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.”
Religious Instruction teacher and games mistress at the Princess Mary High School in Halifax. Born Dewsbury 1928, daughter of Thomas Fenton of Thornhill Lees, Dewsbury, who worked at the RAOC depot at Dewsbury, and Mary McCarthy.
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