A BRIEF HISTORY OF HAYLE SURF LIFE SAVING CLUB
The formation of Hayle Surf Life Saving Club was first considered following fatalities at both ends of Hayle beach – Gwithian and the Estuary, in November 1960. The first meeting of those interested in forming a Surf Life Saving Club for Hayle was held at the Passmore Edwards Institute in Hayle. The meeting was attended by local swimmers, those interested in Lifesaving and First Aid. Porthtowan Surf Life Saving Club were invited to attend and gave a Reel and Line demonstration.
In the following Spring of 1961 Hayle SLSC was formed. The first meetings were held at the Bluff Hotel on the Towans. John Dellow, proprietor of the Hotel, was elected as Club Chairman. Rick Bunt, local businessman and entrepreneur was elected as Club Secretary. Tom Prisk, an Engineer with Holmans and with three years experience with St Agnes SLSC, was elected Club Captain and by June/July of 1961 had his first team qualified with three Bronze Medallions ready to patrol Hayle beach.
The objectives of the Club then were much the same as now:-
1. To provide and maintain modern Surf Life Saving equipment for use on Hayle beach by teams of volunteers trained in rescue, artificial respiration and first aid.
2. To study local beach conditions and warn bathers of dangers.
3. To instil and maintain a spirit of comradeship among members of the club and to promote and encourage the formation of more Surf Life Saving Clubs in Cornwall.
During the last 40 years the club has kept pace with the changes in life saving techniques and equipment. Our Headquarters overlooking Hayle beach and estuary have evolved with the clubs development over this time. However over the last few years due to the rapid growth in our membership since the launch of our Nipper section in October 1997 we have sadly outgrown these premises and after six long years and a lot of hard work and determination we have managed to secure the long term future of the club by raising nearly half a million pounds to build our new clubhouse on an adjacent site which we moved into on 28 May 2005. We are extremely grateful to all our funders – Sport England (lottery revenue), Single Regeneration Budget managed by SW Regional Development Agency, Neighbourhood Renewal Fund, Penwith District Council, County Environmental Trust, Hayle Town Council, Hayle Forum plus our own club funds. Contractors Nicholls Builders have done an excellent job with the two storey building designed by Ben Cartlidge, sadly no longer with us. The ground floor consists of a large gear store; male, female and disabled changing rooms and toilets; a lobby; first aid room and disabled lift to first floor. The first floor houses a large training/meeting room; balcony; office and store room. See photos of club house on home page and clubhouse hire etc page.
The Club is proud of its record over the last 40 plus years of not losing a single patient whilst patrolling Hayle beach, saving countless numbers by rescue and good advice, and by training hundreds of young people to continue this community service.
A development within the organisation, following on from the necessity for Lifeguards to maintain physical fitness, has been the establishment of Surf Life Saving as a sport. Over the years a programme of competitions have developed incorporating Open Water events (beach/sea) and Still Water events (swimming pools) in all age groups. These include various disciplines that test the skills and fitness of our members both individually and in teams and include such events as the Surf Race, Rescue Board race, Surf Ski race, Torpedo Rescue race, Inshore Rescue Boat race, Iron man and Diamond Lady events, Beach Flags, Beach Sprint and 2K run.
Competition can be for fun at local twilight events or more seriously at Regional, National or InternationalChampionships. Members of the club have been selected in recent years forthe Great Britain team, England team and Cornwall Youth team.
Surf Life Saving has much to offer and is something that the whole family can participate in. Our members are aged from 7 to 70 and range from Professional Lifeguards to Triathletes to people who just want to keep physically fit or wish to gain knowledge in Life saving techniques, First Aid and resuscitation. Our philosophy as a club is to educate, provide a public service, improve skills and physical fitness and to above all have fun.
We are always keen to see anyone who thinks they might like to join us and you are very welcome to attend some of our club sessions before you are required to become a member.