Double Celebration for Wycombe Swimming

Simon Shaw

110 Years of Club Night

Wycombe District Swimming Club has a double celebration on Tuesday night. The day was the first "Club Night" since the break for Covid-19 which would be a cause for celebration on its own, but the night also marked 110 years of Club Nights for the swimming club.

The club was first founded as "High Wycombe Swimming Club" in 1910 and this coincided with the opening of Stacey's baths in Frogmore in the town. These indoor baths opened Wednesday August 10th with an opening ceremony, the programme of events for which was arranged by the club. The events included a life-saving demonstration, team races between three local swimming clubs, a diving display, a polo match and an exhibition of 'trick swimming. The first Club Night followed the next week and were held on both Tuesday and Thursday, 8.00 to 9.00 pm for Ladies, and 9.00 to 10.00 pm for Gentlemen.

Club Night has remained an important training day at the heart of the club's offering to the community of High Wycombe throughout it's history. Club Night on Tuesdays sees the majority of the clubs 600+ swimmers training at Wycombe Leisure Centre. Despite now being recognised as one the leading performance clubs in the country, the club retains its local community club roots. Club night brings together swimmers from across its entire age (8 to 80) and all the ability levels(beginners to elite athletes). 

This is the third break from swimming the club has experienced in its history and thankfully it has been the shortest. The original High Wycombe Swimming Club stopped for a period during the First World War as many of its members including its club captain saw service. After the war the club trained in the town's corporation baths and in the Dyke on the Rye until it later moved to a new swimming pool on the west of Wycombe at Fryers Lane.

The club existed in Fryers Lane until around 1947 when the river fed pool had to be closed due to an outbreak of Typhoid in the country. The swimmers of High Wycombe then had to wait until 1957 when the new pool open air was built on the Rye. The Club was reformed and was once again very popular. The club even retained its original trophies for the pre first world war era.

In 1958 the club caused an upset with the Amateur Swimming Association when it refused to join the Buckinghamshire ASA and instead was accepted to the Berkshire ASA in the south region. The club was much closer to the Berkshire teams sharing winter training with them so this worked for the team but the unconventional move led to the formation of the Berkshire and South Buckinghamshire County Association. Holywell Mead open air pool became Wycombe's Swimming home for the next 18 years. In 1975 the club relocated to the newly constructed indoor 6 lane 50m pool at Handy Cross at the same time changing its name to "Wycombe District Swimming Club" to recognise the wider regional reach it now had. Club Night continued there every Tuesday until in 2016 when the club moved to the newly constructed Wycombe Lesiure Centre. 

You can read more about the club's history here.

Since moving the club has grown to over 600 swimmers and as well as being the local swimming club for the town of High Wycombe and the local area and also now serves as the leading performance swimming club for the county of Buckinghamshire. The club includes a disability seciton (Para Swimming) and a water polo section. The club offers its members the opportunity to train to the highest levels and has recently put its members onto Welsh, English and British Teams.

Return To Training

Wycombe Swimming Club has now returned from the latest but shortest training interlude which was caused by the pool closures due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. This has been a challenging time for the whole clubs membership but training and social activities for many have continued using online communication platforms. The club has remained strong throughout the closure and the swimmers were delighted to return on the Club's 110th anniversary. 

The return has closely been managed by a team of coaches and volunteers have been planning how swimmers could enter change and swim in a distanced manner following the guidelines issued by Swim England. The club is grateful to Buckinghamshire Council and Places Lesiure for their efforts in ensuring the facility opened as soon as possible.

Swimming as a club in organised sessions provides the best safest method of utilising a swimming pool during the pandemic. Swimmers are kept apart in and out the water to limit the potential of any virus spread. Hygiene is paramount and all sessions are monitored for their compliance by volunteers. Swimming in lanes sorted by ability creates the least frustration for swimmers when sharing pool space and a coached programme allows swimmers to progress their development in all strokes in a safe manner.

New Members

The club will soon be opening again for new members. If you are interested in joining whether you are an experienced swimmer or have recently progressed from lessons then you can find out more information here.



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