I have a report of the Peace Celebrations 1919 written by the vicar of a village in Kent (a county in the southeast of England) in which he describes some of the sporting competitions staged in the afternoon, including:
'The sight of all these contests stirred the blood of old and young. Wager matches were made and run off, Mr. J. Prior beating Mr. E. Orpin, and Mrs. Checksfield, after a good swallow, proved more than a match for her husband.'
What could he have meant by 'after a good swallow'? Google, as you can imagine, is no help as the top ten results for 'a good swallow' are probably quite different in meaning to what the good vicar intended. My one thought is that as this is a celebration in a quintessentially English village, Mrs Checksfield's 'swallow' is a gulp from an emboldening cup of tea.
I'm writing an article to commemorate the centenary of these celebrations next year and want to include the most likely meaning of this phrase.