1910 and was always a regular competitor up until the age of seventy-five. A splendid diver, he never lost his agility and even in his seventies could still execute a very neat dive from the springboard (which existed up until the mid-1960s). In 1933 he took over the duties of handicapper from his old friend Fred Houghton and from then until the outbreak of World War II was always first to arrive at the lake, where he would take his own dip first before setting about the task of organising the races and making suitable adjustments to the handicaps. Occasionally such adjustments were made in the form of a reprimand to a member, and adverse criticism of the handicapping would usually mean an extra three seconds handicap for next time.
With ·the outbreak of war, a large proportion of the Club members went into service and Clary found himself acting as General Factotum, incorporating the duties of Secretary, Treasurer, Handicapper, and ' any other office that needed filling. He was determined that the club should survive. Even through the darkest days and in spite of the heaviest air raids, strikes and all the other problems during wartime. Clary could always be counted upon to be first at the lake, even though the field was sometimes reduced to a mere half a dozen competitors. Cheerful and kind-hearted, he was a great inspiration to others and on one occasion staggered down to the lake with a sack full of prizes on his back.
When the war ended and old members returned once more, Clary's devotion was rewarded. Realising his ambition of getting the club back onto a sound footing he decided it was time to relax a little, and in 1948 reluctantly resigned as secretary handing over to his son, C.W. Reed, who continued to carry on his father’s tradition.
In his late seventies, Clary's health began to fail and in 1952 he passed on his handicapping duties to Arthur Goffrey, but continued to take an interest in Club affairs until his death in 1956. He will be remembered with esteem and affection as a man of integrity, and a loyal and true friend.