A brief History of Leyton Swimming Club
Leyton swimming club was founded in 1911 as a water polo and swimming club. From passed down memories it seems the water polo club was successful in the 1910’s, 20’s and 30’s and then swimming club successful in the 1930’s 40’s and 50’s.
The latter half of the 1970’s the club was swimming four times a week. Three sessions were at the Leyton Swimming pool, which was at Bakers Arms where Tesco now is. The other session was at Cathall Road pool which is where the club is still based and swims. The pool at Bakers Arms had a 40 yard big pool and a 20 yard small pool which were filled from a natural spring under the pool each spring. The water would come out green initially. The larger pool was always cold and it took a few months to get any warmer. The smaller pool was warmer and stayed open all year. At one session the swimmers trained so hard that they steamed up the small pool so that visibility was down to a metre ahead and above.
At this time Hope Monk taught learner to swim in the small pool and then they moved on to joining the club and the swimming sessions. Very like today. Hope Monks was awarded an MBE for her services to swimming and for being a lollypop lady for many years.
The committee was, just like it is today, made up of volunteers. In the early 1990’s a new committee took charge but didn’t last very long in post and the club was suddenly in danger of no longer existing. Volunteer parents stepped in to organise things and ensure that the club continued. Margaret Norris and Kath Green made sure the club survived at this time and into the future so that it is still here today for swimmers to enjoy. The club is still dependent on people willing to give up their time voluntary today. These includes coaches and committee members.
The club takes part in London Graded galas, East London Mini galas and the Essex League. Paul Norris has been involved in managing the gala teams since the early 1990’s. The club has had a lot of success in the graded and mini leagues and over the years many swimmers have had the opportunity to represent the club and experience competing.
At the end of 2015 the club had won the London Graded gala a total of 23 times and the East London mini a total of 13 times.
In the Essex League the club moved up from the 5th division to the 1st division and competed in division 2 during 2015.
The club has also competed in Europe. In the past in France and in more recent years a yearly trip to compete against teams from several countries in Ronse in Belgium. A small team of swimmers make the trip over with their families and Leyton usually does well and members winning medals.
Historically the club colours were always blue and white. They changed to red and black in the 1990’. For the 2011 year special commemorative swimming hats were made in blue and white. These proved to be very popular and so the club colours were changed back to the traditional blue and white. In the past there was a club t-shirt with the swimmers designing the picture which over the years had a blue fish tail, a pair of feet sticking out of water and even a lion. Today we have club polo shirts and bags.