Reading Royals




An article that appeared in SYNCHRO WORLD at the start of the year touching on a bit of history but looking forward to the prospects for the year ahead.

Reading Royals Synchronised Swimming Club was formed in 1969 by our President, Mrs Joyce Mullins, and her late husband, Maurice, with their daughter, Jackie, being the first swimming member.

We now have more than 50 full swimming members and a considerable number of young girls on our preliminarycourses who will ensure the continuing success of the

club in the future.

ln the past we have been National Team Champions on four occasions and held numerous individual championships including three National Champions. ln 1984 we had four members of the Royals in the Junior GB Squad, Samantha Allen, Vicki Elson, Joanne Seeburg and Nicola Wilson.

For 1985 it would appear that ourgirls will be appearing in many guises: we have Sally Manning, who is swimming in the GB Senior Squad, Jo Seeburg, a GB Junior, who is joining the Senior Squadfor the 5 Nations. Six swimmers, Emma Clark, Vicki Elson, Jo Luckett, Alison Maybury, Sarah Northey and Susie Vockins, in the Age Group Squad and four swimmers, Sam Allen, Andrea Hughes, Rebekah Taylor and Nicola Wilson, in the Southern District team. A glowing example to the younger members of the Club and the result of much hard training.

Reading is reportedly well-off for pools but there is never enough for all (where have you heard that before?).The Club sessions are one hour on Friday evening and 2 1/2 hours Sunday lunchtime, interspersed with stamina and routine sessions for particular ages and grades. Chief coach John Hawthorne is insistent that daily training isthe only way to the top.Brenda Holland, our Chief Choreographer, adheres to the line "Simple routines done well and Good Figures properly performed take marks" and this will be our theme for 1985 and I trust that you will see our distinctive royal blue tracksuits in the medal positions yet again this year.

Margaret Singh

Publicity Officer

1985 GB Squad Selection

The following girls have been selected for the GB squads for 1985. Congratulations

to them all and good luckforthe competirtive season.


Alison Garrett ( Captain)

Nicki Batchelor

Georgie Coombs

Amanda Dodd

Jackie Dodd

Tracey Golding

Susan Horwood

Sally Manning

Nicki Shean

Carolyn Wilson

Coach: Andrea Holland

Team Managen


Jayne Wollaston ( Captain)

Rachel Dandy

Angela Davenport

Lian Goodwin

Morwenna Penrose

Joanne Preston

Sally Price

Lisa Raynsford

Joanne Seeburg

Coach: Terry Dodd

Team Managen Janet Holdstock

Age Groups

Vicki Elson (Captain)

Emma Clark

Jo Luckett

Alison Maybury

Sarah Northey

Jenny Price

Susan Richards

Grace Schley

Susie Vockins

Coach: Edna Russell

Team Managen Janet Holdstock


13th April

Figures                                                                                                                 Figures

13/14yrs                                                                                                             15/16yrs                                                                                                   

Sarah Northey     -       Gold                                                                                    Joanne Seeburg          -    Gold

Victoria Maybury   -    Silver                                                                                  Samantha Allen          -     Silver

Joanne Luckett      -     Bronze                                                                                 Nicola Wilson ,Emma Clark,                                                            

                                                                                                                                    Alison Maybury

 Lindsay Smith, Louise Rutter


13/14yrs   Reading      -    Gold

15/16yrs   Reading      -    Gold



Sarah Northey     -       Gold

Joanne Luckett     -      Bronze

Victoria Maybury, Lindsay Smith


Joanne Seeburg    -       Gold

Samantha Allen   -       Bronze

Emma Clark, Nicola Wilson,

Alison Maybury



Joanne Luckett & Sarah Northey  -     Gold

Louise Rutter & Lindsay Smith


Jo Seeburg & Samantha Allen       -     Gold

Emma Clark & Alison Maybury    -     Bronze

Vicky Elson & Susie Vockins

Report - Reading Post 16th April 1985 via BNA

Not only do we have some photos but some narrative as well....sorry girls...um ladies!

Reading's GB Age Group Squad Members

Emma Clarke

Emma is a member of Reading Royals

Club and is coached byJohn Hawthorne

and Jenny Gray. She started synchro

in 1 982 when she says "At that time I

thought 'How nice'!" She has since

changed her mind. Emma is the current

13/14 National Age-Group winner in

both figures and solos and will be

performing her solo in the Madrid

lnternational. ln this same competition,

Emma and Vicky Elson won the silver

medal in the duet everit.

Emma's ambition is to be a memberof

the senior GB Squad and to represent

GB in the Olympics.

