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History Of The Club 

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Wallasey Swimming Club was founded in 1890 and was known as the Seacombe and Egremont Swimming association. The club swam in the River Mersey the tide permitting, and in 1901 aimed to get suitable headquarters “to transact their business and were hopeful of obtaining apparatus for rescuing drowning persons”.

The Annual Gala was held each August and the changing rooms and starting point were the ferry boat Snowdrop, they started at about 4pm opposite the Mariners Home, tide permitting of course.

Year after year the question of a club house arose. There were objections to the swimmers being on the beach without a beach hut!

The need for public baths and wash-houses in Seacombe was emphasized many times and it was pointed out that “swimming was a most healthful and strength giving pastime” and that “drownings are too frequent here”. The provision of public baths and swimming tuition would prevent almost all of these deaths in the river. On August the 8th 1904 Thomas Harrop the Secreatry of Seacombe and Egremont Swimming Association pointed out in a letter to the Wallasey News that the “Council so far has done little else than promise something in the future”.

At the 1905 A.G.M it is recorded that Mr Harrop “had the privilege of testifying to the Commissioners representing the interest of the members that such a building was absolutely needed and later the Local Government Board gave the Council permission to borrow a sufficient sum to purchase a site at the Guinea Gap on which to erect baths”  

In September 1905, the Secretary was again “invited to give evidence in support of a scheme for the building of public baths”.

In April 1908 Guinea Gap Baths were officially opened and there can be no doubt that without the Seacombe and Egremont Swimming Association later known as Wallasey Swimming Club this would not have happened.

 

 

Tribute to former Wallasey Swimming Club member Neil McKechnie.

 

Neil McKechnie was a member of Wallasey Swimming Club, he was one of the most outstanding swimmers of his time. During his swimming career Neil achieved 30 English and British records at Guinea Gap Baths, Wallasey.

He captained the English and British teams on many occasions and was even named BBC's 'Sports Boy of the Year' in 1955 and 1956, the year he won the Triple Crown at the ASA (Amateur Swimming Association) National Championships, also re-taking the 110 and 220 yards Free Style titles the following year.

Neil was famously filmed by the BBC taking 0.80 seconds off the English 110 yards backstroke record at Guinea Gap Baths in 1956 and was then whisked off to the studios in Manchester to be interviewed on Sportsnight.

Neil was a member of the Great Britain Team that swam at the 1956 Melbourne Olympics and two years later gained a bronze medal in the 4 x 110 medley relay at the Commonwealth Games in Cardiff.

In 1956 Wallasey Corporation conferred on him 'The Freedom of the Baths' at a specially arranged civic reception.

In 1958, Neil, normally a 400m Freestyle swimmer, held every single English Freestyle record from 100 yards to one mile.

Neil even led Wallasey Swimming Club to victory in the Freestyle Team Championship of England.

It was a sad day for Wallasey Swimming Club and for the sport in general when Neil passed away aged 67. He was an inspiration to all swimmers, everywhere.

 



 A Tribute Geoffrey Milne - WSC Coach

 

 

Geoffrey Ferris Milne was born 3rd February 1910. He was born to a family of Shipwrights in Liverpool. His uncle was the deep sea diver Thomas Ferris Milne who wrote books including "In this world and that".

 

He had one child Janet and two grandchildren, Jeanette and Geoffrey (1971-2005). Geoffrey was born with spina bifida and due to this Geoffey Snr became involved with the disabled swimming club at Leasowe.

 

Jeanette's memories include getting up extremely early in the mornings and escorting Geoffrey Snr to the swimming baths. She had her first swimming lessons in the early 70'sat Guinea Gap baths from Geoffrey and can still recall the fuss made from the staff as if her width was a mile! Her children carried on the tradition at Guinea Gap and were taught by the wonderful Winnie.

 

Geoffrey lived in Wallasey (Meadowside) and worked in Liscard (For the Electricity board). In the second world war he was in the RAF. (He married in St Hilarys Church on the day war broke out).

 

He was extremely talented as an artist and designed posters and booklets for the club. He won National prizes for his artwork.

 

The ink drawings included were part of a booklet given to the swimmers - see below.

 

He died in 1980 and at his bedside was a certificate of lifelong achievement from the swimming association which took pride of place.

 

Jeanette only recently discovered he wrote the book as he was extremely modest and it was never mentioned.

 

(Hover over the photo below - it will change every 8 seconds)

 

 

 

ASA Certificate from 1949Royal Life Saving Society 1949ASA Certificate 1952Royal Life Saving Society 1952NCDSD 1953ISTC 1975ISTC Letter 1975ISTC Card 1976ISTC Card 1977ASAWallasey Swimming Club Booklet Front CoverWallasey Swimming Club Booklet  1-2Wallasey Swimming Club Booklet  3-4Wallasey Swimming Club Booklet  5-6Wallasey Swimming Club Booklet  7-8Wallasey Swimming Club Booklet Back CoverGreat Britain Letter Page 1Great Britain Letter Page 2Newspaper articleWSC Letter HeaderWSC Photo 1WSC Photo 2