The City of Ely Swimming Club was formed in 1923, when all swimming events, training and home competitions took place in the River Ouse near the Cutter Inn. An open-air swimming pool was built on Angel Drove (now the Ford garage) in around 1958. Most club nights (summer only of course!) were taken up with Inter Club matches. There was very little tuition, you just got in and swam as fast as you could. Club championships were held annually, when cups and certificates were awarded.
In August each year, the 'Swim Through Ely' was held with competitors from all over Cambridgeshire swimming from Newmarket Railway Bridge to Annesdale Quay. This had to be abandoned when the river became too polluted.
In 1977, Ely swimming club began winter training in St. Ives, which improved standards immensely. The Paradise Pool was opened in 1981 and swimmers could then train all year round in Ely.