Swim England

A nation swimming

Swimming keeps me young, says surprised Birthday Honours recipient Audrey

The King’s Birthday Honours List 2024 has been published – and members of the aquatics community have been recognised for their services to swimming, including Lewes-based Audrey Taylor. 

At the age of 88, Audrey Taylor continues to be active with Brighton Dolphins Swimming Club for one simple reason.

“It keeps me young,” said Audrey, who admitted to being ‘quite surprised’ to get a letter informing her that she’d been awarded a British Empire Medal in the King’s Birthday Honours List for services to amateur swimming in East Sussex.

She has been a member of Brighton Dolphins for 81 years and has been minutes secretary, gala swimming secretary, masters secretary in the past, while holding the role of treasurer for the past 20 years.

“I do enjoy it,” said Audrey. “I enjoy meeting all the youngsters which I think keeps my brain active.

“It’s a great thing because there’s so many different jobs you can do, and as I say, it’s all volunteered and you’re always welcomed.

“I go in [to the club] three times a week and I swim once a week still.

“My mother used to say it was the worst thing she ever did taking me swimming as she couldn’t keep me out of the water.”

Oh gosh

Audrey has also been Sussex County president in 1986 and worked as an official – only stopping recently after 60 years due to a hip problem.

Her love for Brighton Dolphins, though, is apparent and she is delighted to see the club doing so well.

She said: “We’ve had a change of the whole committee this year but it all worked out well.

“We’ve got a waiting list for the Sunday and Tuesday sessions we run and we’ve also got a good Masters section.”

As for who nominated for the honour, Audrey said: “I have a very good idea, but I haven’t said anything yet.

“I was quite surprised and just burst into tears. I just thought ‘oh gosh’.”

Alongside Audrey, Paralympian Rebecca Redfern, coach Dave McNulty and technical official Tony Ward have also been honoured by King Charles.