A group of club members chartered spaces out of Hurghada on Blue O Two’s dive vessel Blue Finn. Fantastic diving and great fun as captured by the following videos. Diving the North and Big Brothers itinerary.
A truly auspicious day in the club’s long history – the day when we finally got to use our own pool in our own clubhouse!
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With the pool lights switched on and the room lights switched off, it looked absolutely amazing!
Chairman Robin Maggs was instrumental in getting the whole clubhouse venture off the ground. He then skillfully guided the entire construction process as the official project manager. On the pretext of gathering members together for a group photo, the opportunity was taken to divest Robin of his jacket and shoes and ensure that he became the next person to “celebrate” the pool coming in to use.
Newcomer Deborah Sanders claimed the distinction of being the first trainee to receive instruction in our own pool. Training Officer Nigel Wichall took her through her paces.
Official sign-off is achieved and the end is sighted
In January and February work was focused on completing the pool and surrounds. In March it switched to the necessities for official “sign-off” by the buildings inspector – a major landmark that was achieved on 2nd April. Work continued on the lobby, main changing room and classroom through April and early May.
The building site gradually turns into a fine clubroom and a basic dive facility
The compressor room and boat garage were the first to become operational. After boarding the first floor and constructing the stairs, the pool room ceiling and walls were done, but the main focus was to complete the first floor – clubroom, bar, kitchen, stage, gun display, toilets. This was finished in time for the Dinner and Dance in early March 2011. Efforts then moved outside, with the rear path, the patio and bridge, so we could enjoy drinks outside in the summer. In autumn 2011, work moved back inside with the major effort on plasterboarding all the ground floor ceilings. At the tail end of the year attention moved back to the pool.
Organised by James Padfield, the weekend proved to be a great success, with fine weather and diving conditions.
The superb dive boat Obsession II was booked for two days. In order to fill the boat, the Swindon members (James, Bernie, Dale, Lou, Gill and Helen) were acompanied by friends from other clubs. A great time was had by all. Some of the Swindon members were making their first to Lundy and having their first experience of diving with seals.
Our annual sponsored swim in the R. Thames raising money for the RNLI
The swim is usually held on the first Sunday of the New Year – it generates more money if we do it when it’s cold and icy! This year, due to the extremely high rainfall making the river swollen and dangerous, the event has been postponed and re-arranged twice, finally being held in the more clement conditions of 6th April.
A great occasion to show off our achievement – with special guest David Bellamy to perform the official opening of the clubhouse
At the end of a long hard road in building our new clubhouse, this was our opportunity to show it off. With stalls and exhibits in the main clubroom, kit demo and kit display in the boat shed, try dives in the pool, a bouncy castle outside and lots of other fun things to do, there was something for everyone.