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Shiverers Swimming Club mid 1950s

This is a photo of some of the members of The Shiverers Swimming Club in the mid-fifties at The King Alfred Swimming Baths. The club was well named as the water was absolutely freezing.

The gentleman at the back 2nd from the right with the club badge showing, used to take us for life saving lessons, but his name escapes me. I am sitting on the poolside fourth whole person from the right. to my right is Geoff Atkins, and in the water 2nd from the left is Pete Thursby.

We all lived in Mile Oak Road Portslade but I haven’t seen either of them for fifty years! Do you recognise yourself or anyone else here? If you do please leave a comment below.

Click on the photograph to open a large version in a new window.

Shiverers Swimming Club Members in the Mid 1950s at The King Alfred Baths Hove.
Sussex Daily News

Comments about this page

  • Oh I remember that pool so well, just the sight of the ‘overflow’ brings it all back. So many great days spent in there in the 1960s! Easily reccogonise the life guard at the back, 2nd from the right, he had put on a tad of weight by the 60s. I think he must have worked there for many years, and will be well remembered by many of my age group – “let’s do a bomb when he turns his back”!

    By Peter Groves (11/06/2012)
  • First thing that struck me when I looked at that photograph, was how healthy all those kids looked. 

    By Andy Mountford (15/06/2012)
  • A bit before my time, I was a “Shiverer” 1961-3, and my brother before me, can’t see him though. I was in the “rosebuds” and we swam against other towns & clubs for the Shiverers. It was sort of a club within a club for the best swimmers. Still got a plaque I won and still swimming – although a bit slower now!

    By Anne Newman (15/06/2012)
  • I was in the Shiverers for several years in the 1960s from the age of about 8 to maybe 15 – all that training, all those galas, and all those wonderful volunteer coaches most of whose names I now can’t remember, though I do remember Mr Franklin and his sons Chris and Timmy. The badge I sewed on my tracksuit was just the same as the one the coach in this picture is wearing.

    By Stella King (13/08/2012)
  • Ah, the Shiverers. Great times – both me and my sister (Kim) swam there from 1965-1971. My dad was a timekeeper in the galas, and my mum used to teach the little ones to swim. Yes, I too remember Mr Franklin and his sons (they had a newsagents, I believe, near Sackville Road). Also, George Ely used to train us. We used to have inter-club galas at regular intervals, with exciting coach rides to Southwark, Southwall and Bognor. Plus – for those in the teams, there was a weight-training room under the pool – complete with record player!

    By Marc Turner (26/02/2013)
  • The woman in the white top at the rear has her hands on the shoulders of Keith Alexander, I believe. There was a white haired older man who taught swimming there, Mr. Woodman? The boy in bottom left corner could be Euan Tomkinson. I was also taught to swim here. Remember the Cork training boards. I used to go fishing with Pete Thursby around the Henfield area, late 1950s. His Dad ran a pub in Worthing near the Station. They lived at 181 Mile Oak Rd.

    By Chris McBrien (25/04/2013)
  • I think the above photo is around 1951-53 and not the mid 1950s as the faces I know would be about 8 or 9 years of age then.

    By Chris McBrien (27/04/2013)
  • What memories! I too was a member mid 1950s and went on to have both our children in a swim club and now grandchildren! Got my love for the water in Brighton & Hove though and swam in the sea there often. We since lived in Africa and are in Canada now. I’ve never forgotten the Shiverers’ name! We lived in Fairfield Gardens, Portslade and attended St Nicholas School until 1956 if anyone else did the same at that time?

    By Pat Boyd (nee Clark) (27/04/2014)
  • There were two lads that I worked with  in the early sixties that were Shiverers,  Jimmy Funnel and the other fellow’s  surname was Churchill.

    By Harry Atkins (28/04/2014)
  • Hi, I just stumbled across this page and just felt overwhelmed.  Euan Tomkinson (mentioned in this thread) was my Dad and sadly died nine years ago. This has brought a smile to my face, thank you to whoever posted it. x

    By Lisa Tomkinson (01/05/2014)
  • For Lisa Tomkinson:  Lisa, I knew your dad, Euan, from a very early age. I used to live at 21 Benfield Crescent while he lived at No.5? I saw the June 1953 coronation at his house as we didn’t get a telly until that August. We both went to Benfield School and the Portslade Boys at the top of Applesham Way. The last I heard was that he died in Hong Kong in 2000(2) but you say later.  I often talk to his brother Richard. My email is:   I’d love a chat.

    By Christopher McBrien (22/05/2014)
  • I have seen this photo many times. When you look at the kids you can see why they called it the Shiverers Swimming Club, most of the kids look as though they were freezing. Just as I was all those years ago at the Black Rock swimming pool, it was better to stay in the water to keep warm. Good days. 

    By Mick Peirson (23/05/2014)
  • I was a Shiverer between 1940 to 1946. I still have my badge!

    By Leighton Spoton (14/09/2014)
  • My mother & her sister, Mary & Rose Marsh, were also members of the club. See this link:

    By Marion Goodwin (15/09/2014)
  • I was a Shiverer probably late 1950s-early 1960s. Seem to remember the Reeve family as coaches, think there was mum, dad and a daughter.  Does anyone recall that name?  I managed to attain ‘one star’ status in the award scheme at that time.  Think you had to swim several widths of the ‘major’ pool at the time.

    By Kathy Grover (27/12/2014)
  • It all looks familiar. I remember names like John Murray, Brian Beal, Dudley Siefert, Tom Green, Jasper Stevens, Elizabeth Hadrill, Jannet Thompson, Avril Maude, David West etc. My father used to coach along with Cryril Gilbey and the Ely bros.

