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How and when did Haltonsc start?

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 The club's emblem represents a swimmer passing under the bridge that divides the two borough towns of Runcorn and Widnes, bringing them together. The official Halton Borough Council colour is green.

In June 1961 a final schools gala needed to be held at the old Widnes baths in Victoria Road. This was due to the delayed opening of a new pool that had taken 18 months to build at a cost of £166,000. The original Kingsway pool was designed by H. N. Player, the borough architect, to be colorful, warm and suitable for use by the disabled and was a significant step forward in modern pool design in the area. The pool had revolutionary under floor heating, sound deadening and 3 diving boards with seating accommodation for 168 people. The pool dimensions were 110 ft long x 42 ft wide and a depth that ranged from 3ft 6 to 10 ft. "This swimming pool building was designed by Neville Player, who also designed the College across the road. It opened in 1962 and had a capacity for 220 bathers an hour." [www:francisfrith.com] The pool was opened in an "oasis of colour" by J.H Collinge the Mayor of Widnes. Within 2 hours of the opening of the pool, Widnes swimming club was formed. The inaugural meeting at Kingsway school was attended by over 150 people and chaired by Alderman J Ludden.
The outline for the club was the idea of Mr T Miller, the baths superintendent. The old pool was much in demand by 4 groups, the Cubs, the Scouts, the Girl Guides and the Boys Brigade and they and various other organisations had requested exclusive rights to use the pool. The new oil heating system was at that time the costly sum of seven shillings and sixpence per hour and it was thought that any single use group would be unable to maintain sufficient members to cover the costs. Following this discussion Mayor Collinge suggested the forming of Widnes Swimming Club and this was seconded by Councillor Illidge and passed unanimously.
The original committee of eight was Mr J C Buxton Chairman, Mr P Cox, Mrs B Simm, Mrs M Hill, Station Officer R Morrison (Widnes Fire Brigade), Miss A Hemers, and Miss R Allen, plus a representative of Widnes Police division. The first club session started on the 11th September 1961. Information courtesy of Widnes Library microfiche archives (Widnes Weekly News, 1961-1962) By June 10th 1974, only 12 years had elapsed, and it was discovered that chlorine laden air had severely coroded the underlyng supports, and the cost of repairing this structural decay was extremely high. The pool was closed to the public while decisons were made on whether to repair or replace the structure. The pool was officially closed to the public for a long period and by 1977 the old pool was completely demolished and Widnes Swimming club were left 'homeless'.
The new 25 metre pool built at Kingsway Leisure Centre cost £1.5 million and was one of the widest and most modern in the North West. Opening unofficially, 'on a low key basis' on August 23rd 1982 and officially, for swimming, on October 8th 1982 this pool became the home of Widnes Swimming club until 2002.
In 2002 the club members decided to re-designate Widnes Swimming Club as Halton Swimming Club as this better described the representative selection of the members and demonstrated the aspirations of the club. The club was renamed in June 2002 and officially sanctioned on 1st July 2002. Alongside this decision it was agreed that the club would seek to obtain funds to appoint a paid coaching position commensurate with the required expectations of the club, which are to maintain and advance competitive swimming within the Halton area.

(Widnes Weekly News, 1972-1982: Image Widnes Library: circa 2005)

 

 

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