History of Falmouth SLSC
Page 2 - The saga continues
Planning permission was eventually granted in 1972 with Terry leading
the build team, frames were assembled in an old fisherman’s shed on
Customs House Quay, and ground work completed on site prior to the
frames arrival. Fortunately it was a reasonable summer for weather and
members set about the build working from seven in the morning until
dark, but a very rewarding endeavour. We also had to hand dig a trench
from the bottom of the road to club hut, deep enough to carry mains
With this new found space we were now in a position to further expand
the equipment pool. Terry and Roger still developing ideas and taking
inspiration from Australia with Triss Surf Boards this time asked to
produce rescue skis and boards. Malcom Heath the then Hon Sec set about writing hundreds of letters seeking sponsorship, a thankless task but it did pay off, not only provided the latest equipment but money in the bank to help meet the now ever increasing running costs.
In 1980 the club extended the club house, this time Roger taking the lead with a new team of enthusiastic young members to call on for help. This time they too had to dig a trench down to the road in order to have a water supply installed.
The club although totally voluntary always had a very professional approach to life saving and was now taking it to a new level (see “First Impressions”), members having very close links with the Coast Guard Service were now been asked to launch the IRB to attend incidents from Porthoustock to Portscatho on regular occasions. They had also enrolled as Auxiliary Coast Guards and as such could get reimbursed for IRB call
outs and patrol hours logged, all payments going into club funds.
These early years providing by far the greatest recorded incidents of
rescues; covering every facet of our work. Examinations in surf life
saving skill taking place ever new season. Ladies at long last had equal
status to the men and were allowed to take the Bronze Exam, Falmouth
been one of the first to enter an all ladies team for examination.
Surf Life Saving competition was now also proving to be popular, and
very successful within the club, but it has to be emphasized that Beach
Patrols always took priority over competition. Male and female members
were achieving great success in both County and National events.
Falmouth SLSC also instigating the first junior events. The club also
introduced long distance craft races gaining sponsorship from a local
company “Western Trust” allowing them to host three years of races,
with surf life savers coming from all over the UK to take part. Ex local boy and club member Chris Johnson having moved to London helped set up a surf life saving club at, of all places, the Serpentine London. They were however always keen to come to Cornwall in order to get in the sea, coming to Falmouth every Easter for a number of years. We always seem to provide surf for their visit, an added bonus for them.
Like us they also saw the opportunities for offering long distance craft racing, they could not offer surf to challenge competitors, but they did have the River Thames. So started the Thames Ski Race; run over eight and sixteen mile courses and using the same stretch of water as the Boat Race, starting and finishing at the Corinthian Sailing Club. The Thames Ski Race proving a very popular end of season event for many clubs and a very fruitful one for us. The club having great success every year in junior, senior and masters events, taking out overall club champions on two occasions, and winning two skis for our efforts. The club, making this a memorable event for all our members by staying on the Thames at Maidenhead for three days. The final day spent cruising up and down the river, but on these occasions not having to propel ourselves.