Fisher, Charles Edward
Charles Edward Fisher was born in 1861 in Aylesbury, Bucks., trained as a butcher and for most of his life was a butcher and cattle dealer in Harrow-on-the-Hill in north-west London
Going to Ireland regularly to purchase cattle and sheep, he shipped them to England and sold them at Islington cattle market. He built a house on Pinner Road in Harrow, called Dublin House – no doubt because of his frequent trips to Ireland. Charles Fisher also dealt in property, purchasing flats in Springfield Road and Northolt Road in Harrow. He was the Champion Long Distance Swimmer of the World, being the holder of the best swimming record since Captain Webb swam from Dover to Ramsgate. In 1891, he defeated Davis Dalton in a race from Blackwall to Gravesend for £50. He openly challenged anyone to a long distance swimming race for £100. He retired to Hove, Sussex, where he died in 1930.
Fisher was in Dover in 1891, 1892 and 1898 to try and swim the Channel. There are no records that he ever started an attempt, although later press reports say he failed to swim the Channel in 1891
In 1891 he was in Dover for several months, with his friend and rival Davis Dalton. As preparation for a Channel swim both men undertook several distance swims, including trying to beat Webb’s record for Dover-Ramsgate in June, July and September, and Dover-Folkestone in July
FISHER’S SWIM. Fisher, who intends later to attempt the Channel swim, started from Dover this morning to swim along the coast to Folkestone. The sea is a dead calm.
13 July 1891 – Hartlepool Northern Daily Mail – Hartlepool, Durham, England
FISHER’S SWIM FROM DOVER TO FOLKESTONE. Edward Fisher, of Harrow, who on June 24 swam twelve miles in an attempt with Dalton to swim from Dover to Ramsgate, on Monday succeeded in swimming from Dover to Sandgate, a distance of about 12 miles, within 3 hours….in the middle of August he will attempt to swim the Channel
15 July 1891 – Sporting Life – London, London, England
A CHANNEL SWIM. An Abortive Performance. LONDON, July 29.
Professor Dalton and Mr. C. E. Fisher, who some time ago endeavored to swim from Dover to Ramsgate – a distance of 22 miles – but were deterred from completing the performance because of the coldness of the water, repeated the attempt yesterday, but had again to abandon it for the same reason. After a swim of about three hours they were taken out of the water nearly paralysed by the cold. The swim remains unaccomplished by anyone excepting the late Captain Webb.
The Express and Telegraph (Adelaide) 30 Jul 1891
FISHER’S SWIM FROM DOVER TO RAMSGATE. Mr. C. E. Fisher this morning started on his third attempt to swim from Dover to Ramesgate.
03 September 1891 – Newcastle Evening Chronicle
C. E. Fisher, who tried swim the Channel last year, means to repeat the attempt this year, possibly in September.
03 September 1892 – Worcestershire Chronicle
C. E. Fisher, another English swimmer, will again try to swim the English channel.
Boston Daily Globe, Sep 23 1898
Professor Dalton, who had for some time past been training for his swim across the Channel, attempted on June 15th to swim from Dover to Ramsgate, a distance of about 22 miles. Great interest was evinced in the matter, both at Dover and Deal. C. E Fisher, of Green Hill, Harrow-on-the-Hill, who had challenged Dalton, came down quite unexpectedly and entered the water with Dalton.
Both men, however, failed to accomplish the swim, which has only been done by the late Captain M. Webb. Dalton entered the water at nineteen minutes to nine a.m., and Fisher followed three minutes later. Dalton swam as usual, on his back, with his hands under him. Fisher using the breast and side stroke.
Dalton averaged 48 strokes per minute for the first hour, while Fisher adopted a much more steady stroke. The water was not more than 48 degrees much to cold to make it wise for lengthened immersion. The wind was light from the east and directly against the swimmers, and it freshened very much as the South Foreland was approached, the broken water causing them mush discomfort.
Fisher passed Dalton about two miles from Dover, but Dalton regained his lead, and the men swam in company for a time. At two minutes to eleven, when off the South Foreland, Dalton, who showed signs of fatigue, left the water, and was taken into the cabin of the launch, where he soon recovered. Fisher continued swimming, and a large number of boats came out from Deal to meet him. He was loudly cheered as passed the pier, which was reached at 1 o’clock. From this point however, he did little more than drift with the tide, and a twenty-seven minutes past one, when off Sandown Castle, he was taken out of the water, being almost paralyzed by the cold. Fisher says he will attempt to swim the Channel in the autumn in company with Dalton, or by himself.