History of Falmouth SLSC

Page 3  

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!)