Reading Royals

Through the Year 1987

Berks & Bucks Novices -  7th March

(Top 20 RR of 88 competitors)

1. Karen Childs

2. Natalie Waring

3. Claire Roberts

8. Melanie Allen

11. Natalie Dunn

12. Nathalie Green

13. Caireen Muir

14. Sarah Slatford

=16 Katie Goodall

=16 Daniela De Dominicis

18. Rebecca Williams

19. Joanna Russell

Full results (courtesy late Jean Hulbert)

Sarah Northey preparing for her solo

Overall team winnners Reading

Synchro World Competition - Birmingham, 3rd May

Junior Solo

Sarah Northey   -   Gold

Senior Solo   

Joanne Seebugh   -  Silver

Novice Duet

L. Macrae/M.Svenson   -    Gold

Junior Duet

Sarah Northey/Jo Luckett -   Gold

Senior Duet         

Jo Seeburgh/ Sam Allen   -    Silver


Reading Royals         -    Silver

Southern Counties Age Groups

9th & 30th May


12&under   -   M.Svensen/Linda Macrae     -  Silver

S.Hawthorne/N.Robertson                             - 4th

13/14yrs    -   L.Fishleigh/Helen Smith       - Silver

15/16yrs    -  Sarah Northey/ Jo Luckett     - Gold

                    -    Louise Rutter/J.Svensen         - Bronze

17& over    -  Rebekah Taylor/Sue Vockins  - Gold


9/10yrs      -    Samantha Luckett              -    Gold


11/12yrs      -   M.Svensen                           -    5th

Linda Macrae, S Hawthorne

13/14 yrs     -    Helen Smith                      -    6th

Louise Fishleigh

15/16 yrs     -  Sarah Northey                    -   Gold

                            Joanne Luckett                    -  Bronze

Vicky Maybury, Louise Rutter, Julia Svensen


9/10yrs    -   Sam Luckett             -    Gold

11/12yrs   -   M.Svensen                -   Silver

Linda Macrae, S.Hawthorne

13/14yrs   -   Helen Smith             -    6th

Louise Fishleigh

15/16yrs   -   Sarah Northey          -    Gold

                    -  Victoria Maybury       -   Bronze

Joanne Luckett, Louise Rutter

17 & over    -  Jo Seeburgh              -    Gold

                          Rebekah Taylor       -    Silver

                         Sue Vockins             -     Bronze


12 & Under  -  Reading Royals  -  Gold

13/14yrs     - Reading Royals   -   Silver

15/16yrs     -  Reading Royals   -   Gold

England juniors had two assignments, one at Orebro in Sweden and then in July in Vienna. Four RR swimmers, Emma Clark, Sarah Northey, Alison Maybury and Vicky Elson travelled to both competitions. Sarah and Emma won silver and bronze respectively in competing duets and the team won gold.

Not quite sure of the status of the Vienna competition (Austrian Open)?. Sarah Northey's report (excerpts) below -

England  Juniors

(L to R) Maria Erraught, Alison Maybury, Katie Wishart, Sarah Northey, Ann Alexander,Carolyn Wilson (Team Coach), Kerry Shacklock, Emma Clark, Claire Pember, Vicky Elson

"We all looked very smart with blue above the knee skirts and blue and white t-shirt.

At mid afternoon we found out it was group 6 and also that Canada, America, Japan and Korea had also been invited to the competition, so we had to work hard on our figures. Carol Hicks our judge and Carolyn took us for our figuresand told us not to look at the clouds as

they moved! This caused a few problems but were easily sorted out.

There were twenty six solos in all. Kerry swam a strong and well presented solo and came 10th. I came 4th with two Americans and a Canadian in front of me. With the new Fina rule I moved up a place because only one swimmer from each country can qualify for the finals, so I got the bronze medal, nicknamed the dinner plate.

ln the team event the Dutch swam before us and had a technical hitch with the music, this meant our team had to swim earlier than expected. We swam the team well but wasn't good enough to beat the Canadians and we came a disappointing 4th and a few tears were shed"

Joanne Seeburg and Samanatha Allen were members of the GB squad which travelled to Strasbourg for the Europeans. The squad just missed out on medal with 4th place finishes in Solo, Duet and Team.

