A seaside town now has a permanent reminder of one its pioneering daughters. At 21, Kathleen Thomas, from Penarth, became the first person to swim the Bristol Channel, on September 5, 1927. To mark the 80th anniversary in 2007, plaques were unveiled on Penarth Pier, near her starting point on the beach below, and at Weston-super-Mare, where her swim ended after seven hours and 20 minutes.
Kathleen died 20 years ago, but her children Graham Day, 68, Sabrina Steelsmith, 72, and Leucothea Simms, 62, were at the unveiling.
Graham, who now lives in Spain with his partner Ursula Cutts, said it was an emotional moment for the family.
He said: "The last time I was here was 20 years ago. We came to scatter my mother's ashes across the Bristol Channel in a boat. It was quite choppy that day, but suddenly the waves went calm and I poured the ashes over the side. Within two minutes, the waves started lapping again and a bell sounded from the shore. It was quite emotional."
He hoped the plaque would encourage people to remember her remarkable achievement and those of others.
Soon after swimming the Channel, Kathleen moved to London where she became a swimming teacher and met her husband Frederick Day.
The couple brought up their children in Kent, where Sabrina continues to live with her husband Ian.
Life-long Penarth resident Denise Llewellyn remembered watching Kathleen embark on her swimming adventure as a five-year-old.
She said: "I was getting very bored because I could see this lovely lady, Kathleen, but she wasn't making any effort to go into the sea.
"I didn't blame her, mind. I realised later they were smearing her with lard to keep the cold at bay."
Denise's father Gus Taylor, former chairman of the Welsh Amateur Swimming Association, had accompanied Kathleen in a boat during her swim.
Sabrina and Leucothea, who lives in Norfolk, remembered their mother telling them about her feat when they were young.
Grandmother-of-five Sabrina said: "When mother and father died, within a month of each other, my father said 'you should see that the plaque goes up for your mother. I really think she deserves it'."
Article from the South Wales Echo in 2007.
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