Sunny Lowry in training
Sunny Lowry in training. Image shows Sunny Lowry with her trainer Jabez Wolffe, during her first training session, on Brighton Promenade.
Ethel (Sunny) Lowry was trained by Jabez Wolffe. She successfully swam the Channel on Aug 28 1933, time 15 hours 41 mins from Cap Gris-Nez to St Margaret’s Bay. In 1933 there were 18 attempts and only Sunny was successful. Sunny swam in a two-piece swimming costume now at Dover Museum.
She had two unsuccessful attempts: Aug 10 1932 (time 14 hours 00 mins) and July 27 1933 (time 6 hours 00 mins).
She became the President of the Channel Swimming Association in 2000. In 2003 Sunny was inducted into the Swimming Hall of Fame. In 2005 she was awarded the MBE for services to swimming. In 2014 “The Sunny Lowry Road” was opened in Beswick.
The swim of 1933 was finally recognised by the CSA, in March 1958, through the perseverance of her husband.
Jabez Wolffe made 21 unsuccessful attempts to swim the Channel from 18 July 1906 to 15 July 1914.
He made three attempts in 1906. Two in 1907. Four in 1908. Two in 1909. 2 in 1910. Two in 1911. Two in 1912. One in 1913 and one in 1914. The first World War then put a stop to his attempts.
He swam a double Solent in June 1914. After the War he trained Gertrude Ederle on her unsuccessful attempt in 1925. He then trained three successful Ladies; Hilda Sharp, Aug 1928. Peggy Duncan Sept 1930, and Sunny Lowry Aug 1933.