The Formation of the Club

The Colne Public Baths (swimming pool and slipper baths) opened in 1909. Slipper baths were washing facilities for the many people who at that time had no baths in their own home. Also at that time there were many more active church and chapels each with large congregations. A feature of each church/chapel was a men's institute held in their Sunday school halls with facilities for darts, table tennis, snooker, billiards etc. Most of these institutes also had cricket and football teams and played in the local Sunday School Leagues.

When the baths opened a logical extension to these activities was to form a swimming group. For a couple of years these swimming groups visited the pool separately, but in 1912, they got together and formed the Colne Amateur Swimming Club. The inaugrural meeting was held on the 10th April 1912.

Copy of the first year’s minutes:

The first meeting was held on 10th April 1912

Chairman: Richard Duerden
That the date of the Club’s outing be either June 8th or 16th.
That the Secretary publish in the local paper copies of letters sent to Town Clerk.
That the member’s cards be Blue.
That Miss Bertha Rushton be ladies captain.
That we ask A Fayer Esq., to be President.
That we run 3 Semi Galas along with Polo matches and Blackpool be asked to come and play our team at our annual gala.

Meeting held Sunday May 11th

Chairman: Richard Duerden
That we accept the terms of £20/0/0 for the use of the baths for the season.
That the Club pay nine pence towards the expenses of each member for the outing.
That we hold a semi gala on June 5th.
That we ask Burnley to play polo and swim squadron at the gala.
That we have a 25yds. Race for males, a 25yds for females, a diving competition, a comic race, and ask Burnley to find two of their members to swim an exhibition race.
That we allow 30/- for prizes.

Meeting held June 10th

That we accept the revised terms of the corporation viz £23/10/0.
That the members be on the same terms this season.
That we have one price at the semi gala viz 3d.
That we have 200 tickets printed.
That Ingham’s do the printing

Meeting held June 18th

Chairman: Richard Duerden
That the minutes of last meeting be confirmed as read.
That we hold a semi-gala on July 24th.
That we have a school boy’s race and that we try and get 4 boys from each school in the town to enter.
That we give three prizes to the boys.
That they are medals value 1st. 7/6d. 2nd. & 3rd. 3/9d.each.
That we have a 25yds. & 50yds club race for males.
That the ladies race be left for the ladies of the Committee to arrange.
That we engage a professional to give an exhibition.
That we ask Accrington to play polo.
That the Blackpool trip be open to members and friends.
That we do not give any extras to Mr & Mrs Swaine.
That the application for the ball belonging to the Club for use in the canal or reservoir be refused.

Meeting held June 24th

Chairman: Richard Duerden
That the minute no 5 of 10th June be rescinded.
That the first prize medal value be 5/-.
That we do not give above two medals.
That the admission for gala be as before, but 2d. each schoolboys.
That we charge no entrance fees for the various events.
That Mr. Walter Lightowler be starter.
That Mr Charles Carey be asked to judge.
That Councillor James Greenwood be asked to the Chairman.
That we have a nightdress & bottle race.
That the “Times Office” does the printing and that we get 150 programmes.
That we have two sets of polo caps made.
That A. Higson, W Lightowler, F. Titherington – chooses polo team, and in the event of any of the above not accepting G. Nicholls be asked.
That Mr. Richard Duerden & Mr. George Mitchell purchase the medals for the gala.

Meeting held July 1st

Chairman: Richard Duerden
That we have a squadron race for boys on July 24th at the semi-gala.
That we have a shield for competition amongst schoolboys.
That the price be £2/10/0.
That the Club purchase the shield outright.
That we go to Accrington to play polo on July 17th.
That we ask Councillor T Hey to be Chairman at the Semi-Gala July 24th.
That no member be allowed to swim in any gala who has not paid his entrance fee for the first gala.
That we do not have Professor Smith on July 24th.

Meeting held August 6th

Chairman: Richard Duerden
That it be recorded in the minutes, the appreciation of the services of Mr. Victor Hoyle upon his resignation as trainer.
That the selection of trainer to be left with Mr. Walter Lightowler.
That our next gala be in aid of Colne Cottage Hospital.
That we leave the date to the Baths Committee.
That we have a 50yds open race for ladies.
That we have a 50yds, 100yds open race and a 25yds Club race for males.
That we have a 25yds. Ladies Club race.
That the entrance be sixpence.
That the Club members give a diving exhibition.
That we invite Blackburn Town to come and play polo.
That we have a comic race.
That the price of admission be sixpence and one shilling.
That we do not have reserved seats.

Meeting held August 27th

Chairman: Richard Duerden
That the Hospital Gala be held on Saturday September 14th.
That Percy Myers be given the printing.
That we have 200 programmes.
That we have 100 window bills.
That we get 150 one shilling and 450 sixpenny tickets.
That the entrance fee for open races be 1/-
That the entries close September 7th.
That Miss Watts, Miss Slater & Miss Hannan be ladies stewards.
That we have a 1st & 2nd prize in 25yds ladies race.

Meeting held September 23rd.

Chairman: Richard Duerden.
That Mr. Preston and the secretary meet the representatives from the Baths committee to arrange terms for winter.
That we hold members social on November 5th.
That the social be for club members only.
That we have light refreshment.
That the price be ninepence.
That we hold a social on New Year’s Eve.
That we try and get the Ambulance Rooms.
That Mr. Duerden engages a hall for the annual dance early in February.

Meeting held October 26th

Chairman: Richard Duerden.
That we hold our annual gala on November 23rd.
That we have a 25yds ladies race.
That we have a 25yds race for males.
That we have a 50yds race.
That we have a 50yds open race.
That we have a Ladies Championship
That we have an exhibition swimmer.
That we include in the programme the race between Foley & Clough.
That we have a polo match.
That we have a comic event.
That Mr. Fryer be asked to preside at the gala.
That the value of prizes be as follows:
25yds Ladies Race 7/6d & 5/- & 2/6d.
25yds Males Race 7/6d & 5/- & 2/6d.
50yds Males Race 15/- & 10/- & 5/-
50yds Open Race 15/- & 10/- & 5/-
100yds Club Championship 10/- & 2/6d.
50yds Ladies “ 5/- & 2/6d.
Foley & Clough 5/- & 2/6d.
That the admittance be 9 pence and six pence.
That the entrance fee be as before.

Meeting held 4th December

Chairman: Richard Duerden.
That the balance sheet for the summer season be confirmed as read.
That the photographs of the committee and polo team be paid for by the club.
That the secretary be allowed £2/10/- for expenses.
That the Ladies club go on during the winter season.
That the males club go on during the winter season, if attendance guarantees working without loss.
That the sum of £1/0/0 be allowed from the funds of the club towards a presentation to Mr. Lightowler.
That Mr. A. Messenger, G. Lovell, G. Foley be appointed on General Committee

Meeting held January 12th 1913

Chairman: Richard Duerden
That G. Lovell be recommended by the committee to the position of ladies trainer subject to the ladies confirmation of same.
That George Foley be appointed trainer in the male section.
That Mr. Wildman of Foulridge be asked to accept the position of polo trainer to the club.
That the following additions be added to the general rules of the club.
That no member be allowed to swim in any gala, unless wearing full regulation costume and slips.
That the club championship race be altered to 200 yds.
That the committee have confidence in the secretary and chairman after explanation of complaint received from the ladies.