Search for relatives of South Tyneside swimming champ

Almost 150 years ago a gentleman called George Benson was awarded a goblet for a swimming event held on South Tyneside.

The goblet.
The goblet.

Some years later, Gazette reader David Rae acquired that very same trophy.

Now David is trying to track down George’s family so that he can return the goblet to them.

David with the goblet.

If not, he hopes it will find a home in a local museum.

This is what David wrote when he got in touch with his appeal for help.

“A few years ago I acquired an engraved silver goblet.

“It is inscribed with the wording as follows: Awarded to George Benson, winner of the open race South Shields Swimming Club, 1875.


“This feat is recorded in the Shields Gazette’s archives in the local library.

“I would like (if possible, with your help) to trace the descendents of this man and give it to the rightful owner.

“At the least, I would like to donate it to a museum so it can be on display.

“I think it is of local historical importance and unfortunately is just sitting in a drawer at the moment.”

David says when he first obtained the goblet he contacted the local history society and someone there was “very enthusiastic about it”.

However, despite her best efforts, the story of the goblet went untold, and the trophy remained in David’s safekeeping.

“I found this strange due to the fact that I as I see the value of its history.”

So David is trying again to find a home for George’s trophy.

“If you can help in anyway, please get in touch,” he added.

If anyone can do so then they can contact me and I’ll pass the details on to David.

Meanwhile, Paul Buckingham has also been in touch to shed some light on one of the photos featured in a recent music spread.

The group in question was Pulse, a band who at the time the aforementioned picture was taken, in 1988, were on the verge of securing a deal with a major record company.

The accompanying article told how Atlantic Records had heard a demo from the South Shields band and was interested in signing.

This is what Paul said in his email to me: “The band Pulse released a single double A-sided single (Too Late/Two Broken Hearts) which got to number two in the hot and heavy charts.

“The band is still together, but now is called Tadpolepie which has a big following.

“We only play a few shows now, as we all have family, but we have remained best of mates still,” revealed Paul.