1950 Competitors; Willy Van Rijsel, Sam Rockett & Margaret Feather

Willie Van Rijsel, Sam Rockett and Margaret Feather

Southport. July 1950. Sam Rockett, with Willy Van Rijsel, left, and Margaret Feather, with head scarf. Photograph sent by “Sunny” Ethel Lowry, Channel Swimmer France – England 1933, to Sam Rockett with best wishes for a successful swim in “Daily Mail International Cross Channel Race” 1950.

Sam Rockett swam in the 1950 Daily Mail race and was the fourth man to finish. He was Supervisor for the 1951 Daily Mail Race, an International race held in the “Festival of Britain year” and was also supervisor for the Billy Butlin races from 1953 to 1959, and the Sir Billy Butlin long distance walk from John O Groats to Lands End.

He played County Water Polo for a number of Counties. He was author of the book “its Cold in the Channel”

Margaret Feather, England, represented Great Britain when she successfully swam the Channel in the 1954 Billy Butlin cross channel race in a time of 16hrs 23mins at 21 years of age. Margaret was fourth overall, and the second lady home. Margaret had been unsuccessful on three other occasions; in The Daily Mail race of 1950 at 17 years of age – in rough conditions Margaret swam for 15hrs 37mins. In 1952 she failed on an individual swim after swimming for 11hrs 30mins. In 1953 in the first Billy Butlin swim she gave up after 14hrs 18mins. Margaret, who was from Scarborough, was awarded first woman for effort in the Nile Marathon 1953 (only two finishers). She was first woman home in the Capri – Naples swim in 1955. She had also completed an outside pool training swim of 20hrs and has swum nine miles across Morecambe Bay, before attempting the English Channel in the Daily Mail 1950 race.

From the Sam Rockett collection.

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