Constance Jeans remembered

A champion swimmer from Nottingham, who trained at Portland Leisure Centre, who set national records and won an Olympic silver at Antwerp in 1920 and at Paris in 1924, a time when the Americans dominated swimming.
We wanted to celebrate her in the Meadows Story Poles, but couldn’t find a picture. Now we have, thanks to a French project that catalogues their national (photograph) library, and the Catalan version of Wikipedia.
France and Catalonia telling us our own history!
20140709-083016-30616842.jpg 20140709-083033-30633755.jpg
She’s seen here, proudly and happily posing, and standing in front of the Union Flag and the Royal Standard.
She’s captioned as the winner of the 60 yards freestyle, in 1919, age 19 or 20, but the tournament is not named.
20140710-003449-2089225.jpgA plaque at the Portland Leisure Centre does however suggest that the photo was taken in recognition of English championships and 3 world records.
Thanks to Nottingham Central Library who helped find the photo on the internet.
Note, it’s not clear if she’s Nottingham’s first Olympic medal winner. Initial checks suggest her 1920 medal win was not reported by the then four-page small type broadsheet that was the Nottingham Evening Post.
It is clear that this is not the age of streamlined swimwear; she is even wearing a ribbon on her shoulder. It would be interesting to know what the badges and crests represent.

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