Rockett and Fenton in Training session, London
London, Ironmonger Row baths? Sam Rockett training with Eileen Fenton.
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 he 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”
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
From the Sam Rockett collection.