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“WINDIVE 1958”



Windermere Hydro Hotel

The Hill of Oaks

Watersports “Lake Windermere”

Barracuda Trophy: Sheffield Branch

The weekend was the high spot of this year’s activities. Being held on the shores of the Lake Windermere, the gathering of branch members for meeting, dinner / dance, diving and sub-aqua sports under the code name “Windive” marking a further progressive step in NORFED Northern Branches Clubs activities.

Windive officially opened after lunch on Saturday the 4th, with a meeting of delegates from the sixteen branches of the Northern Region. Among matters discussed were plans for 1959, aims and objects of the Region, the inevitable problems of finances and the election of a progress group to advance the plans of the Region.

Elected to the committee were:

  • Chairman: Alan V Broadhurst,
  • Secretary: Richard B. Wharldall
  • Treasurer: Jack Wallace
  • Diving officer: John Lawton
  • Public relations officer: Douglas Balaam

It was agreed that activities for 1959 should include joint Easter and Whit diving meetings, an Autumn dinner-dance on the lines; Windive. Further activities to be investigated were a February baths gala and a Mediterranean holiday.

Also agreed was a per ca-pita levy on all members of the branches in the region to provide funds for the aim of a permanent fully equipped diving base in the North with accommodation, compressor and boat.

Interested onlookers at the meeting (fortunately not entirely silent!) were the Club Chairman, George Brookes and Vice-President, Oscar Gugen. They heard the delegates present declare their solidarity of support for the Region, and their determination to further its progress within the framework of the Club.

Meanwhile in another room of the hotel, Douglas Balaam was showing a selection from his diving films to a large, appreciative, and as far as his Palinuro film was concerned. Goggle-eyed audience.

Saturday 6-30:

Freshly bathed, shaved, powdered and perfumed some 130 members, their ladies and guests went into dinner.


The morning dawned damp and dull, for some we suspect it never dawned at all until lunchtime. Despite the teeming rain, Jack Wallace and his band of diving marshals, including Peter Gill and Geoff Caldwell, soon had the compressor pumping away out of the wet and the diving parties teeing off from the small island 50 yards from the Hill of Oaks diving base. Here the water is dark but clear and goes down almost sheer to 130 feet. Visibility was poorer than usual owing to the inflow of fresh rain water, but most diving parties were quite happy to go to 50 feet and some ventured farther, to 80 and 100 feet.

Meanwhile Douglas Balaam and his helpers were putting some novice divers through their paces in the 30 feet depth. Safety boat cover was most efficiently organised by Dick White. One dive had the distinction of being led by George Brookes as dive leader. It was reliably reported that for a youngster he did quite well!

After lunch came the sub-aqua sports, planned and organised by Bob and Dora Newett, Phil Baker and Vera Whitehead.

Prize-giving was an exciting affair – largely due to the generosity of the prize donors and the fact that they were presented by Mrs. George Brookes-but also the ultimate winners of both branch and individual awards were still being frantically worked out on a point gained basis until the actual moment of presentation, Dora Newett indeed reported to have swallowed a pencil, but it turned out to be indigestion.

Individual prize winner was:

T. Doran of the newly formed Furness Branch. He received a new non-zip Typhoon suit, generously donated by E. T. Skinner and Co.

Top Branch was Sheffield who won a Neptune depth gauge and compass donated by J. G. Fenn.

Among other prize donors who so magnificently supported Windive in this way were;

C. E. Heinke & Co, Lillywhites, Siebe Gorman, Dunlop Rubber Co, Club Mediterranee, Peter F. Hobson, Andrews and Dalton, Underwater Sports, Cogswell & Harrison and Richard Wharldall.

Thriving Region

Closing Windive, Alan V. Broadhurst thanked all those who had worked so hard to make it a success, the members who had joined so wholeheartedly into the spirit of the occasion, and the guests, some of whom had travelled long distances to be present. The Northern Region was in being, it was working and thriving, it would go on to bigger and better things.

(Recordings made during the diving and sports on Sunday by Alan Dixon were broadcast in the B.B.C. series “Thrills for a Living” on October 21st, 1958)

Windive 1959

  • Chairman (Alan Broadhurst)
  • Windermere Hydro Hotel
  • The Hill of Oaks
  • Saturday 4th- Sunday 5th October
  • Watersports “Lake Windermere”
  • Barracuda Trophy Furness Branch

Windive 1960

  • Chairman (Alan Broadhurst)
  • Glenridding
  • Watersports “Ullswater”
  • This was the first 1st National Fin-swimming Championships
  • Fin-swimming – A Lister – Huddersfield Branch
  • Barracuda Trophy – Huddersfield Branch

Windive 1962 .V.

