The Story of Shropshire Hero Captain Matthew Webb to feature in TV Show
15th December 2015
Born on 19 January 1848 at Dawley in Shropshire, Webb was the first person to swim the English Channel without the use of artificial aids! In August 1875 he swam the 26 miles from Dover to Calais in less than 22 hours.
Before his big swim Webb was in the merchant navy. In 1873 Webb was serving as captain of the steamship 'Emerald' when he read an account of the failed attempt by J. B. Johnson to swim the English Channel. He became inspired to try himself!
On 24 August 1875 after one failed attempt he began a second swim by diving in from the Admiralty Pier at Dover. Webb, dressed in a Victorian one-piece bathing costume leapt into the sea, his body smeared with porpoise oil for insulation.
The crossing took 21 hours and 45 minutes to compete and it is estimated that if you take into account the tidal currants and allowing for his zig-zag course of adjustments to the direction Webb actually swam a total of 39 miles.
For more information on Captain Webb take a look at the following link https://www.shropshiretourism.co.uk/captain-webb/
The 3 part drama starring Warren Brown as Webb starts on Friday 18th December at 8pm on the Drama Channel.