Captain Webb
Captain Webb

Captain Matthew Webb was the first man to swim the Channel in August 1875.  Two years later, on 25 June 1877, he hosted a ‘Grand Aquatic Fete’ at Rudyard which included a demonstration of his channel swim in front of a big grandstand full of people.  It was estimated over 25,000 people were present and that on a Monday!  Shops and factories in the neighbourhood and Leek were specially closed for the occasion.

 

1877-06-02 Staffordshire Sentinel - Ad for Capt Webb's Aquatic Fete by .
This advert appeared in the Staffordshire Sentinel some weeks beforehand

 

1877-06-26 Staffordshire Sentinel - Capt Webb at Rudyard #2 by .
and the day afterwards the same newspaper reported what a successful event it had been

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