Joanne Luckett

Jo, a member of Reading Royals

started synchro at the age of 7 and is

one of the youngest members of the

Age-Group Team. She has alreadY

won 8 gold medals as a12 and under

swimmer is the Southern Counties U

1 4 duet champion. Jo's ambition is to

be part of a winning team in the

Olympics. Nothing like aiming for the

top! ln her spare time after school and

approximately 12 hours training a

week, Jo enjoys ballet and PlaYing

the bassoon and Piano.

Vicky Elson

Team Captain

At 13 1/2 is one of the most experienced

members of the age-group team. This

is her second year as a team member.

She is a member of Reading Royals

Club where she is coached by various

people. She started synchro because

her sister did it and lt now occuples

much of her life with training 3 morn-

ings, 2 lunchtimes and 5 or6 evenings

a iveek she stillfinds time for guides,

clarinet playing. hockey, reading and


Alison Maybury

Alison Maybury is a member of Reading

Royals where she is coached by John

Hawthorne and Jenny Gray. She trains

with her sister Vicky, 4 early mornings,

5 evenings and 2 afternoons a week.

ln the 1984 National Age-Groups

Alison, together with Sarah Northey

won the duet event and was a member

of the gold medal winning team.

Alison would also like to achieve a

place in the senior team and to become

National Solo Champion.

Susie Vockins

Susie, another member of Reading

Royals is coached by Margaret Manning'

Susie will be reserve for the Madrid

lnternational. Susie also started syn-

chro because her sister did it. Sisters

have a lot to answerfor! Susie trains 7

days a week and also swims for

Newbury Swimming Club. Susie has a

busy life, helping her father on the

farm, walking her dog Wiiliam and

practising her violin for her Grade 6.

Susie has gained honours in both the

under 12 and13/14 Age-GrouP com-

petitions and hopes to continue into

the Junior GB Team.

Sarah Northey

Sarah is a member of Reading Royals

and is coached by Andrea Holland.

She started in 1980 for something to

do in her spare time, but now hasn't

any spare time as synchro takes it all


Sarah was the 12 and under National

Solo and Duet winner and was 13/14

duet winner in 1984 together with

Alison Maybury. She is the southern

counties 13/14 solo winner. Sarah

lists her hobbies as reading, gymnastics, guitar, boys and discos! I thought she said she had no spare time.


10yrs & under

Samantha Luckett                 -        Gold

Melissa Svensen, Samantha Hawthorne

17yrs & over

Sarah Hartley, Rebekah Taylor, Andrea Hughes


17yrs & over

Rebekah Taylor & Sarah Hartley    -  Gold


12yrs & under

Reading Royals         -        Gold



Samantha Luckett (4th), Melissa Svensen, Samantha Hawthorne


Rebekah Taylor, Andrea Hughes, Sarah Hartley

Photo: Luis Gago

SCASA Age Group Championships (Part 2)

20th April - St Georges

Competing Clubs :-

Abbey Wood SSC, Barnet Copthall, Brent Flamingoes, Cetacea, Jersey Etaile, Portsmouth Victoria, Reading Royals, Rushmoor

"Team and officials had assembled at Heathrow prior to departure and many parents turned up to wish us well and take the inevitable photographs. How the girls remember their figures and routines is a complete mystery, since we managed to confuse them totally trying to get them in line for the photographs".

"We were all very impressed by the sight of the squad and Team Manager Janet Holdstock in their uniforms of red jackets sporting England badges and white dresses".

The team in their gear. Shame we have to make do with black and white!

The Team travelling to the 1st Open San Isidro Sincro Competition had a 6 strong Reading contingent.

Some excerpts from the Report :-

(England) Age Group International

Madrid  24th May

Susan Richards and Emma Clark

"Emma Clark made the solo final finishing 6th. Both duets made the final with the Clark/Richards (Walsall) duet finishing 6th and the Northey/Price (Barnet)duet eighth."

"Sunday's team event came and we had the England team placed somewhere between  second and eighth after figures. The girls swam the routine extremely well and most of us had us in fourth place. When the results were announced us in third behind Italy and Holland,  screams of delight reverberated around the pool. Union flags appeared in abundance (plucked from Dave Elson's big magic bag) and the Vockins family somehow managed to produce a flag of enormous proportions."

Full results from the competition on the left. Great to see the music details being provided for each routine. Looks like we swam to James Last but not sure I am familiar with the German duet's number!

Just one RR swimmer in the squad  at this time.

Joanne Seeburg

Jo is a member of Reading Royals where she is coached by Andrea Holland and Doug Coker. She is a very experiencedcompetitor having won National Age-Group 12 and under solo, duet and team events and 1984 silver medalist at the

National Championships Junior

competition. She has already competed

in 2 lnternationals with the Age-Group

team and hopes to compete at Senior

level. She enjoys sewing.

