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Starting just before the First World War, but continuing in the inter-war years, the annual summer Swimming Sports proved very popular. They were held at the canal wharf, and huge crowds of several hundred people came to enjoy the spectacle.

The sports continued as the Hungerford Water Sports in the 1960s (see Photo Gallery).

Photo Gallery:

Quarter-mile ra...
Quarter-mile race Quarter-mile race
Cigarette Race
Cigarette Race Cigarette Race
Quarter Mile Ra...
Quarter Mile Race, c1935 Quarter Mile Race, c1935
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19600000 hungerford water carnival-01 19600000 hungerford water carnival-01
19600000 hunger...
19600000 hungerford water carnival-02 19600000 hungerford water carnival-02

- The Quarter-mile race, 2 Aug 1913. On the extreme left is Mr Percy Jessett, and wearing the fireman's helmet is the Rev Tom Gray. The stationmaster Mr Hunt is standing with a stick. In the Quarter-mile race, swimmers dived off the starting board, and swam to Hungerford lock and back.

- The Cigarette Race, 2 Aug 1913. The four contestants can be seen "lighting up" in readiness for the "off". Each swimmer had to swim the race whilst keeping a lighted cigarette in his mouth. It sounds an impossible task!

- The Quarter-mile race, c1935. The race is being started by the Carnival Queen.

- Hungerford Water Sports in the canal, ?1960s

See also:

- Kennet & Avon Canal

- Hungerford Carnivals