Club History 1960s

1960/61: It is thought that the club started. The main founder member was Jimmy Rowlands, and the club was originally called The Folkestone and East Kent Sub Aqua Club 106. The club covered all of the East Kent.

At this time members made their own wet suits from a roll of neoprene with a pattern. Most dives were shore dives with the diver going out attached to a line on shore. All dives were done on an attached line. Many dives were done on the reef off Sandgate beach. Ramsgate inner harbour was used for the open water tests.

Members trained in the sea at Walpole Bay, Margate, the Lido , Ramsgate and the pool by Margate sands. In the winter they used Butlins Hotel and would meet on a Sunday. Another regular meeting place was the 6 Bells, Margate until about 1968.

Hugh Sawyer was the first Diving Officer. Some early members were Hugh Singer, Eric Prout, Cecil Armstrong, Jimmy Rowlands, Joe Morelli, Keith Travalyan and Ron Skinner.

1964: 1st Diver of the year A.Drainsfield. Club involved in Great Train Robbery Daily Sketch contacted the club as a boat called the Christine hired by one of the Train Robbers had been found off shore tied to the outer tongue buoy. 2 reporters with an underwater photographer went out with some club members. The had supplies of 4 bottles whiskey and a crate of beer. It was a misty day when they went out. At the buoy was a RN minesweeper. Reg and buddy dived down shot line to about 30ft hung on the line then came up as there was no visability. Photographer had difficulties and didn’t submerge. Took photos of them getting in and out of the water. Were taken for a dinner at the San Clu Hotel. Next day there was a 2 page spread and it was on the local TV news.

1968: 1st club diving holiday 16 divers went down to the Costa Brava in Spain in an old Bedford Bus. They drove down day and night and had a great time.

1968 – 1975: Club changed to Margate Sub Aqua Club 106. Meetings held at Seaman’s Mission Club in Ramsgate. Bob Peacock joined and John Chamberlain was the Entertainments officer. When Butlins closed they trained at the Army Cadets School in Dover. The 1st Diving Instructor courses were held there. Bill Windridge was Diving Officer at this time.



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Thanet Sub Aqua Club

12-14 Fort hill
Kent CT9 1HDTel: 07788447282 or 07966081161                                                                       

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