Category Archives: History

Items recording historical events in the life of the club

Pierre Selected as Senior Foil Coach for 2017 Senior Europeans

Pierre Harper

Coach Pierre Harper

Newham Swords are proud to announce that Head Coach, Pierre Harper, will accompany Kamal Minott to next month’s Senior European Championships.

Pierre has previously worked with the GB Cadet and Junior Foil Squads, and helped them take a team silver at the 2010 Cadet Europeans, a team bronze at the 2014 Junior Europeans and a team bronze at the 2017 Junior World Championships.

He will now get the chance to work with the GB Senior Men’s Foil Team made up of Olympians, Richard Kruse, James Davies, Marcus Mepstead and Newham Swords fencer, Kamal Minott.

“I am really looking forward to working with these guys, all of whom I have known for a very long time”, said Pierre.

Boosting young girls’ confidence through sport – YST Girls Active Camp

Last weekend, Newham Swords coach Linda Strachan participated in the Youth Sport Trust’s Girls Active Camp which took place at Loughborough University and during which many girls took part in a range of sporting activities, including fencing.  This video proves that sport really does bring young girls so much more than just keeping fit! 

Throwback Friday

We just came across this Dunhill aftershave commercial back from 1988, featuring our head coach Pierre Harper (on the right), then 31 years old!

Apparently he almost missed his plane departing for the Seoul Olympics due to the shooting of this video 🙂

Our Coaches Have Tea with the Queen at Buckingham Palace!

Pierre and Linda attended the Queen’s Royal Garden Party at Buckingham Palace last Sunday.

“It was a lovely experience and nice to meet the Queen again,” said Linda

Linda and Pierre before the Queen´s Royal Garden Party

Linda and Pierre in front of Buckingham Palace

Awards for Pierre Harper and Alice Campbell

Newham Swords received two important awards today (9th January 2016) at the Eden Cup competition in London.

Pierre Harper received the British Fencing Silver award for his outstanding work in coaching and to fencing  generally from British Fencing President Hilary Philbin and Ziemek Wojciechowski, British Olympic coach for many years, presented Alice Campbell with a cheque from the Susan Wojciechowska Fund for being the most improved female cadet foilist.

Pierre, Head Coach of top junior fencing club, Newham Swords, has now been involved in the sport (as a coach and fencer) for just over 50 years. During that time he has produced a total of twenty five internationals who have gone on to win titles at national cadet and junior level as well as titles at Senior and Junior Commonwealth Games, as well as at Cadet and Junior Europeans.

Pierre Harper receiving his British Fencing Silver medal from BF President, Hilary Philbin

Pierre Harper receiving his British Fencing Silver medal from BF President, Hilary Philbin [Click for larger image]

His most recent success was coaching Paul Wedge to Gold  in the Men’s Foil Individual at the last World Veteran Championships as well as Gold and Silver in the Men’s Foil Individual with Paul Wedge and Tony Bartlett, at the last European Veteran Championships.

His Award comes just after his partner’s (Linda Strachan), BEM Award in November.

“I am very pleased and proud to receive such an Award from British Fencing. I would like to thank them for all the opportunities which they have given me as a fencer and coach, and now look forward to helping more individuals achieve success”, said Pierre.

Alice joined Newham Swords at the age of 8, in the Mini Fence class. After working hard with Olympic fencers, Linda Strachan and Pierre Harper, Alice has been able to win LPJS titles, medals at the BYCs and EYCS (British and English Youth Championships) as well as compete for England at U15 level and at the Cadet Commonwealth Games.

Alice Campbell receiving the Sue Wojciechowska award from Ziemek Wojciechowski

Alice Campbell receiving the Sue Wojciechowska award from Ziemek Wojciechowski  [Click for larger image]

This season, she was selected to compete for GB at both cadet and junior level and managed to gain the top junior result at the Junior World Cup held in Romania. Her biggest achievement this season was gaining top place in the Junior Women’s Foil Rankings in October.

“I am so pleased with this award, it will help immensely. Thank you, Ziemek. I would also like to thank my coaches, Pierre Harper and Linda Strachan who have given so much of their time to help me get to where I am now”.

Susan Wojciechowska (née Wrigglesworth) was the youngest Olympic female foilist in the history of British fencing.

At the age of 18 she fenced in the 1972 Munich Olympic Games. Susan made World Youth final and came 13th in the individual Olympic event in Montreal in 1976 and competed in Moscow 1980.

She represented Great Britain at every world championships from 1973 to 1981.  She achieved remarkable results without any funding demonstrating the degree of her natural ability.

Susan Wojciechowska (née Wrigglesworth 1954-1996)

Susan Wojciechowska (née Wrigglesworth 1954-1996)

While still being an active fencer she was diagnosed with a brain tumour which ended her life prematurely. Sue was very popular in the British fencing community for her modesty and support to everyone.

While being ill she established the local fencing club “Finchley Foil” which has produced outstanding fencers like Ben Montague, Richard Kruse, Laurence Halsted and James Davis.

In memory of Sue a group of fencers created a fund in her name to help the most improved cadet female foilist.

Linda receives her BEM

On Friday 27th  November Linda Strachan received her British Empire Medal for services to sport in the community from the Queen’s representative the Lord Lieutenant of London, Kenneth Olisa.

The BEM was awarded in the Queen’s birthday honours last June. It celebrates the tenth anniversary of the founding of Newham Swords, Linda’s tremendous efforts for the club and the achievements of its fencers. Newham Swords has GB’s  No1 and No2 Junior mens foil and other nationally and internationally accomplished fencers.

The presentation was made at the Tower of London in the company of an awesome looking Beefeater. [click images for larger picture]


British Fencing The Sword Interview with Linda Strachan

British Fencing publish The Sword as an online magazine. See their interview with Linda in the latest edition

Queen’ Birthday Honours for Linda

Newham Swords is proud to announce that Linda Strachan has been awarded the British Empire Medal in the Queens birthday honours for services to sport in the community.

Linda Strachan BEM 2015

Linda Strachan BEM 2015

It coincides with the club’s 10th anniversary and recognises her personal dedication and fund raising efforts to support local fencers