European Championships - Strasbourg -16th/23rd August

Team at Heathrow with TM Janet Holdstock waiting to leave

We normally include some extracts from the GB competition report but below is a tranlsation of a French newspaper report which warns of the coming of Russia as a synchro force and a Spanish press article which because of Carolyn Wilson's European success two years earlier in Sofia, had GB as one of the favourites for medals. How times and sport change!

Team apparently showing the problem of different lengths of leg!

They have been working for ten years to reach the summit and

daughters of the same level as those seen in Strasbourg. They are still winning in technique. But their coming is near. As an irresistible force, the Soviets pro-gress over the years. And the France team aware of the danger will have to work even better to continue to compete with the girls of the Urals. Muriel Hermine, the Queen of Strasbourg with her three medals around her neck, warned: "What we have achieved is superb. But I think the hardest thing starts. A top nation is subject to variations in performance and level. It will become more and more difficult to keep up with the first rank in the years to come. " But that does not mean that the Soviet push is irremediable. La Francs owns according to our European champion "at least four girls" able to become continental champion in the future. Spurred by this new rival more and more pressing, France can still achieve great things. Especially if the federation continues its effort in favor of synchro. Chr. W.

The Soviet Union constitutes the great danger for France in the years to come".

"Three gold medals for France, but ... The USSR is making great strides

Confined in the southern district of Strasbourg, at the pool of the Kibitzeneu, syn-chronic swimming could have felt away from these European championships. But by winning the three gold medals of the solo, the duo and the team, the team of France gave a superb spotlight on a discipline unfortunately still too much decried.

As the swimmers of the GDR in their greatest years, the French team won all possible titles. Of course the Eastern European countries have not yet started, actually starting their work at the time of the entry of the discipline at the Olympic Games of Los Angeles. And since then, the Soviets have become the great rivals of the Fran-beim for continental domination. Thus already in Strasbourg, the USSR was able to win the team crown. But the tricolors. aware of the danger had secured a margin of safety during the imposed exercises where the technique takes precedence over all the rest. Starting with this advantage for the conquest of the gold medal of the bal-let, they managed to preserve their European title conquered two years earlier in Sofia. But Fran├žoise Schuller, the blue-haul trainer, did not veil her face. "In a few years they will be before us." There are currently a number of professional coaches in every Soviet Union and a dozen centers such as our INSEP.



12& under

Melissa Svensen & Linda Macrae   -  Bronze

13/14 yrs

Loise Fishleigh &  Helen Smith     -    Gold


Sarah Northey & Joanne Luckett  -   Gold

Louise Rutter &  Melissa Svensen  -   Bronze


12& under

Linda Macrae        -         4th

Melissa Svensen, Samantha Hawthorne


Helen Smith         -          10th

Lousie Fishleigh


Sarah Northey        -        Gold

Joanne Luckett


12& under   -  Reading Royals   -  Gold

13/14 yrs    -  Reading Royals    - Silver

15/16 yrs    -  Reading Royals   -  Gold

National Age Group Championships - Gloucester


12 & under

Linda Macrae     -          5th

Melissa Svensen, Samantha Hawthorne


Helen Smith        -        11th

Louise Fishleigh


Sarah Northey      -      Gold

Joanne Luckett


Team (Redwood Trophy)  - Reading Royals



Duet  -   Jo Seebugh & Samantha Allen >

Junior Solo   - Sarah Northey


Duet   -   Sarah Northey & Emma Clark >

National Synchro Championships

Stechford, Birmingham - 7th November

Sarah Northey : Swimmer of the Year

England Selection


Evening Post 22nd Dec 1987 via BNA

Christmas Show - Reading Central Pool

Christmas Show was held over 3 nights and presented as "MUSIC TIME (If music be The Food of Love Swim On)

We have no images of the show but below are the centre pages from the programme.

