Fiona Campbell led the field to claim the Alan Titmuss cup watched-on by four generations of the Titmuss family.
Rod Newing kicked off the morning by winning the Veterans' race on its return to the traditional spring slot.
Fiona Campbell receiving the cup from Paulette Titmuss
A 13 year old Alan Titmuss was introduced to the club by his uncle, Sid Baker, in 1950
Prior to the Alan Titmuss 400m (440 yard) race those of a certain vintage "sprinted" flat out over 100m (110 yards) for the Brew Bros. Veterans' cup
Brew Bros. Ltd. - a club connection dating back to the 1930s
The Brew Brothers operated a car showroom in the Old Brompton Road and presented the Serpentine SC Veterans' cup in 1935. They continued to have a close connection with the club for many decades. In the 1970s we used their showroom floor for our AGMs. Members were somewhat distracted from the deep discussion and debate on club matters by the presence of high-end vintage, classic and modern luxury motors that we could but dream of driving one day.
We still race each year for the Brew Bros. cup, even though there is no longer a family connection. Until 2018 members had to be over 50 to qualify as a vet. That changed in 2019 when the qualifying age was raised to 60 at the suggestion of the then committee member, and now club President, Rob Ouldcott.
Sixty is now said to be the new 40. Maybe some members will soon press to raise the qualifying age to 70 or maybe even 75? Watch this space.
Titmuss cup winner, Fiona Campbell
Alan Titmuss, 1936 - 2009. Club Secretary & Treasurer from 1964. President 1986 - 1989.
On leaving school Alan was apprenticed as a bookbinder. When called up for National Service he was advised by club members with military experience to opt for the Royal Marines “rather than spend two years square bashing and peeling spuds in some other unit”. After leaving the Marines Alan worked in local authority building departments and studied his way to being a fully qualified architect (RIBA). Alan took on the combined role of club Secretary and Treasurer in 1964, on the retirement of Bill Reed. Alan served as President from 1986 to 1989 and also performed the role of Hon. Handicapper during the mid-2000s.
Alan always retained his love of bookbinding, which he continued to practice as a hobby whilst working as an architect. On retirement from the London Borough of Hillingdon Architects Department Alan taught bookbinding at evening classes. A true labour of love.
For further detail on Alan's contribution to the club across six decades please follow this link to the 2021 race report.
The final 50m, and the pack are hunting down the front markers
Brian stood in for President Rob, who was still plodding the Pennine Way
Copy of the sleeve note to "Breaking the Ice", 1964
Second home Laure Latham
Boris (no not that one) third
Paul Daniels (very definitely not that one) fourth
Rosie George and Bill Deeley were great friends of Alan
Mary was on water fountain monitoring duties
The traditional three cheers
Photographer Fiona Campbell warmed up for her Titmuss cup victory by capturing images of the Veterans' race
Mary was another who decided not to swim back
Veterans' races have always been part of the club calender
Four generations of the Titmuss family, plus very close friends and four legged friends, were out in force
First Serpentine dip for the youngest of Alan and Paulette's great grandchildren
We have a permanent reminder of Alan when we sit outside the changing room drinking tea, eating cake, discussing our handicaps and generally putting the world to rights
(Report compiled by Brian Thomas)