Shirley May France, Philip Mickman, Willy Van Rijsel.

Shirley May France

International Channel Swimming Trio Train at Dover on 2-8-49. The Channel swimming season is now in full swing with a Trio of would-be channel swimmers training at Dover, Kent. Shirley May France, Phillip Mickman and (Willie) Willy-Van Rijsel wading out of the sea after a training swim at Dover today. Phillip Mickman, the Yorkshire school boy and Willy-Van-Rijsel, the Dutch girl, have both made recent attempts that have just failed, and are both are now training for another attempt. Shirley May France a sixteen year old school girl is in training for her attempt. Shirley May France is advertising the film “Black Magic” on her bathing costume.

Philip went on to swim the following; France to England 23hrs and 48 minutes. In 1952 he was successful with an England to France, time 18hrs 44mins – this is the longest swim from France to England.The swim made Philip the youngest person to swim the Channel in both directions. He made five unsuccessful swims. Aug. 1948 and July 1949, Aug.1950 July, 1951 and  August.1952.

France had two unsuccessful swims, the first was in 1949, France to England, her time was 10hrs 30mins. She had 6 accompanying boats and 2 aeroplanes. Her second swim was in 1950, and her time was 13hrs 33mins.

A Black and White photograph. From the Sam Rockett collection

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