Long Distance Swimming

The British Long Distance Swimming Association was formed in 1956 and in the early 60’s Tyldesley Swimming Club members began to compete in the various Championship events organised by this Association.

In 1965 Jimmy Grimshaw won the 10 mile Morecambe Bay swim and became the first of many Tyldesley Swimming Club members to gain honours in major distance events.

In 1966 Mary Reilly finished in second place in 2 Junior Events – the 3 mile Bala Lake and the 2 mile Fairhaven. Paul Beadlestone & Stuart Hopkins also competed in the 2 events and shared first and second places on each occasion.  Paul also won the Windermere Junior race in the same year.

In 1967, Paul Beadlestone was again successful in winning both the Bala and Windermere events. Paul’s sister Yvonne, was one of 10 young members of the club, who broke the RECORD when winning the ATV’s Relay Challenge Trophy in November of the same year. 

In answer to the challenge on the Junior Sportsweek Proramme, the 10 members of the team, all of them under 12 years of age, had to complete 2 x half mile swims each, in relay order.  Tyldesley’s time for the relay  was 5 hours and 6 minutes. Other members of the team were:- Dammion Charlson, Duncan Cleworth, Carol Griffiths, Keith Grimshaw, Paul Hayley, Alan Meakin, Alan Parry, Barbara Reilly and Ian Worthington.  Paul Hayley and Barbara Reilly went to the ATV Studios to receive the trophy of behalf of the club.

Tommy Holland became the club’s foremost marathon swimmer.  In 1967 he entered his first championships – coming second in the 10 mile Morecambe Bay swim, 3rd in the Trentham, finished well in the Bala Lake (two-way) and the A.S.A 5 mile Championship.  He also completed both the one and two-way Windermere swims, (distances of 10 and Quarter miles) and (20 and Half miles) respectively.

In 1971 Tommy broke the record for the Three Lakes Swim in the same day.  He swam Windermere  (10 and Quarter Miles), Ullswater (7 and Half Miles) and Coniston (5 and Quarter Miles) in a total of 12 hours and 14 minutes.   2 years later (after he left Tyldesley) he attempted the English Channel and made a successful England to France crossing in 12 hours and 40 minutes.