  • Saturday 29th Sunday 30th September 1962
  • At Glenridding
  • Organised by Blackpool Branch
  • Watersports “Ullswater”
  • Diver of the Year: Derek Bacon – Wakefield Branch
  • Fin-swimming:
  • Barracuda Trophy: Halifax Branch

Friday 28th arrived and the Blackpool Branch Ambulance loaded to the gunwales with lungs, buoys, tents and assorted diving impedimenta not to mention the crowning glory of a Tannoy speaker and the advance party was duly collected. At last we arrived at Ullswater, and it was unanimously agreed that before setting things up we would meet members of the other club branches in the bar of the Glenridding Hotel. That was as far as we got. Work was forsaken – manana and the more virile searched for partners for the following night’s dance. Indeed, there is tale of the Branch Chairman who offered three of his young female club members for a pint of bitter! However, thirsts were quenched, acquaintances made, and sleep was contemplated.

The sleeping accommodation people have chosen are as varied as the people who are present. The Glenridding was full, the Patterdale was full, the Ullswater had its share and the more spartan camped out. Several of the more impecunious of the Blackpool Branch camped and even the ambulance was used for its original intention of housing semi-conscious bodies.

Internally happy, everyone went to bed. The Blackpool campers agreed to rise early to lay things out. Early, was understood by one and all to mean “about 08-00 hrs” and sleep stilled the advanced party’s tent …

“Good morning, campers” boomed over the Tannoy. A certain intellectual had decided that we really ought to be up early. Radio Hong Long issued early morning music along with a news summary in fluent Chinese. I chanced a glance at my watch and the worst was confirmed … 04-45! The old maxim of “If you can’t beat them, join them” prevailed and brought all from their beds. Breakfasts of all sorts were soon made and consumed; work commence.

The rural serenity of the lake and the mountains was broken by the chatter of activity. Divers struggled into wet-suits; mathematicians toyed with sines and radians to calculate courses; layabouts rigged up aqualungs and the dingy; the lazier members just cursed. At 07-15 hrs,

a suited diver arrived from the comfort of the Glenridding (he should have been there a 06-30 hrs) and diving commenced. Buoys were laid precisely to instructions shouted from behind a sextant on the shore; after an hour or so theses instructions were more vehement and replies more pointed. However, by 10-00 hrs the courses were all laid out, and minor adjustments of buoys and equipment took us to dinnertime.

During this preparation time others were far from idle; an underwater Lake Survey had been carried out by Darwen Branch and to best of our knowledge this was taking place. Throughout the morning divers, spectators, argumentative water skiers and sundry layabouts all arrived at the lakeside; by this time the ambulance had been transformed into an information centre and its occupants abstracted the admission fee from all-comers.

By lunch time all was set, introductions made, acquaintances re-acquainted the “inner-man” re-vitalised with liquid refreshment. The Tannoy boomed out once again over the buzz of conversation, “would competitors report to the information centre” races are about to commence.

The Windive Watersports

The first race was the men’s 100 metres (Chris Parkinson will swear the buoy was 50 metres from the shore). The competitors waded in to the start line, the gun cracked, and they were off. No sooner was that race decided than the women’s event was announced. Four Amazons took to water (two stalwarts without wet-suits – weaker sex?) and mind and muscle were again taxed. Then followed the brawn with the first heat of the Tug-of-War. Encouragement was yelled from the shore and eyes were glued on the white rag in the middle of the rope. Finally, strength showed, and the rag moved over the line. This was followed by the 250 metres ladies and gents race. With the results of these, the afternoon’s sports concluded. The piece-de-resistance was to follow; the dance.

