Brighton Swimming Club Archives 1860 - Present

Brighton Swimming Club Floating Memories
From the private collection of Paul Farrington

Lottery funding

Brighton Swimming Club has received funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund to create an accessible archive that delves into a fascinating and extensive heritage of swimming in Brighton using archives that date back to 1860.

Established 1860

The club was founded on the 4th May 1860, at a meeting held at the Jolly Fisherman’s Inn in Market Street, Brighton – making it the oldest Swimming Club in England. It promotes an ongoing heritage of swimming in the sea, the pool, water polo, sub aqua, diving and synchronized swimming. Traditional annual events are still held, such as the Christmas Day Swim, which dates back to 1885, and the Pier to Pier race which dates back to 1936.

Unseen archives

Until now, the club’s archives have remained unseen and unknown to members of the club, the public and historians. Artefacts include reels of unique 16mm film footage from the 1940s, letterpress posters, scrapbooks, gala programmes, badges, competition adverts, letters, photographs and newspaper cuttings are among the fascinating items to be properly documented and conserved.

Access for all

The legacy of Floating Memories will be a archive at East Sussex Records Office, a film archive at Screen Archive South East, a permanent exhibition at the Brighton Fishing Museum and the website will allow the heritage of swimming and sea bathing in Brighton to be available for everyone to discover and enjoy.

Comments about this page

  • Hallo Paul. Just looked at the website and enjoyed it. Thank you, and good wishes to those people putting it together. Great stuff.

    By Jennifer Tonks (29/09/2011)
  • Great 16mm film from the 40’s from Roger Dunford. A stalwart of Brighton Swimming Club and the Surf Life Saving Association of GB. He also pioneered the sale of surfing equipment when he worked at Alpine Sports on the Western Road.

    By Martin Scrace (28/05/2019)

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