Harry Rutherford's
Festival of Britain Mural

Thursday, 3 May 2012

Olympic Swimming Trials 1912


Olympic trials being held in May 1912 at the Queen Adelaide reservoir, Gee Cross. Hyde swimmers Wilkinson, Dean and Wildgoose took part.

The coal strike in 1912 meant that the baths were closed four days a week at the beginning of the season. This affected Wilkinson, Dean, and Wildgoose who had been selected for Olympic trials. They did their training in the Queen Adelaide reservoir, Gee Cross, where the Olympic trials were to be held on June 1st. On the day of the trials the water in the reservoir was only 50 degrees. Both Dean and Forsyth succumbed to the cold and so were not selected. George Wilkinson was selected as Left Forward and Captain. Aged 33 he had already represented England 16 times and was the only player Continentals feared. Henry, aged 27, was selected for 400 and 1500 metres and William Foster for the 400 metres. When the Olympic team left for Stockholm on June 29th, Hyde Seal sent more representatives than any other club in the country.

After preparing for water of 50 degrees in Stockholm, the swimmers were surprised to find water of 70 degrees. It proved too hot for Henry Taylor who had to retire in the 1500 metres. Foster swam well and qualified for the final of his event. In the Water Polo final George Wilkinson led the Great Britain team to a 7-5 victory over Belgium.

Picture and information from Marjorie Davis author of the book HYDE SEAL SWIMMING CLUB 
The team that beat the World   


Tom said...

What a fabulous picture this is... and of course great information... I'd never heard of this before until I read Marjorie's book... to have a picture of such an event is bonus to say the least... I think it puts the Hatton brothers achievements in the shade.

Hydonian said...

Absolutely brilliant read ! Thanks so much, Marjorie ! The photo is an added bonus !

Jeffrey Stafford said...

The Hatton brother's have achieved very little, even against oppenents of very mediocre ability.

Trish said...

Very interesting Marjorie,never heard of this before. Brilliant picture.

Mark Wildgoose said...

I have been fishing their many times when younger, never knew my great grandad swam in it.