On Monday 24th January, open water swimming pioneer, Mercedes Gleitze, who in 1927 became the first British woman to swim the English Channel, was honoured with a blue plaque commemorating her achievements, at 124 Freshfield Road, Brighton; the place of her birth and from where she first learnt to swim as a child oﬀ Brighton beach. Besides conquering the English Channel, Gleizte accomplished numerous other feats of endurance, becoming the first person to swim the treacherous Straights of Gibraltar and across the notorious waters dividing Robben Island and Cape Town. The blue plaque unveiling will also mark the completion of Vindication Swim, which is due for release later in the year after completing post-production at Warner Bros. De Lane Lea. The highly anticipated biopic depicts Gleitze’s struggles against both the cold waters of the English Channel and the oppressive society of 1920s Britain, in order to retain her legacy as the first British woman to complete the swim. In attendance was members of the principle cast and crew. Kirsten Callaghan who portrays Gleitze in the film was joined by actor John Locke (Darkest Hour, The Favourite, Cyrano), who stars alongside Callaghan as Gleitze’s coach. They were also joined by the film’s writer and director Elliott Hasler, as well as members of Gleitze family.
Photos by Martin Tomes.