Olympic athlete identified

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British 1948 Olympic athletes train on Clacton beach

A couple of weeks ago, Audlem Online ran an Olympics story about a competitor with Audlem links who participated in the 1948 Games, also in London.

We published a photo of Britain's athletes training on Clacton beach where they had been housed in post-war austerity splendour at the local Butlins Holiday Camp.

We suspected at that time that Audlem resident Tony Crowther's mother, Bertha Crowther, was the athlete to the front right. We can now confirm that is the case.

For those that missed the original story, this is it: "We turn our attention to a competitor in those Games with Audlem connections. Many locally will know Audlem resident Tony Crowther. Fewer will know his mother represented Great Britain in 1948 in two Olympics Athletics events.

Bertha Crowther was 26 when she competed in the 80m Hurdles and the High Jump.

She made it through to the Final in the High Jump and was placed 6th. Further glory awaited, however, when she won the Silver medal in the 1950 British Empire Games (now called the Commonwealth Games) High Jump.

Amazingly, she competed at Empire level for England in the High Jump (finishing 2nd); the Javelin, finishing 5th; the Long Jump, finishing 9th; and the 80m Hurdles where, probably through exhaustion after so many events, she was eliminated in the heats.

A fascinating display is now in Williams' newsagent's window with memorabilia of Tony's mother's participation in the Games. It's well worth a look.

Interestingly, she lived near Wembley at the time. With her spikes in her bag, Tony tells us she travelled to compete in the Games on the local London Transport bus. 

 

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