Everyone disappeared to have a meal and titivate themselves for the evening’s festivities. According to the ticket, the dance started at 8-00 pm and the cruise started at 8-30 pm. As folk rolled up the weather clerk turned against us; this was the first disappointment of the weekend. Due to the weather, it was announced that it would be unwise to leave the pier, so the dance would be held on the stationary boat. Although the weather tried its hardest, nobody’s spirit (both kinds) were dampened. Tarpaulins were rigged around the deck and the “dance floor” made semi-waterproof. The band arrived to desolate scene; the boat was apparently deserted. However, by following their ears and noses they soon found that the bar was crowded to twice its capacity. Arming themselves with Dutch courage to face the open air on deck, they quickly set up their stands. The first chorus of Dixieland music soon brought the more energetic out from the subterranean orgy to demonstrate their various interpretations of the Twist. Within minutes everyone had forgotten the inclement weather and settled for serious dancing or serious drinking (There were even one or two diehards who managed to combine both). The night passed all to quickly and soon the dreaded call of “Time” was heard at the bar. Within the next hour the barmaids had finally convinced the revellers that they really couldn’t serve any more, so those who could still stand made for the dance floor. All too soon Midnight came and, like Cinderella, we all parted. Some just couldn’t say no and re-installed themselves in the bars of their respective hotels or someone else’s hotels for that matter. Toasts were wholeheartedly drunk to the makers of the new Licensing Laws and, the imbibing continued. The time had to come when either the drinker or the licence had had enough. This was around 2-30 a.m. so the sober saw the drunks home and the boys saw the girls home. Despite the fact that the weather clerk had pulled out all the stops, sleep once again brought tranquillity to Ullswater.

At the more respectable hour of 8-30 a.m. the information centre disgorged umpteen bodies (the elements had put paid to the tent-poles; its inhabitants were too “tired” to care, so they piled in on top of their colleagues who were of a similar frame of mind). When eyes were accustomed to daylight and heads returned to the right size, the full damage of the storm was appreciated. A new river isolated the car park, the buoys were all over the place and the Lake had risen about two feet.

Difficulties were made to be overcome and, with slight amendments to the programme, mid-day saw the afternoon sports ready for the off.

Sunday morning:

Annual General Meeting of Northern Federation was held in the Village Hall. We were privileged by the presence of our President, Sir Wavell Wakefield, who again showed interest in NORFED. The meeting was well attended and, gave members a sight into the organisation and the intentions behind NORFED.

By lunchtime mild chaos reigned. Due to the lack of car parking spaces, the Sunday visitors had to fit in where they could. The information centre, instead of dominating the proceedings was slowly hemmed in, until Tannoy instructions from the sea of vehicles were all that identified it.

The first race was the 1000 metres. Although it was intended to be round the 500-metre buoy, it had to be a “Round the Island” race to the fact that the buoy was AWOL. Despite the rough water, people entered the water and the winner showed cross-channel endurance by the way he covered the course.

The individual races were now completed, and the tug-of-war finals were held. Blackpool (who somehow managed to get a bye in the first round) challenged Halifax. Halifax emerged winners; Blackpool pleaded they were exhausted with the work they had already done. The starting line for the next event was the island; Underwater Navigation. Four teams of two and their snorkel covers were strung out behind a little outboard. The teams submerged at two-minute intervals and aimed in their best, bee-lines for a fixed point on the shore. No sooner had the last team surfaced than the underwater equipment changed began. This involved submarine activities by the side of the pier. The stalwarts who had entered for a lot of the events were now beginning to feel the strain. However, there only remained two events. The “Cross lake relay” was soon underway. It was decided that instead of going across the Lake and back, the small bay on the shore would be used. Although the distance was shorter, (which was welcomed by the competitors) it was better for the spectators, who could see the race in front of them instead of figures disappearing in to the distance. The three teams entered the water and the final gun cracked. The fins cut a wake through the water, the change-overs made, and the winner ploughed home to victory.

The only event now left was the Underwater Treasure Hunt. Here for once brain and skill were more important than brawn. However, the organiser was a little too optimistic for the competitors gave up at the first clue. The team which had made the most progress was declared the winner.

So, Windive V had come to an end. The spectators had gone; the competitors struggled out of their wet suits. Equipment was loaded into vehicles and farewells were made. Soon all that remained was the Blackpool ambulance, by six o’clock that was packed up and ready for the off. As we left Ullswater to return to its unruffled self, we thought, as indeed must everyone as they return home, of the indelible memories of Windive V. Memories, tales and rumours were inseparable. Most of the tales resulted from the Dance in one way or another; like a chap who drank whisky until he fell off his chair; two 16-year olds who had their first taste of rum and had to be carried home; one of these who aired rude words and had to be reprimanded in no uncertain manner; equally rude suggestions as to how the tentpoles were broken. These are just a few which stick in my mind, all aspects of Windive V.

