Brenda Fisher
(1927-present)

Aged 95

Brenda Fisher (born June 1927), is an English long-distance swimmer. In 1951 she broke the women's world record for swimming the English Channel. Fisher was born and raised in Scartho, North East Lincolnshire, the daughter of a Grimsby trawler skipper, learned to swim at the age of 9, and initially became a speed swimmer. In 1951 she was the 23rd swimmer of the English Channel from France to England, completing in a new record women's time of 12 hours 42 minutes, breaking the previous women's record of 13:20 set by Florence Chadwick a year earlier. A crowd of 60,000 turned out to welcome her back to Grimsby. Fisher swam the Channel again in 1954, and was the first woman ashore. In 1956, Fisher completed and won the 29-mile (47 km) River Nile Swim, then at the fastest time. In September 1956, Fisher took part in the 32-mile (51 km) Lake Ontario swim from Niagara to Toronto, completing in 18 hours and 50 minutes, 2 hours and 6 minutes faster than the previous record set by Marilyn Bell. At that point, she was the third person in history to complete the swim. She attempted the Ontario swim again in 1957 but retired after 12 hours 43 minutes, during a thunder storm which threatened to sink her support boats. Fisher, with Stanley Baker, was one of the judges in the 1954 Prestatyn "Easy To Love" Bathing Beauty Contest. Fisher married Paddy Johnson, footballer with Grimsby Town F.C. After retiring, she became a swimming teacher in Grimsby. In 2015, her biography was published. Blonde In Deep Water is written by local journalist Lucy Wood. In 2016, she appeared on the BBC Television series Flog It!, to sell her Clarice Cliff 'Inspiration' vase at auction. and in June 2018 she appeared on Antiques Roadshow with her collection of swimming memorabilia. Fisher received in 2018 the British Empire Medal, as part of the Queen's New Year Honours list, for her achievements in the sport of swimming. A blue plaque in her honour was erected in Grimsby in 2017.

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Commemorated on 1 plaque

Brenda Fisher born Grimsby 1927. Long distance swimmer. To celebrate her 1951 record breaking swim of the English Channel 12 hours & 42 mins.

Grimsby Fishing Heritage Centre, Grimsby, United Kingdom where they was born near (1927)