Jeanne Barker – In Memoriam

It is with great sadness that we have to announce the death of Jeanne Barker at the age of 99.

Jeanne was introduced to competitive swimming when she met her late husband Ray. In 1947 when they found out the only swimming pool in Cambridge would not accept female swimmers Jeanne, alongside her husband Ray set up a female only session at the Granta Swimming Club and would hold sessions in the River Cam. Several years later Jeanne qualified as a coach.

Jeanne took a pivotal role in campaigning for Parkside Pool to be built which then became the home of City of Cambridge Swimming Club where Jeanne was a volunteer coach and later became the Chair of Cambs County which she did for a number of years.

Jeanne won the BBC East Sport Unsung Hero in 2012 and you can see that interview below: [1]

City of Cambridge SC established the Jeanne Barker July Open in honour of Jeanne in 2015 where Catherine Pearson, Chair remembers Jeanne attending.

‘Jeanne was in her early 90’s when she opened the first Jeanne Barker meet. She was greeted with great enthusiasm by both swimmers and coaches, Jeanne took the time to meet young swimmers and gave them all huge encouragement to enjoy the event and really enjoyed her time back at the pool watching the racing and engaging with the youngsters. She was a formidable character with a cheeky side to her.’

Our thoughts are with Jeanne’s family and friends. A true legend in the swimming world who will be missed by many.


Jeanne’s family have said that if anyone wishes to attend funeral everyone is very welcome. For details, please contact Catherine Pearson, City of Cambridge Swimming Club Chair for details.