History of Falmouth SLSC
In 1985 club members Andrea Cortis, Chris Pusey and Roger Stephens were
selected for the Cornish Surf Life Saving Team to tour Western Australia and
Bali; a trip that would leave a lasting impression on Roger; to the extent that
he vowed to return with a club team.
The club has always been successful at gaining positive sponsorship over the
years through both its competition success but also its community service effort;
and to this end we are very proud of the fact that a number of our members
have been recognised Nationally, and Internationally for their long service and
rescue work. Simon Moses, Emily Caulfield, Josh McHenry and Tom Redgrave
receiving the highest accolade of Surf Life Saver of the Year Award for their
rescue efforts; even more impressive that all four were teenagers when gaining
their awards. Elaine Stephens, Steve Martin and Roger Stephens receiving SLSA
GB awards for long service to Surf Life Saving. In 2014 Roger received the
International Commemorative Medal for services to Life Saving.
The club can also be very proud of the fact that many of its past members go on to achieve great things in their chosen careers; whether influenced by the self discipline, team work, fitness and community spirit instilled in them in club activities, it is hard to say. Doctors, Para Medics, all strands of the Armed Forces are all but a few of the careers ex members have excelled in.
It is not all work and no play, surfing whether body boarding, short and long board surfing or wave ski riding it has always been an integral part of Surf Life Saving, in fact it helps members maintain fitness and certainly makes one more confident in surf conditions. Even back in the late 60’s members were at the forefront of the surfing revolution, travelling miles all around Cornwall looking for the perfect wave! Lee Stephens and Keith Richards (of Freeriders) excelling in their chosen discipline of the sport. Both of them, plus several others, pursuing their love of the sport all over the world. We have already mentioned days on the River Thames, club life has always offered a close knit group of friends, whether it is an overseas surf trip, out for a few drinks or just spending time in or on the sea training, friendships are often long lasting and very valued. Many of the original crew will still reminisce of Saturday nights spent at the Cedar Bar
at the Pentargon Hotel and then on to Shades Night Club, sometimes heading straight
to Maenporth and sleeping under our home made up turned surf boat knowing Mick
O’Brien would be down early to start R and R training at 09.00. no better way to wake
one up and clear the head!
50 years of training. The summer season is always looked forward to with enthusiasm
and even more so in recent years. 50 years of great sponsorship deals and successful
grant aid applications has given the club a fantastic equipment pool which would be
the envy of many much larger clubs. This offers both juniors and seniors the
opportunity to hone their life saving skill and keep fit. Winter training has taken a
somewhat different course, but has always been seen as a way of keeping members
together through the long winter nights. Early recollections are of cold nights spent in
the long since closed YMCA building; gymnastics been the order of the day, running full
tilt towards a vaulting horse and just praying Mike O’Brien would catch you on the other
side. Terry Wilkes’s parents owned the Tregear Hotel which offered a much more
welcoming venue for winter theory training, first aid and marine radio procedure etc.
plus Terry ran the hotel bar with very favourable ‘mates rates’. Many years were spent
in Penryn School Gymnasium. Every Friday night two hours of hard slog under the
watchful eye of Phillip Smith, although not a club member Phil gave us his time free and for that we are extremely grateful. Many ex members will say during that period they were the fittest they had ever been. Pool training has also seen many changes with Budock Vean, St Michaels Hotel and Tremough Covent School all being previous venues. Maenporth Estate has obviously proven a great bonus, and our thanks must go to the Estate and its staff for their continual support.
If any of this has inspired you, help make another 50 successfuly years and COME ON DOWN (although Night Clubs on Saturday nights are now frowned upon!)