TWO Penrith Swimming Club stalwarts have received accolades in recognition of their service and achievements.

Ian Powley, of Barco Avenue, Penrith, is the new president of the Cumbria Amateur Swimming Association, while Jenny Birtle, of Netherend Road, has been presented with a distinguished award for service from the Royal Lifesaving Society.

Mr. Powley, aged 64, said it would be an honour to serve as president of the association for the next two years. He is the second Penrith man to hold the position, the first being the late George Hetherington, and also follows in the footsteps of the Earl of Lonsdale who was president from 1923 to 1935.

Born and bred in Penrith, Mr. Powley attended the Boys’ National School. He is currently clerk of works for Eden Housing Association, having previously been a joiner, but is due for retirement in May.

He began swimming in the river at Frenchfield, Brougham, in his early teens and as a young man he was also heavily involved in cycling.

After being elected on to the Frenchfield committee he was involved in getting the Penrith swimming pool off the ground in 1970, including the learner pool, and began officiating and training teams for competitions. He is still involved with coaching on club nights.

Mr. Powley is married to Kathleen, with two children, Terry, aged 40, who is in the RAF, and 35-year-old Janice, who works for the ambulance service in Blackpool.

Mrs. Birtle, who was married to the late Fred, who died in October, has received a bar to add to a medal of distinction for her services to examining and teaching from the Royal Lifesaving Society of which she has been a member for more than 50 years.

Mrs. Birtle, who is vice-president of Cumbria branch of the Royal Lifesaving Society, having also served as president, is a life member of the organisation and has received a long service medal.

Lifesaving classes are run at Penrith swimming pool from 8-15pm to 9-15pm on Monday evenings.

Together with her late husband, Mrs. Birtle established a sports shop in Corn Market, Penrith, which is now run by daughter Rosie Huggon. Mrs. Birtle also has two sons Brian, of Accrington; and Chris, of Penrith; and two other daughters, Jan, of Birmingham, and Julie, of Penrith; along with 13 grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

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