J.R. Inston


  • NORFED Committee:
  • President: Lord Wavell Wakefield
  • Chairman: P. Carter Blackpool Branch Lancashire
  • Vice Chairman: Haydn. Howard Sellafield Branch Cumberland.
  • Secretary: C. D. Balaam Bradford Branch Yorkshire
  • Treasurer: C. Dickinson
  • Minutes Secretary: Miss. G. S. Wilson
  • Diving Officer: G. Farnworth
  • Medical Officer: Dr. Tom Barker Halifax Branch Yorkshire
  • Annual Dinner Dance and AGM
  • 1st November 1964
  • The Lakeside Hotel
  • Newby Bridge
  • Branches represented: – Blackpool-Bradford-Bolton-Burnley- Darwen- Halifax- Harrogate-Furness and Sheffield.

There were about 20 members at the and it was noted that several members took the opportunity to have a joint dive in the morning, and others were still diving in the afternoon. It is not the intention that the full minutes of the meeting should be given here, as three copies of these do, as a matter of course, go out to every branch, with the agenda for the next meeting.

The presentations were again by our President Lord Wavell Wakefield. Diver of the Year was given to A F Ogden – Furness

Windive 1965

Committee members:

  • President: Lord Wavell – Wakefield
  • Chairman: Peter Carter – Blackpool Branch – Lancashire
  • Vice Chairman: Haydn Howard – Sellafield Branch – Cumberland.
  • Secretary: C. D. Balaam – Bradford Branch – Yorkshire
  • Treasurer: Bill Sutcliffe – Halifax Branch – Yorkshire
  • Diving Officer: Ian Watson – Darwen Branch – Lancashire
  • Medical Officer: Dr Tom Barker – Halifax Branch – Yorkshire
  • Minutes Secretary: Miss Gayle Wilson – Blackpool Branch – Lancashire
  • Magazine Editor: Richard Inston – East Lancs Branch – Lancashire
  • Ass. Editor Ted Wincott – Blackpool Branch – Lancashire

Annual Dinner Dance

Saturday 13th to Sunday 14th February

The Queens Hydro

“Windive Watersports”

Barracuda Trophy: Not awarded

Diver of the Year: Not awarded

Saturday afternoon

The weekend started off with films on the Saturday afternoon to an audience of over 60 and were mainly instructional being devoted to “mouth to mouth” method of resuscitation. They were excellent films; Gerald Farnworth knows where to get hold of them if any branch is interested. We had a large T.V. set in the room and could see some of the if the indoor Fin-Swimming Championships from Crystal Palace. Whilst the commentary was chaotic it did seem that with proper organisation the underwater shots could have appeal to T.V. audiences. Three NORFED branches competed, Halifax, Huddersfield and Harrogate and we took two second places.

The Annual Dinner:

Considering that a large contingent had gone to Crystal Palace, we were quite happy with the number that sat down to dinner; 110, more than last year. We had excellent support from the General Committee, Harry Gould, the Club Chairman on his first visit to NORFED; two very familiar faces, Oscar Gugen, founder of the B.S.A.C. and Colin McLeod, immediate past chairman; Stanley Thomas, the Club Insurance Advisor and Roger Bruce, the Features Editor of Triton.

NORFED Chairman Peter Carter gave the toast to the British Sub Aqua Club and gave the first of the Isle of Man Airlift and immediately received 17 Applications.

In response, Harry Gould referred to the rapid growth of the club, the esteem in which we are held by the rest of the diving world, the National Coach Brian Booth, the new Diving Officer handbook, delegate voting at the forthcoming A.G.M. and the Brighton Conference. Here it is hoped to have Jacques Cousteau. Piccard, Dumas, Commander Kelly and Miss Honer Frost on the lecture platform and the Underwater Film Festival with entries from all over the world. We are pleased to hear that NORFED’s President, Lord Wakefield of Kendal will be presiding at the dinner on Saturday. Harry Gould then referred to the expeditions this year sponsored or encouraged by the Club one to Greece, with Brighton Branch to the Red Sea.

At home, we were exploring the possibilities of one or more National Diving Centre; one at Plymouth was a possibility and NORFED were investigating the Isle of Man. We also heard something of the latest work the Scientific and Technical Group to further archaeological discovery, a “wreck school” where a wreck would be sunk off Swanage and objects placed on it so that instruction could be conducted actually underwater. The Chairman wound up by paying tribute to NORFED for the success it had, had in staying together for eight years. He felt that with the rapid growth of the B.S.A.C some form of organisation would become necessary and we had shown that the Federation idea really would work.

