Remembering Alan Lacy, last of the club's WW2 generation and Clary Reed, who virtually singlehandedly kept the club going during the war.
Alan Lacy, 1941
Alan 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 found 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.
Alan was always very keen that Clary's memory and the debt owed him by the club would never be forgotten.
Bernard Alan Lacy, 9 July 1923 - 16 March 2020
Clary Reed, 1912
Club line up, 1912
Veterans' All Clothes Race, 1921. Clary assuming a delicate stance.
All Clothes Race victor, circa 1925
1938, the Peter Pan cup was postponed due to ice but Clary still led the club out for a brisk dip
Alan was on the club committee for many decades and served two terms as club President, 1974-1977 and 1999 - 2001.
1954 cycling into trouble
1964, launch of "Breaking the Ice" - a club history.
July 1972, listening to the post race speech
Christmas 1974, President Alan with cup winner Dusty Rhodes.
1987, the long walk back after the Christmas Day 100 yards, dodging the crowds and media alike.
1976, presenting John Perkins with the club championship cup
Jane and Susan, Alan's two daughters, note that he was an enthusiastic all-round sportsman. Aside from swimming he also played rugby, ice hockey "and even went through a wrestling phase; the only thing lacking was cricket in which he had no interest!". Alan also taught himself to sail, but only after having built a boat in the back garden. In later years Alan turned to running, completing the London marathon in 1990 (aged 66) and went on to run also at least two Seven Sisters marathons (Beachy Head) in the company of Cyril Wood amongst other Serpies.
Alan met his future wife Dorothy in a pub in Ruislip in 1941 were she had gone with her sister. Aparently she thought Alan "very handsome but so quiet" (he was only 18). Dorothy went on to join the WRNS and was posted to Scapa Flow. There are family tales of how Alan tried his best to get a posting "up north" to be near Dorothy, only for her to be sent back "down south" when Alan's posting request was granted. They eventually married in 1944.
1990, London Marathon
After leaving the RAF Alan joined J Lyons where he led the team that introduced the world's first business computer, Leo. At J Lyons he also worked with the tea tasters, gaining both their trust and admiration which meant he was able to visit the tea plantations in Sri Lanka. He did a masters degree at Loughborough university in ergonomics and cybernetics. Part of his studies involved travelling up the M1 in his VW beetle with some form of 'gas mask' for testing his oxygen levels. Daughter Sue said he was somewhat concerned that if he got stopped by the police how would he explain what he was up to? Alan had a great interest in wine, developed as a result of being 'loaned' to Ernest Marples (Conservative goverment minister 1959-64). Ernest took Alan to his vineyard in the Beaujolais area where he was shown around the many tasting opportunities.... "a life long interest right to the end", said Sue.
In 1998 Alan celebrated his 50 years with the club.
Family support at Christmas, 1994
Alan was interviewed by the local press in 1998. Some interesting stuff.
Alan had the honour of being the Millennial President and was instrumental in organising the club's only ever New Year's Day race, on 1 January 2000
Blue Ribbon double in our centenary year
1964 saw Alan complete a rare Blue Ribbon double, winning the Christmas Day Peter Pan cup to add to his Bridge to Bridge victory the previous summer.
Sadly no photos, only memories.