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Wrexham Swimming Club_A History

Wrexham Swimming Club.

Newsletter Number 4. (circa 1975)

            On delving back into archives of the ‘Wrexham Swimming Club’, I found many items of interest and so I thought that I could use them in this newsletter which I have volunteered to undertake. I sincerely hope you will enjoy the following reading. At some points of the newsletter parents and grandparents maybe asked by the younger readers to do a spot of translating.

For many years the ‘Mayors’ of Wrexham were appointed as ‘Club President’ and there was as many as fourteen ‘Vice-Presidents’ these people were mainly dignitaries of the area. They paid a sum of money for this honour; I suppose we today would call it a donation to the Club. At a later date they called themselves ‘Patrons of the Club’ and these are some of the named I have traced:-

Sir L. Rowland, Lady Rowland, Mr Walter Roberts, Lord Wavertree, Alderman Jarman, Lady Leyland, Sir R. Thomas, Dr. E. Jones, Dr E. Moss,  Sir A. McAlpine and Mr S. P. Bevan (the late Mr Geoff Bevan’s brother). I am sure there are many more names that could be added to that list and may be in the near future I might find them.

            In May 1911 the Club received a letter from the ‘Town Hall’ refusing permission for a ‘Club notice board’ to be put in the ‘Town Hall Vaults’, however they were not deterred by this refusal as the Club Secretary then wrote to he manager of the ‘Wynnstay Hotel’ (now the Crest Hotel) who readily agreed that the ‘Club notice board’ could be placed in front of the Hotel and for many years that was where all the Club information was placed. Another way to advertise Club galas and games was to secure the ‘Sandwich board man’s’ services (of course there was no ‘Radio Clwyd’ nor ‘Marcher Sound’ then.

            Water Polo was a very active part of the Club, in 1911 the team travelled to away games by rail and on some occasions they would hire a ‘Charabanc’. The cost of a ‘polo ball’ was 7/6 and to hire the baths for a polo match was 2/6, which was played in the old ‘Tuttle Street Baths’ which was 20 yards long. I have been told that the team on many occasions played and trained in the river at Holt, I am sure this would have posed many problems for the referee.

In August 1912 they held a ‘Club Gala’ they were always extremely well supported, so much so that one could have reserved a seat, adults 2/6 and children 1/3, none reserved seats cost 1/3, children 8d. The same year the ‘North Wales Championships’ were held at ‘Wrexham’, there were only two races at that time – boys and girls 50 yards Freestyle and the entry fee was 3d, after the championship races they held an obstacle race, a life saving exhibition and concluded with a polo match.

            May 22nd 1914 – the last committee meeting the Club was to hold for some time due to the war. May 4th 1921 – ten men held a meeting to revive the ‘Wrexham Swimming Club’ which had been in existence for approximately 18 years but owing to the fact that 75% of the members had been on ‘War Service’ since 1914 the Club had been dormant. At this same meeting it was agreed that the subscriptions would be 5/- and juniors under 16 years 2/-.

            At the July 1921 meeting it was decided that four of the committee members were to meet members of the Town Council as to the building of the new baths. October 15th 1925, this was the date of the opening of the new 25 yard pool, which was built along side the existing 20 yard pool.

            This new pool was originally built as an open air pool, in which the late Mr. Geoff Bevan was the only ‘Wrexham Swimming Club’ member to swim in, it was found to be unsatisfactory as an open air pool, so it was roofed and then opened to the general public. There was no mixed bathing and so for many years the men and women had separate Club nights. The ladies were unable to use the 20 yard pool as there was no changing rooms, the men would change on the balcony and leave their clothes on benches.

            I wonder how many of you reading this newsletter can remember the old baths in Tuttle Street. On talking to many senior members of the Club, we reminisced on the happy hours spent there, we remembered the beginners classes run by the Club for the young and he not so very young, Mums, Dads and Grandparents learnt to swim, these classes were a great success. We also recalled the fun we had at one of our Gala’s, when the ‘Janzen Sports Co.’ loaned the Club some very stylish swimming costumes and sum very old fashioned styles (the type that was worn below the knees). Club members modelled them and as you could imagine it was a hilarious evening.

            Well the training, galas, polo matches and social times ended in October 1969 at the old baths and we were introduced in May 1970 to the ‘New Wrexham Swimming Baths’. In 1972 we held our first Club Championship in this pool; they consisted of three galas, where our swimmers competed for twenty trophies in different age groups. Today we have forty six trophies and a promise of two more. These trophies have been donated to the Club by committee members and various people of the town and with having so many trophies we now have to hold four galas. I am sure many of you will have seen these magnificent trophies displayed before each of these galas.

The Swimmers Poem.

1.       Wrexham Club have good coaches,

They’re demons for perfection,

You swim your best

And get no rest,

Then they’ll shout – correction.


2.       Get your head down,

Breath and blow,

Hit the water make you go,

Close the fingers, elbows in,

Down and up and under chin.


3.       Pull, push, kick and glide,

Breathlessly we reach the side,

Wondering where we get the power,

All this goes on for one full hour.


(Small pool swimmers)

4.       We are only kindergarten yet,

Tiddlers in the swimming net,

Perfect swimming is our wish,

Then we join the bigger fish.


5.       Now you know what it’s like,

Each day when we are training,

It’s really smashing fun you know,

Who said we are complaining.


6.       So to all you members, parents, friends,

The success of the Club depends,

On full support throughout the year,

We have no fear for ‘Wrexham’s’ here.

                                                                 M. S.

            The following note may help any new members to the Club and also a reminder to the established members – YOU the swimmer are solely responsible for entering any of the races in our ‘Club Championships’ to enter any event you must give your name to Mr. Joe Nobbs (Competition Secretary) seven days before the event, and please note, you must be a fully paid up Club member three months prior to the event, remembering that the age of the event is the age you will be on the 31st December in the year of the competition, this always applies to all swimming events unless otherwise stated. Regarding all other galas the Club Coach, Mr. Ken Jones, selects the team and if you have been selected you will see your name on the team sheet which is placed on the Club notice board prior to any galas, please do take time to read the notices regular, to find out, what you the swimmer may be involved in.

            To you the parents, grandparents and friends, whenever the Club is involved in any galas, whether home or away your support will be welcomed by our youngsters.

            Some very exiting news which I am sure will interest everyone – Mr. Raymond Jones (a Life Member of our Club) has been nominated by ‘Great Britain’ to act as a Water Polo Referee at the Olympic Games, (this is subject to confirmation by F.I.N.A.). If the confirmation is forthcoming, applications to carry his bags should be sent to the Club Secretary before the end of April.

            Earlier in the newsletter I mentioned that many years ago the Club had Lords, ladies, Doctors, etc, serving the Club, well today we don’t have people with titles involved, but those who are involved at all levels are extremely hard working people who give a great deal of their time, because they care and they are proud to serve the Oldest (and the Best) Club in North Wales.

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