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Time and tide

Thursday, 3 August 2017

Time and tide thumbnailSome of the large group who attended the plaque

THERE are few better ways to pull in the punters than booking a celebrity.
That's as true now as it was in 1929, when Portstewart Town Clerk, Mr F. Martin shelled out 50 of his own cash - around 3000 in today's money - to tempt Mercedes Gleitze into a visit.
The 'noted lady swimmer', as the Chronicle described her, was in fact a genuine A-lister. And Mr F. Martin was paying her to swim to Donegal and back.
The plan worked like a dream, if the newspaper's descriptions of the crowds which turned out are to be believed.
But events of August 1929 left a legacy beyond extra ice cream sales and boarding house rentals.
Last year, with perhaps slightly less fanfare, Portstewart native and outdoor swimming enthusiast, Heather Clatworthy fulfilled a lifelong dream by recreating her heroine's swim.
And this week the council unveiled a plaque commemorating both achievements.

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