1950 – 1969
1970 – 1983
On 19 July Mr. R Campion, Dr Sharp, Alderman Evans and Mr Duignan announced they were going to form a Swimming Club in Walsall. The inaugural Meeting of Walsall Swimming Club was held at Mr Crapper’s Bath in Littleton Street on Thursday 11 September 1884.
First Aquatic Sports held on 8 October. Cost of admission Sixpence (2½p).
Mr J Hunt played water polo for England in 1891, 1892, 1893, and in 1895 he was Team Captain. Mr H R Aulton played in goal in 1895.
New Public Baths in Lichfield Street opened 30 May and an Opening Gala took place organised by the Club.
Ladies Branch of the Club was formed on 28 May. Chairman was Miss B Foxley and Secretary was Miss K Cousins. The Club won the Birmingham and District Water Polo League Championship for the first time.
First Open Quarter Mile Championship held at Stourport in the river. Teddy Gilbert was the winner.
Midland Evening News stated that Teddy Gilbert was the most popular athlete in Walsall. He was Captain of the Water Polo team for ten years and also during that period he won all Staffordshire and Club Swimming championships. He was an international Water Polo player. The Club staged the 500 yards Championship of the World. Out of four entrants the winner was Taylor of Chadderton, second was Zachar of Hungary and third was Radmilovic of Weston-Super-Mare.
Highlight of the decade – Walsall became Water Polo Champions of England for the first time by beating Weston-Super-Mare 6 – 5 at Birmingham.
Mark Ryan played Water Polo for England against Ireland.
Walsall Polo Team was again in the final of the National Club Championship of England but was beaten by Plaistow 5 – 3.
Edna Hughes, at the age of thirteen, won the Midland District Senior 100 yards Freestyle Championship – the first Staffordshire swimmer to do so. Two years previously she could not swim!
Edna swam for England at the Los Angeles Olympic Games.
Edna won the 100 yards Freestyle Championship of England. Fifth in Empire games 100 yards Freestyle. Also swam in European Games at Magdeburg, Germany.
Edna Hughes swam in the England Relay Team at Berlin Olympic Games.
At the Empire Games held in Sydney, Edna was again a member of the England Team. Whilst in Australia she won the Championship of Victoria. Welcomed home by Mayor and Mayoress at a Celebration Dinner. Mr T E Mayo elected President of the Midlands ASA.
Margaret Butler appointed Secretary of the Ladies Section and served in that position for the following thirty seven years.
Jack Hale appointed General Secretary of the Club and held this position until his untimely death in 1974.
Sydney Redwood, daughter of Olympic swimmer Edna Hughes, broke the National Junior Freestyle record twice and swam for Great Britain against West Germany.
Gordon Brownjohn played Water Polo for Great Britain in the European Championships.
Maud Mander elected Chairman of the Ladies Section and served in that position until 1983.
Mick Hands and Tony Whittington selected to play Water Polo for Great Britain.Water Polo team once again reached the final of the National Water Polo Championship at the Walsall Gala Baths but were beaten 6 – 5 by Otter S.C. Mike Hale captained the England U-18 Water Polo team at fifteen years of age.
Mike Hale selected to play for the GB Senior Squad at sixteen years of age.
Outstanding year in Water Polo. Walsall won both the Senior and Junior National titles. Six team members were selected to play for Great Britain: Mike 4 Hale, Tony Whittington, Mick Hands, Noel Winter, John Massey and Gordon Hodges.
Jack Hale appointed Coach and Team Manager of the Great Britain Water Polo Team.
In the National Age Group Championships Jane Secker won the 11 years 110 yards Freestyle and Colin Morrison the 11 years 110 yards Breaststroke. Valerie Taylor swam for GB against the United States.
A Civic Reception was held at the Council House, Walsall to honour the successes of the Senior and Junior Water Polo teams.
Frances Bills won the National Age Group 11 years 110 yards Breaststroke Championship
Mike Hale appointed Captain of the GB Water Polo Team.
June Green, aged twelve, won the Women’s National 800 metres Freestyle Championship. She gained many other honours and represented GB on numerous occasions during 1971 and 1972.
At the Munich Olympic Games, June swam for GB in the 800 metres Freestyle.
Valerie Parsons (nee Taylor) won many long distance swimming championships, establishing nine records, and also swam for GB in Belgium.
Valerie continued her successful long distance swimming career by winning twelve National events and competing in Spain and Israel. She was awarded the British Long Distance Swimmer of the Year.
Barrie Davenport appointed Assistant Coach to the GB Senior Water Polo Team. Walsall won the Boys National Water Polo Championship.
Valerie Parsons was the National Long Distance Champion for the fifth time by winning the Morecambe Cross Bay swim of eight miles.
Darran Dyke and Tim Jones achieved international honours by swimming for England and GB in the Youth Squad.
Darran and Tim together with Nick Gillingham all gained firsts in the English Schools Championships.
Marion Buckley won three Gold medals at the World Student Games in Florence.
Darran Dyke set a new British schools record of 53.66, 100 metres Freestyle, in the English Schools Championships and represented GB against Holland in a full International.
Nick Giliingham won two Gold medals at the world Student Games and also swam for GB against Holland. He set a new record of 1.07.96, 100 metres Breaststroke, in the English Schools Championships. Tim Jones won a Gold medal at the World Student Games and set a new record of 58.51, 100 metres Butterfly, in the English Schools Championships. He won two Gold medals in the National Age Group 100 metres and 200 metres Butterfly. The Club also came first in the 16/17 years Boys Medley Team race.
David Bathurst by 1984 had refereed more than fifty International Water Polo Fixtures and Five European Cup games.
TO BE CONTINUED……..