Frequently Asked Questions:
Are you including relay swims?
Eventually relay swims will be added but we are concentrating on solo swims at the moment. Some photographs of relays are on the website, mainly where one of the members has also swum the Channel as an individual.
Try searching 'relay' in the 'photos' search box to find all our relay pictures
I'm a swimmer; can I add to or change the information on my page?
Yes anyone can add information to the website – see 'add to the site'. You can upload photos, swim logs, charts, observer reports or any other information you like, subject to final approval by the webmaster. If you don't want to use the online website please email us and we can discuss other methods; or you can drop information off at the museum in Dover
Can I search for things other than swimmers and swims?
Yes - the general search box and the search box on the 'photos' page will find any mention of a term - pilots, trainers, boats, observers, CSA, etc. and specific names i.e. Kellingley, Brickett, Pearson. Other search boxes are more specific i.e. the search box on the 'swimmers' page will only find swimmers names, although there are various filters on the page to refine your search
Please remember to delete your search terms before performing another search
Can I volunteer to help with the project?
Yes, you can physically attend the museum at Dover to volunteer or you can help add information on-line from home. You can also post contributions where you have specific information about a swimmer or a swim. Please see the 'Introducing the Website' page for details
I want to swim the Channel; can you provide any advice?
All Channel swims must be conducted under the auspices of either the CSA or the CSPF; please see their websites to take the next step in making a Channel swim. For an incentive, the museum currently displays all the CSA trophies and cups awarded to swimmers!
Why are some swimmers missing from your website?
Our swim lists are unique in that they are researched from scratch and do not use any existing lists. This research is ongoing and, as we only list a swim that we have confirmed, this is currently all successes up to 1986 and all attempts including failures until 1945. This will be regularly updated
Can I View the Channel Swimming Archive?
Yes, you need to make an appointment with the Museum Honorary Librarian on 01304 201066l or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Why are your lists different to everyone else's?
Our lists of successful swims and failed attempts are researched from original contemporary resources such as newspapers, journals and archives.
The first list of successful swims had been compiled by John Bavington Jones, the editor of the Dover Express, in the 1940s; The CSA used this as the foundation of their own lists but the CSA did not really begin publishing detailed lists of its own until the 1980s. Errors and omissions were made by both Jones and the CSA which have been perpetuated down the years
Types of errors:
The CSA was not really a governing body until the 1980s; prior to this many swims were non-CSA and supervised by other bodies such as newspapers. The CSA began to retrospectively ratify early swims but not all – in general, either a swimmer had to apply, or a CSA member propose a swim, for ratification to be considered. Many have not been. An example are the swims made between 1939 when the CSA folded and 1948 when the CSA was re-founded
The Daily Mail and the CSA could not agree over participation in the first Cross-Channel Race in 1950 and the CSA were subsequently excluded from a role in the race; in return, the CSA only recognised those race swims where the swimmer had paid (or paid later) their CSA fees. Most of the successful foreign swimmers had little knowledge of the CSA and so did not pay fees and are consequently not listed. Much the same situation applied for all the next Daily Mail and Butlins races right through to 1959
In the existing lists the successful leg of a failed 2-way is counted as a solo swim but neither leg of a successful 2-way swim is counted at all in solo crossings. The same is true of 3-ways – one successful 1st leg is counted as a solo swim but 2 successful legs of a failed 3-way is merely counted as a 2-way. We have corrected this anomaly – all successful crossings are counted as one-way swims as well as multi-ways
Undated annual returns
From its re-founding in 1948 until modern times, the CSA has published its annual successful swims by year only; often this order has been completely random, described as 'listed in the order they came out of the in-tray'; because we have researched the full date we can re-order these annual returns. As we even have finishing times, we can also give the correct finishing order for swimmers starting on the same day
An example of this error:
CSA 1967 F-E Successes Dover Museum 1967 F-E Successes
098 Elaine Gray 148 Elaine Gray 17/07/1967
099 Thomas Hetzel 149 Norman Trusty 02/08/1967
100 Norman Trusty 150 Geoffrey Lake 24/08/1967
101 Mervyn Sharp 151 Rosemary George 25/08/1967
102 Geoffrey Lake 152 Thomas Hetzel 26/08/1967
103 Rosemary George 153 Mervyn Sharp 27/08/1967
104 Linda McGill 154 Linda McGill 09/09/1967
105 Linda McGill 155 Linda McGill 29/09/1967
Dates of Swims
We always give the date on which a successful swim finishes. Some sources give the date of the start of the swim but most swims cross the midnight dateline. This means Webb's swim can be given as 24/8/1875 but we give it as 25/8/1875; he started 12:56 pm August 24 and finished 10:41am August 25. For failures we give the date of the start of the swim
If you have any further questions or queries please contact us