A family have achieved a little bit of sporting history.

They wanted to honour Carl Walker, of Honley, who at 86 has finally retired after four decades with the British Long Distance Swimming Association.

So what better way than to take on a challenging swim?

That’s why six members of Carl’s family from Newsome and Scapegoat Hill took to the waters of Lake Windermere at 6am in the morning.

Fittingly, Carl was there at the start and a little over 12 hours later when his family completed the 21-mile swim up the lake and back again.

He was joined by his grand-daughter Leah Sharp on the support boat to watch the swim.

Mr Walker served with the Association for more than 40 years. He held a variety of posts and was twice president.

His two daughters, Catherine Sharp, 57, and Beverley Thomas, 56, have both followed in his footsteps in the water and decided to honour his retirement.

They roped in Catherine’s daughter, Melanie, 32, and son Christopher, 29, and Beverley’s sons, Daniel, 31, and Matthew, 27, to join them in the challenging relay.

Catherine said: “As a tribute to dad, we were inspired to attempt the Windermere swim.

“No wetsuits were allowed under Association rules and the swim had to be adjudicated, with Beverley’s partner Chris Green in his motor cruiser carrying the swimmers.

“Dad was on board timekeeping and recording the event, while Peter Rushby, who is my partner, escorted the swimmers in the water on his paddlecraft.”

Catherine was first in the water at Lakeside at 6am and the team swam in age order, changing every hour.

Matthew Thomas swims, watched by brother Daniel
Matthew Thomas swims, watched by brother Daniel
 

The weather was fine and warm and the water temperature was a pleasant 18 degrees C (64 degrees F).

The swimmers reached the other end of the lake at Fell Foot in 6hrs 5mins, but the return leg was a little more difficult.

They had to contend with a headwind and choppy water conditions.

There were also more boats on the lake as the day progressed, but the team managed to complete the tribute swim in 12hrs 58mins.

“It was a true family occasion and well worth the effort”, said Catherine.