Meet a member – Godfrey

Godfrey was there at the beginning of Spencer.  In 1978, along with Dave Mace and Jeff Tanner, he joined a new swimming club that had been formed by John Gordon at Spencer Park School, inspired by the masters swimming movement in the US.

As a child, Godfrey first joined the Bec swimming club at Balham baths, later joining Barracuda SC and then Merton Swordfish.  He was a keen competitor, racing nearly every weekend all over the South of England.  Front crawl was his first stroke, backstroke second.

Spencer was always a competitive club.  In 1980 and 1982, Godfrey was part of a Spencer team (pictured above) that entered the American Masters at the Hall of Fame pool at Fort Lauderdale Florida.

Dave Mace introduced Godfrey to open water swimming – swimming pier to pier races and lakes including Coniston.  In 1975 Godfrey was part of the Paddington Mob (pictured below), the winning men’s relay team in a race across the Channel organised by the Daily Express.  Godfrey got put off open water a couple of years ago, after a freezing cold, breath-taking Brighton Pier to Pier swim, but he was back this year, racing 3k at the European Masters in Lake Bled.  He is looking forward to some more open water events next year.

Godfrey’s current favourite events are 50m and 100m backstroke, He trains three or four times a week, particularly enjoying the long-course sessions at Crystal Palace on a Tuesday and Steve’s sessions at Putney.  Although he swims for fitness, he enjoys racing and seeing all his rivals that he has met over the years at galas.  Next year he ages up to the 65-70 category, but credits swimming for the fact that he does not feel his age.

Godfrey has worked for St George’s Hospital as a Coordinator for the Portering Department for over forty years.  Outside of the pool he enjoys cycling, and is organiser of the annual cycle trip to Famara beach during the Club La Santa training week.  “Master swimming is for all competitors, not only the winners, and all swimmers should be encouraged to enjoy it.”


  1. Well done in keeping the swimming up all these years, unfortunately your new group is very tough as everybody is retiring and making a comeback. Still at least I will be able to beat someone next year!

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