Club History

Following a meeting of "The Townsfolk of Ware" in May 1934, it was agreed that a "swimming club" be formed. This was duly done and the first President elected was W Sherwood, the first Secretary, H Stitchbury and the first Treasurer, R Lee. Committee members elected at the first meeting included; H A Gardner, A Wignall, D Lee, C E Clarke and A Baker. The "open air pool" in Ware became the Club Headquarters. This pool was completed in 1934 and was the dream of the Ware Town's Surveyor and Engineer, Mr. R W Grantham. The foundation of the pool was made from the rubble of buildings knocked down in Kibes Lane, the area which is now the car park. The pool itself was built by direct labour for a total cost of £4,132.00 which included £775.00 for the filtration plant.

The pool was officially declared open on 30 June 1934 by Mrs Lloyd Phillips who floated a bouquet of blue and white flowers on the water. A very young boy called Martin Vingoe swam the first length of the pool.

The Club Subscription at that time was 3 shillings (15p) for seniors and 1 shilling and sixpence (7 l/2p) for juniors. Pool hire cost £1.00 for the evening with "Ladies and Gentlemen" swimming at different times.

In 1935, it was agreed to allow Hertford Swimming Club who had been using the old pool at Hartham to share membership with Ware. When war broke out most of the senior members joined the forces and it was largely due to Mr. H Gardner that the club continued to function. Club funds hit an all time low of £2-18-7d (£2.93) during this period.

Probably the biggest event ever staged by the club was a visit by BZC Brandenburg from Holland in 1949. Special seating was erected around the poolside and well over 1,000 came to watch the swimming gala and other events on the day.

Winter training sessions were arranged first at Watford in 1946. Watford being the only town in the county with a heated indoor pool. Later the club used pools in North London, mainly for water polo and leisure swimming. When the indoor pool opened at Harlow, the club used this pool for several years travelling in a double decker bus!

On 5 December 1947, an Extraordinary Executive meeting was held after a letter from the Secretary of the Olympic Games training selection enquiring as to the possibility of Ware SC changing their training night. Apparently, the British team wanted to use Harlow pool! After much discussion, the then Club Secretary was directed to write and explain that we very much regretted that the club could not consider the request as to do so would clash with evening classes. Boy Scouts and Girl Guide meetings and in any event transport had been booked until 1948! A record club membership of 560 was achieved in 1959 despite having to swim in cold water.

The luxury of having heated water came following great pressure from the general public in 1962, when hot water was piped underground from the Ware Priory. Regrettably the Club no longer uses the Priory Pool.

In the past, the Club has been very successful in both men and ladies water polo, winning the North London Leagues.

The Club is very proud of having had 4 County Presidents including one who has had that honour more than once. Yvonne Price holding this position on no less than three occasions! She also received the highest honour of being ASA President in 1986.

In 1971, the Club became one of the first organisations in the town to "twin" with Wulfrath. This friendship has continued to flourish. Each year, the Club competes with their counterparts in what is seen as the highlight of the swimming calendar.

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