Photo © 35 Mil
"The Somerset A.S.A. Trophy Cabinet"
The County awards trophies for swimming; open water and masters swimming; water polo and artistic swimming (synchro). Some of our trophies awarded for swimming championships can be seen on display in the large cabinet in the foyer of the 50 metre pool at Millfield School. By the time our Centenary Celebrations took place in 2002 there were 66 perpetual trophies being awarded for swimming during the year.
Some of the oldest trophies retained by the County were originally donated by Bath Dolphins Womens Swimming Club having been first awarded by them in the early 1900’s. These trophies have been re-designated to swimming and other disciplines within the sport to retain history they record whilst continuing to award them to new Champions during the next century. In a similar way the oldest of our former diving trophies, number 30 donated by A.E. Meyer in 1928 for Women’s Firmboard Diving, is now used for the Inter-Club Top Team Trophy. Look out for this at County Inter-Club events.
The oldest trophy awarded for swimming retained by the County is that awarded for the Girls 800m Freestyle Championship, number 58. Originally awarded in 1904, it was donated by the Duchess of Beaufort and is engraved, "To be held by the Champion Swimming Team from the Girl’s Schools of Bath". The oldest trophy awarded for swimming originally donated to the County is that awarded for the Womens 100m Freestyle Championship, number 21. First awarded in 1911, it was donated by Doctor Meade-King, a swimming enthusiast from Taunton who donated a number of trophies to the sport in schools at that time.
The names of our Champions have been faithfully engraved on our trophies over many years. Some have gone onto represent their countries. Great Britain Olympians Helen Bewley, Mark Foster, Paul Howe, Caroline Foot, Edward Sinclair, Jo Fargus, Neil Harper, Nick Shackell, Suki Brownsden, Euan Dale, Andrew Hunter, James Disney-May and Stacey Tadd are just a few of the more familiar names who have lifted a Somerset County trophy during the past 30 years. During the 1970’s Joanne Atkinson and Olympic Gold Medallist, Duncan Goodhew, were also Somerset County Champions.
In a similar way County trophies detail many champions who have represented Great Britain at senior and junior level such as Matt Clay, James Batley, James Clarke, Georgina and Robert Holderness, Siohban-Marie O'Connor and James Guy to name just a few!
Over 50 years ago S.C.A.S.A. Champion Molly Reed (nee Tancock) competed for England.
This brief introduction would be incomplete without a word of thanks to our trophy donors throughout the years. As you browse through the trophy photos and pages detailing our swimming awards in the documents section of this website you will note that the trophy numbers do not run consecutively towards the final pages. This is due to trophy re-designation. Details of Championships that do not have a trophy at present can be found in the index for those of you who may like to mark your association with Somerset Swimming!
For full detail of the winners of all our swimming trophies click here and for those of our open water, masters and other award winners click here.
"The Trophy Cabinet - Other Disciplines"
Some of the oldest trophies retained by the County were originally awarded for diving, which was last seen in Somerset at Yeovil in 1987. Some of these trophies have been re-designated to ensure that our history continues through the other disciplines. Alderman W.E. Maynard was our County President in 1932. It follows that the diving trophies that have been re-designated come from that era. The Senior Water Polo League Trophy was also donated by Alderman Maynard and is a very impressive shield.
We have also referred in this record to medals and badges used over the years by members of the Association and at County Championships. It is hoped that, with time, a permanent record of Somerset ASA utilising some of these items and, perhaps, one of our oldest trophies might form part of a display at for instance the Somerset Rural Life Museum in Glastonbury where a number of County archives are retained. The nine minute books of County ASA meetings from 1901 until 2002 are retained as part of the Somerset County Archive and Record Service, Obridge Road, Taunton TA2 7PU and can be viewed by quoting reference M/885 A\CAV.
Whilst this picture of the Somerset County 1500m Open Water Champion Trophy appears within the full detail of the trophy record retained by the County Secretary, it is reproduced in memory of R.A.E. Blackburn, a former Life Member of SASA, who donated it to the County for use at Open Water Championships from 2002. Sadly Reg is no longer able to present the trophy himself, however this magnificent trophy will remain as a fitting tribute for years to come.
On 2 June 2010 Somerset ASA Management Committee received the Queen's Award for Voluntary Service (the MBE for Volunteer Groups), which is on permanent display in the Trophy Cabinet at Millfield School 50m Pool.