    By Ron Reeves (06/09/2015)
  • Ha, I remember you Ron. Did you live in Locks Hill? We also went to school together (St Nicholas Infants). I remember you got a nose bleed and I got the blame. I really enjoyed the shiverers. I think I managed three or four stars, breast stroke my thing.

    By Bev Doo (05/01/2016)
  • I remember Ron Reeves. He had the best technique for butterfly and freestyle I have ever seen to this day. I remember he went to Aussie in the early 70s, came back for a while and played a bit of local water polo and never saw him again. His Dad Ron Senior was a swim coach at Brighton Swim Club.

    By Peter Paolella (16/11/2017)
  • I was a member in the 60s and remember the Reeves family and the Ely brothers. I remember also from my time at the club, Pat Cunningham, Linda Cosham, Janice Thompson, Annette Tussaud (her dad Louis was Madame Tussaud’s son or grandson I think), Maja Haffenik, Carol Dean and Julie Christmas. The Shiverers was a great social group and there was a wonderful family feel about the club and still going strong I believe.

    By Dorothy Smith (20/06/2019)
  • I was a member of Shiverers Swimming Club, 1952 to 1955. I clearly remember Brian Beal and Dudley Siefert. Our trainer was a Mr Wooton. I can recall one competition in Ilford, and also a gala to celebrate the coronation. I believe the National Championships were held at King Alfred around that time.

    By David Rowelk (21/07/2019)
  • George Carpenter is the man with club badge. He regularly told me off for doing bombs off the 1 metre board in the big pool. Bev Doo, my nose is still there ok. Thanks for comments Peter Paolella. I had lunch last week with Chris Hollingdale, Bill Redden and Jasper Stevens. I now live on Isle of Wight.

    By Ron Reeves (12/02/2020)
  • I remember Dorothy Smith and many other 1950s/60s swimmers. To answer Beverly Doo. Yes I did have a bloody nose, but can’t recall how it happened, and I did live in Lock’s Hill. I think I went to Benfield School with you. Did you live on Easthill estate? Those were the days when Hove Manor school provided some top swimmers too. Shiverers had many great swimmers in those days. I’ve sent some shots from Benfield school days through.

    By Ron Reeves (13/02/2020)
  • In the picture I believe the lady at the back with white t-shirt is Mrs. Smith, who’s son David was a good diver for the Shiverers, and taught trampoline at the Hangleton youth Club. I think the man at the back on left may be Mick Spicer, another Shiverer, who worked at Hove Hospital.

    By Ron Reeves (14/02/2020)
  • Hi Bev Doo. I have a couple of old photos of you at Benfield school 1956/57 if you email me I can send them to you. It would be nice to catch up sometime, and you can fill me in with what you have been up to for the past 50 odd years. Ronnie Reeves

    By Ron Reeves (17/02/2020)
  • I have just read this article and what a lot of wriggly and happy little guys in the opening photograph. I do recognise Tommy Green who was about five years younger than myself and who turned into a good freestyler.
    The gentleman,second from right in the back row,is Doug Eley,a younger brother of George and Ernest Eley.Doug was the clubs Chief Girls Coach for years.
    Doug had a tough time during WWII. I think he spent over one week in a rubber dinghy out in the Channel and his hair turned prematurely grey as a result.He had a very nice family and his son was an ardent fan of the Seagulls.Their home overlooked the Goldstone Ground Football stadium. He did receive a Queens Birthday reward for his services to the community.
    Good times indeed and what a privilege to have facilities like the King Alfred pools so available and with a very supportive management staff and capable volunteers to run the Shiverers.

    By DUDLEY SEIFERT (09/05/2020)
  • I was a member of the Shiverers in the late 1950s/early 1960s and remember the two adults on the right, but not their names, so when Ron Reeves said the man was George Carpenter that name rang a bell but then Dudley Seifert says his name is Doug Eley which again rang a bell so come on Ron and Dudley who is he? 🙂

    By Nick Lade (28/06/2020)
  • Hi Nick, I think that chap was George Carpenter who was a club member, but was also the King Alfred pool attendant. I remember George, Doug and Bullet Ely. Bullet was so named as he had a wicked shot as a polo player. I think I have a picture somewhere of George presenting me with a cup when I was very young. Ron Reeves.

    By Ronald Reeves (09/08/2020)
  • Just stumbled across these pages and was delighted to see several posts from Ron Reeves and mentions of Dudley Seifert, Brian Beale, Tom Green, David West, Doug, George and Bullet Ely and many other old pals from the mid 1950s to about 1967. And who could forget George Carpenter? Carl Wooton was my original Shiverers coach. That dates me a bit eh? I’ve lived in Australia since 1970 and so a little out of touch. Respond to me please through these pages or via the site editors. Love to hear from you. Graham Butler.

    By Graham Butler (03/07/2021)
  • I so remember The Shiverers Swimming Club. But I didn’t realise how many Portslade people were members. I remember Pat Clark, Beverly Doo, Ron Reeves, Chris McBrien as lived near me. Julie Christmas, Carol Dene, Geoff Atkins, Pete Thursby. Roger Dale…. I know where some of the old gang are like Julie, Chris, etc but would love to know where Pat Clark and Roger Dale are now. There was a friend of Roger Dale’s who lived at the top of Fairfield Gardens who was a friend of my cousins. Think he had pet mouse or rats in his garage..

    I must go through my photos and see what memories I can rekindle..

    By Cáit Grant (25/07/2021)
  • Hi, Graham Butler, I’m on email if you would like to contact me. Thanks, Ron Reeves.

    By Ron Reeves (26/01/2022)

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