According to British Ice Skating’s records, Miss B. Waldron finished third in the Challenge Cup, which functioned as the British National Championship in the English Style, in 1904. This seems exciting, because it makes 1904 the first year—and the only year before 1950 (I haven’t seen records after 1949)—that two of the three medalists in this co-ed event were women. The winner was Phyllis Squire, and H. M. Morris took the silver.
Wanting to find out more about this, I looked for contemporary coverage in the British Newspaper Archive. The coverage in the Field says it was Mr. Waldron! Here’s the article from the March 12, 1904 issue.
The coverage of the 1903 events—the Challenge Shield for combined skating as well as the Challenge Cup for individual skating—describes the skating of National Skating Association member Mr. W. A. V. Waldron, who participated in both events.
The only Waldron in British Ice Skating’s membership records is a Miss B. Waldron. As far as I’ve been able to tell, the Field only knows about this Mr. Waldron. Clearly something has gone wrong. What happened? Why did the Field write Miss B. Waldron out of skating history? And has this happened to other women?
Mr. Waldron made an appearance in a competition at Brighton in 1899, where he was definitely male—he skated as Phyllis Squire’s partner. They lost to Mr. and (the future) Mrs. Syers.
Is it possible that the Field‘s reporter didn’t attend the events, and just assumed the competitor called Waldron in the 1903 and 1904 events was a man, and connected him wtih the one they knew from 1899? The Brighton competition seems to have been a local one, independent of the National Skating Association, though perhaps a forerunner of the official competitions held a few years later.
The next question is, were Miss B. Waldron and Mr. W. A. V. Waldron related?
Information from British Ice Skating’s records was kindly provided by Elaine Hooper, BIS’s historian.
Articles from the Field can be found in the British Newspaper Archive.