Derby

First swimming gold medal won by British woman Lucy Morton sells

Lucy Morton and her gold medal Image copyright Hansons
Image caption Lucy Morton was the first female British swimmer to be awarded a solo gold medal at the Olympics

The first Olympic gold medal won by a British female swimmer has sold at auction for £8,400.

It was won by Lucy Morton in the 200m breaststroke event at the 1924 Olympics in Paris.

The medal was one of 34 items awarded to Morton that sold at Derbyshire-based auctioneers Hansons on Thursday.

The collection was sold by the swimmer's granddaughter Julia Routledge who said it was "emotional" but she was pleased they were going to a good home.

The identity of the buyer is yet to be revealed.

Image copyright Hansons
Image caption Julia Routledge with the Olympic gold medal and a photo of her grandmother

A bracelet made of Morton's five Amateur Swimming Association Record medals had expected to make up to £20,000 but failed to sell.

Mrs Routledge, from Evesham, Worcestershire, said she would keep the piece and continue to wear it.

Image copyright Pictoria Pictures
Image caption A bracelet made of gold medals will remain in the family after it failed to sell

The 60-year-old inherited the items after her father died in 2015.

She kept the gold medal on display at her home along with the accompanying diploma, which sold for £780.

Many of the other items were stored in a cardboard box.

Mrs Routledge said her grandmother - from Blackpool - did not often talk about her time as an Olympic swimmer but she was proud of her medals and would display the most prestigious ones.

Image copyright Pictoria Pictures
Image caption The athlete broke two world records before her swimming career was stalled by World War One

Morton took up swimming when she was 10 years old after her school headmistress sent a note to her father calling her "biggest dunce in the school" and suggested swimming might brighten her ideas up.

Mrs Routledge said she went on to become a "swimming pioneer", with no-one expecting her to win Olympic gold in 1924.

When she retired from competitive swimming, she taught disabled children how to swim in her hometown.


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