England Juniors VII Majorcan Open - Palma 21st-23rd June

Jo Seeburg had a busy time swimming solo, duet and team. Results in full over on the far right.

Team with coach Terry Dodd                                        

The Senior Squad travelled to Rome 14th-16th June in preparation for the Europeans 6 weeks later.

Sally Manning was RR's sole representative.

GB ranked 4th in Solo and Duet and collected Silver in Team

Competition report below

"ln the wake of the recent football troubles, the British Team were rather wary of their visit and travelled without uniforms. Special security has also been arranged and the girls had 2 armed guards to protect them. The fears were unfounded'and the people of Rome could not have been more friendly."

           GB  Team Talk and (below) medal presentation

And so.... on to Sofia

Carolyn Wilson wonderfully retained her European title winning Gold in Figures and Solo and she and Amanda Dodd won Bronze in the duet. The Team finished with a silver behind France.

Results below.

"The 4th Rome lnternational was held in the Piscina Coperta Foro ltalico which is a small part of an enourmous sports complex which was built by Musilini. The monument outside is the only one in ltaly to bear his name. The pool was a rather impressive building with marble seating

and marble mosaics around the walls."

"Carolyn and Amanda were unlucky to swim after the ltalians' As the Austrian coach said to me "It is so difficult to swim after the ltalians with such a 'home' audience".

Costumes for the duets were exceptionally brief ! The French girls, both about 6 foot and beautifully slim, had pink leopard skin costumes which had sides ofabout 4 inches. They looked set for a modelling session in Cannes. The Canadians suits were even briefer with the fronts and backs joined by a 2 inch strip. Again, with such beautiful tans and slim figures they looked stunning. lt would have been interesting to see how some British referees would have reacted.

The team routines followed immediately.  Great Britain swam tiheir routine very well to gain marks of 8.9 - 9.0. The climax of the competltlon though was the team routine by Canada. Their synchronisation was perfection and, together with their original patterns and movements including one girl performing a back dive off the others, they scored marks up to 9.91. Routines of this quality are such a pleasure to watch. Great Britain finished 2nd with Canada taking the gold and ltaly the bronze"

GB Seniors _ European Championships  - Sofia, Bulgaria 3-11th August

Courtesy : Kallipolis

"After the prelims the Team was lying in 2nd place behind the French. This meant that the French would swim last.

Finals came round, we swam, our marks were shown, our bow was taken and then the French Team. That 5 minutes was the longest 5 minutes any of us have spent, it seemed an age before the French marks were given. Unfortunately they had beaten us, feeling somewhat subdued we put on a brave smile and congratulated them.

So we brought back the Silver, we hope you're proud of us. We tried our best and I'm sure we'll be there next time fighting for that Gold."

Alison Garrett (Team Captain).

6th  National Age Group Champs - Nuneaton 28/29th September



15/16yrs     -       Jo Seeburg


13/14yrs    -        Sarah Northey

15/16yrs    -        Jo Seeburg


13/14yrs    -       Sarah Northey & Joanne Luckett

15/16yrs    -       Jo Seeburg & Samantha Allen


12& Under   -   Reading Royals 

13/14yrs        -   Reading Royals

15/16yrs        -   Reading Royals




13/14yrs           -    Victoria Maybury

15/16yrs           -     Samantha Allen


13/14yrs            -  Joanne Luckett


12 & under      -  L.Wathen & L. Venners

15/16yrs           -  Vicky Elson & Sue Vockins



13/14yrs      -   Sarah Northey


15/16yrs      -  Emma Clark & Alison Maybury


Joanne Seeburgh       -          7th

Samantha Allen, Sally Manning, Andrea Hughes, Sarah Northey, Victoria Maybury,Rebekah Taylor, Vicky Elson

11th National Championships

Spenborough Pool, Liversedge - 1st -3rd November

Solo  "Helen Elkington Trophy

Joanne Seeburg    -     7th

Sally Manning, Samantha Allen, Sarah Northey,Vicky Elson, Victoria Maybury


Jo Seebugh & Samantha Allen    -    (4th)

Jo Luckett/Sarah Northey, Emma Clark/ Alison Maybury, Sue Vockins/Vicky Elson

Team "Redwood Trophy"  Reading Royals    -   Bronze

Gallery & other things


            ANSWER HERE


(Cover of SYNCHRO WORLD) 1985

'WHITE CITY'  a film by the Who's PETE TOWNSEND and RR's part in its making.

Here is the link to part the film. Just a warning  - it is as they say these days "of its time".

If anyone has names of the  other swimmers  who took part please let us know.

British Newspaper Archive

26th October 1985