Object of the Month: July 2024

Jennie Fletcher Swimming Trophies

Published: 27 June 2024


Swimming Trophies: Spots Shield, Silver Plate, Silver Dish, Silver Teapot

Unknown makers; Silver, wood
Gift of Mrs C. Hyslop, 2015

Chosen by: Chosen by Heather Southorn, Collections Manager


These trophies were won by Leicester-born Jennie Fletcher. She was a gold and bronze medallist in the 1912 Olympic games held in Stockholm. She swam for Leicester Ladies Swimming Club at Cossington Street Sports Centre, where there is a plaque dedicated to her.

She grew up as one of 11 children in a poor household and couldn’t afford to become a professional swimmer. She therefore competed as an amateur.

In an interview years after her Stockholm success, she said: “The crowning moment of my career was when King Gustav of Sweden placed the classic laurel wreath on my head, put the gold medal around my neck and said ‘well done, England!’”.

Portrait of Jennie Fletcher c. 1905

Portrait of Jennie Fletcher c. 1905

The Dewar Shield

Sir Thomas R Dewar M.P. was a famous whisky distiller and Member of Parliament. He presented several sporting shields including this one for swimming. Jennie Fletcher was awarded this shield after winning it three times in a row.


Shield Trophy

The Objects of the Month can be seen in person throughout July at Leicester Museum & Art Gallery.