On August 19th 1976, Jane Luscombe swam from Foreland Point near Glenthorne to Porthcawl, she was the first woman to swim the route and set a new speed record of 10 hours and 46 minutes. She was inspired to attempt her swim by her Grandfather, Harry who swam the channel some 56 years earlier!
Jane told us her grandfather, Harry swam from Penarth to Weston Super Mare on 15th September 1920 in 9 hours 3 minutes. He did this as part of a competition run by the Evening Times newspaper and for which he won the rather grand cup pictured above and the princely sum of £10. As he accepted the money he duly lost his amateur status!!
Jane said she still has the press cuttings from Harrys swim which are very interesting, mainly because they show what an interest there was in Long Distance swimming in those days. She told us her Grandfather had a withered leg because of polio as a child and he is constantly referred to as a "cripple" in the press article, rather non PC to our modern ears!
He also went on to popularise front crawl as a swimming stroke in the UK, at one point he even had a race with Johnny Weismuller the Tarzan actor as a publicity for crawl!