Covid in 2020 and then blue-green in 2021 meant a two year absence of the Tony and Jane Schiemann sponsored Dusty Rhodes Bowl. "Only" a two year absence for the magnificant trophy, which disappeared from the fixture list after 1992, but returned in 2018.
Dusty Rhodes was one of the club's many "characters" that have adorned our ranks over the decades. WW2 submariner, Brentford docks stevedore and penny farthing rider. He also found time to enter Masters' swimming events. It was thus appropriate that the morning's cup winner was Ted Gerald, a Masters' over 85s 1500m national champion.
The Rhodes Bowl - from skip to the Serpentine
Dusty presented the trophy to the club in 1976 and for many years it was raced-for in the height of summer over 880 yards. According to club legend, Dusty found it in a skip, polished it up and donated it for the race. Dusty died in the late 1980s. Dusty's son did visit for the race when over from Australia after Dusty's death. Sadly the club subsequently lost contact with the family and the race dropped off the fixture card after 1992. In 2018 the trophy was reintroduced onto the fixture card for the new 440 yard Tony and Jane Schiemann race that had been inserted into the schedule.
The magnificent Rhodes Bowl, displayed by Rob
The race is sponsored by Tony and Jane Schiemann.
Tony and Jane joined the club in 2006
Tony and Jane Schiemann joined the club in 2006. They live on Eel Pie Island in the River Thames, which gives them the luxury of continuing to have a dip when the gates to the Serpentine were locked. President Rob noted that if you spot a Maltese flag flying over Eel Pie Island you can be sure the Schiemanns are "in residence".
A retired accountant, Tony still undertakes work for a local charity. For many years Tony was a member of the Thursday morning cleaning squad (along with Gordon Brodie, Rosie George, Tim Oulten and others) who scrubbed away at the club room mats, floors, walls and windows.
Tony was elected to the committee in 2014 and succeeded Kirsty Neilson as Hon. Treasurer in 2016, a role he served admirably until he decided to retire in 2021.
Other prize winners (possibly out of order)
Submariner and penny farthing "pilot"
Dusty was one of those amazing characters the club periodically attracts. He is remembered by those of us that knew him with the same revered but chaotic fondness as Mario McClarnon, Bill Phipps and, dare I say, Gordon Brodie. Dusty joined the club in the mid-1960s. He lived in Isleworth and worked as a stevedore at Brentford docks until they closed in 1972. WW2 saw Dusty a submariner in the Pacific theatre. At the end of the war he was attached to the Royal Australian Navy. I remember him telling me how, due to a shortage of specialist skills, the Navy refused to demobilise him and kept him out in Australia for some years. Something he bitterly resented.
Dusty was well known for his penny farthing, riding it in many charity fund-raising events as well as occasionally entertaining us on a Christmas morning. In 1981 he rode the penny-farthing over the whole course during the very first London Marathon. It was never clear whether he had permission or not from the organisers, not that such formalities would bother Dusty.
(recollections from Brian Thomas)
Dusty's penny farthing made many appearances for charity. He even road it from Land's End to John O'Groats
In 1977 Dusty with his penny farthing was the only two wheeled participant in the London to Brighton Veteran Car Rally
Dusty won the 1975 Christmas morning Peter Pan cup
The end of the Bridge to Bridge, 1977
A metal plate in his leg did not prevent Dusty competing in the 1981 Veterans' race
The race was once again blessed by marvellous weather
Swimmers gather round the handicap list, keen to see what Hon. Handicapper Dani Lobo has in store
There was much chit-chat before proceedings got under way
Two race marshals relaxing
The race over, many competitors found the water far too lovely to leave
(Report compiled by Brian Thomas)