Harry Rutherford's
Festival of Britain Mural

Friday, 9 December 2011

Hyde Seal Swimming and Polo Club.

Here is a photograph showing Hyde Seal Swimming Club circa 1970.
I recognise a few faces on here but the only name I can come up with is Ruth Grantham who is on the front row, 5th left.

If anyone knows any more names please let us know so we can add them.



Hyde Seal Swimming Club was established in 1895.
They were World Water Polo Champions in 1904,1905 and 1906 and English Water Polo Champions 1903/04/05/08/11/12/13/20/24.

The club used to be based at Hyde Baths but since their demolition it now uses Denton baths and Copley Recreation Centre.


The following article can be found on Hyde Seals website... hydeseal

"A stunning statue of a seal was revealed at Hyde Town Hall on Friday 25th May 2007 to commemorate one of Britain's least known but most impressive sporting achievements.

The statue recognises Hyde Seal's treble in the world water polo championships between 1904 and 1906.

Hyde Seal's men's team travelled to Paris in 1904 as English champions. They took part in a competition organised by the French newspaper L'Auto and defeated the defending champions, Brussels, 14-2 in a match which was played in the River Marne.

The team included George Wilkinson who went on to captain Great Britain to the Olympic water polo gold at the 1908 games in London and at Stockholm in 1912.  Hyde Seal returned to Paris in 1905 and 1906 to retain their title but the club's achievements did not end then.

In the ensuing years it has produced swimmers such as Lillian Preece and Sylvia Platt-Rogers.

Counciller Jackie Lane said: "Hyde's Seal's achievement cannot be understated. Hyde Seal has continued to do the people of Hyde, and indeed Tameside, proud in the 100 years since those victories in Paris. It is only right that the borough should regognise that through our ongoing and innovative street art project."

The unveiling took place at Hyde Town Hall Olive Bowker who won Leadbitter Knott Challenge Cup as schoolgirl champion of Hyde in 1932 and 1933 was there.

The group's championship trophy, the Spirit of the Whirlpool designed by Max Blondat, was at the unveiling as well as a ball from one of the finals and several medals". 

George Wilkinson

George Wilkinson, like many sportsmen of his day, went on to be a publican and was the landlord at the Wheatsheaf pub.


Tom said...

Great post Nancy...
One or two faces look familiar, but alas no names jump out at me... I certainly be following the Hyde Seal link and have a good browse of the history of the Seals.

Anonymous said...

I think the girl who looks like she is going to cry in the middle is Ann Lofthouse, used to live on Peel Street. The girl to the left of the middle with plaits looks like Ann Scholes and I think that is Kevin Bennett on the back row second from right with a towel round his neck. Elizabeth

Tom said...

Thank you Elizabeth... hope you are well my dear.. ;o)

Anonymous said...

yes, I think it is Ann Lofthouse.

Garry Hall said...

Front row, second from the left is me, and the person next to me is Roy Wibberley.
Just a coincidence, but I was visiting my dad who lives in North Wales this weekend and came across a copy of the same photograph.

Tom said...

Hi Garry.. hope you are keeping well.... Wibby calls around for a chat now and then... soon as you said it I could tell it was him.

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