Eileen Fenton drawing lots at Folkestone Pool

Eileen Fenton drawing lots for the Pilot in the 1951 Race.

The Daily Mail Festival of Britain International Cross Channel Race. Folkestone Open Air Pool 1951 Eileen Fenton drawing for the Pilot in the 1951 Race. The Mayor of Folkestone Councillor John F. Moncrieff, is the adjudicator. 

Eileen Fenton, a 21 year old scripture teacher from Dewsbury, Yorkshire, was the first lady to finish the 1950 race, in a time of 15hrs 31mins, and received a winners cheque of £1000

The townsfolk of Dewsbury in Yorkshire paid Eileens expenses by raising a subscription fund. Alderman M. Scargill, said: ” A few sceptics thought that Eileen was such a slight, quiet sort of a girl that she would not stand a chance. But the town backed her to the hilt and we have won handsomely.”

In the 1951 race she was unsuccessful in a time of 12hrs 50mins.

Eileen is a founder member of the British Long Distance Swimming Association

A Black and White photograph. The Sam Rockett Collection.

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