Chair Dave Wilson's message:-

This year saw Reading Royals once again became National Champions and in doing so regain the Redwood Trophy after losing it, a feat which no other club has acheived. We were also represented Internationally, at all three levels; Jo Seeburg and Sam Allen in the seniors; Ali Maybury, Sarah Northey, Emma Clark and Vicky Elson in the juniors; and Louise Rutter and Julia Svenson in Age Group Squad. The club also had noteable successes in the Southern Counties and National Age Group Competition where we won team medals of some kind at every level and a good set of golds. In solos and duets our girls again did well although perhaps not quite as well as in the last few years. It is the falling number of successes in the solos and the corresponding fewer qualifiers for next years international teams which must be taken as a warning by the club. My message to the girls, therefore, is a loud congratulation. Well done, but don't rest on your laurels. The club's successes and that of our Christmas Show depend not only on the girls, but also the coaches, committee, and parents together with the pool staff (our sponsors Pizza Hut), and all the others who make the running of the club possible. I would thus like to extend the clubs, and my, congratulations and thanks to all of them both for their past and future work. A Happy Christmas and a successful New Year, Dave Wilson

Gallery & Other things

England Age Group - Wuppertal, Germany/Madrid

Captain Kirsty MacAndrew's Synchro World report  from Germany is above right. The competition in Madrid later in the year was the III Open San Isidro. Louise and Julia finished in 2nd place in the "Solo B" final and the team were ranked 3rd.

Club squad members on the two trips were Julia Svenson and Louise Rutter

It is not often that that Synchro World make a boo-boo editorially and you can judge for yourself. Here is the cover shot from issue 2 in 1987. It carried no other comment save for its reference to its own letters feature "Splashback" which carried an article on the change in ASA regulations of synchro costumes, an issue that had been brewing for some time. See right for both..........

The inclusion of the cover image by the readership appears not to have been all that  well received. Excerpts (from different correspondents) in the postbag here :-

Gallery & Other things  -

Costume Regulations !

"In my experience, swimmers and/or coaches exercise good sense in their selection of dress and I found the dipiction of costumes of Synchronised swimmers tobe offensive, suggestive and totally unrepresentative."

"The ever rising leg line of the sporstwear

manufacterers costumes and the scanti-

ness of fashion swimsuits means we

should start to think about making our own.

Remember those wonderful hand-

knitted costumes? They woutd have met

the new regulations - well, while they were

dry anyway!!

"I can only but assume that models were

used in preference to genuine Synchro

swimmers for this picture and I ask the

question . . . Was it really necessary?"....... Well a time and a place perhaps and whilst analogies tend to be stretched somewhat,  if we move on 20 years we find GB's very own Jenna Randall and Olivia Allison at the World Trophy in Madrid (2008)......

La Vie Parisien

"I feel that I just had to write about the

cover of the recent issue of Synchro Wortd.

I thought the idea of the magazine was to

promote the sport as a serious one. The

only thing that a picture like this does is add

fuel for the people who want to knock the


....... and then (admittedly in a showbiz rather than synchro environment) in the build up to London 2012 with Robin Cousins who of course was involved with the GB Team Routine at the olympics.

                    Getty Images

In case anyone wants to take a look at the GB Duet (2008) swimming in heels (thematic competition remember) ... it is here


The Development of Synchronised

Swimming in Bristol Central

Synchronised Swimming in the Club started as far back as

1947 when George Jones was looking for a different aspect of

swimming to make galas more entertaining. He asked Stella

Beadle and Peggy Adlam if they would demonstrate together and

they put on a short display called "Tandem Swimming". Later

Stella swam with Georje's eldest daughter Maureen and

gradually other swimmers joined in to form the "Bristol Central

Floating Team". They synchronised their strokes as they swam

patterns and formations such as the Trellis, Ladder, Fan, Wheel

and Fountain. This was often done to a background of music with

pattern changes indicated by a short blast on a whistle. The team

was very p.ppular .undgr the_ guidance of Stella and George and

travelled all over the West Country giving displays.

On the international scene synchronised swimming was weil

established in the USA and Canada and in 1962 the A.S.A. asked

Helen Elkington, one of the National Technical Officers, to

develop the sport in this country.

Bristol Central 1971: Ruth Mutter, Allyson Hayes, Lynne Rogers, Carol Lawrence, Dawn Riddiford, Janet Clash -  swimmers who followed up the success of Pat Holmyard