Blackpool Branch doing the organisation of the event

Windive 1966

Election of Officers:

  • President: Lord Wavell Wakefield
  • Chairman; Ken Crow – Bradford Branch Yorkshire
  • Vice Chairman: Alan Watkinson – East Lancs Branch
  • Diving Officer: John Holdsworth – Halifax Branch Yorkshire
  • Other Officers who agreed to continue:
  • Ass. Secretary: Gayle Wilson – Blackpool Branch
  • Secretary: Doug Balaam – Bradford Branch
  • Treasurer: Bill Sutcliffe – Halifax Branch Yorkshire
  • Medical Officer: Dr Tom Baker – Halifax Branch Yorkshire
  • Editor: Richard Inston
  • Ass Editor: Bernard Scott – Blackpool Branch Lancashire

NORFED is probably unique in that nominations are never given any thought until the A.G.M. starts. It may seem rather a casual way, but it seems to work and this year has produced three first class officers for next year’s committee:

NORFED Annual Dinner Dance

  • 26th-27th March
  • The Lakeside Hotel, Newby Bridge, Lake Windermere
  • “Windive Watersports”
  • Barracuda Trophy: Furness Branch
  • Diver of the Year: Not awarded

Despite squally weather, NORFED’s AGM and combining a dinner-dance and other events was a tranquil affair. The weekend was an unqualified success. There may be several reasons for this but one was certainly not the weather. Possibly it was our return to the Lakes after 4 years absence; possibly the organisation which was worthily carried out by four separate branches; possibly the very co-operative management at the Lakeside; possibly a combination of all three. Our President, Lord Wakefield, certainly noticed the sense of community and purpose and who is a better judge of Social Gatherings than Lord Wakefield.

The Film Festival! Organised by East Lanc’s Branch was an innovation, and its aim was to encourage branches and individual members to show their films and, perhaps to learn something from each other’s efforts. Although we had been offered a trophy by the new magazine “Underwater World”, this was not intended to be a fully-fledged festival; it was simply to be a time for branches to show their efforts and for all to learn from each other. This we did and we were treated to friendly criticism from Phil Smith – who last year walked off with five awards at the Brighton Film Festival. There is no doubt that following this there will certainly be entries from NORFED at this year’s Brighton in September and with the facilities we have at St. Abbs and the Isle of Man we should stand a good chance of success and Phil Smith agrees with us. Phil showed us some of his slides and suggested techniques to be used. This showed that slides can be just as satisfying as cine and less expensive. Six films were shown and there is doubt from the appreciation and so much interest that a more ambitious affair will be staged next year. It was gratifying to see East Lancs, one of the original supporters of NORFED returning to active participation and making a competent contribution to the success of the weekend.

The Dinner Dance:

115 people sat down to dinner, the highest attendance for six years. At the top table we had our President, lord Wakefield of Kendal; Oscar Gugen, Vice President and Founder Chairman of the Club; Phil Smith, General Committee member and Sports Officer; and Brian Booth, National Diving Coach. The Secretary welcomed guests on behalf of the host branch, Bradford, and called the roll of the Branches. Lord Wakefield in his speech said that NORFED still managed to be first in its field with achievements of the past year. He mentioned the Airlift to the Isle of Man, our developing of the sport of river racing and our consideration of the foundation of a NORFED Scientific and Technical Group. He was delighted that Blackpool had been chosen as the venue for BSAC Clubs A.G.M. next year.

In responding for BSAC, Oscar Gugen was in top form. He spoke of the future of sea-bed research, of the newly formed N.A.U.I. (National Association of Underwater Instructors) and the respect for the BSAC throughout the world.

A dance and bar followed and proved to be a lively and friendly affair. The tombola run by Bradford showed a nett profit of £8 which went to supplement the sports prizes. East Lancs provided a tape recorder and dancing continued until 2 am.

The A.G.M

Again, a record attendance of over 80 from 11 Branches. It was encouraging for “old hands” to see fresh faces with new interest and enthusiasm.

In brief, the points were:

Accounts: A loss of £19 attributed mainly to the cost of the magazine over the advertising income.

Increase in NORFED levy: The present levy of 2/- had stood since 1958 and it was agreed that it be increased to 4/- for 12 months to subsidise the magazine until advertising caught up with cost. It was left to branches to increase members subs, or to pay out of branch funds.

Norfed News and Views; The Secretary reiterated the purpose of the magazine was to report various committee proceedings and to circularise matters of branch interest. Richard Inston spoke of the difficulties of the past year and that he thought that now NN & V could not be self-supporting. It was hoped that with the help of all members, the extra £10 needed in advertising revenue could be found. It was stressed from the chair that the magazine was the members own newsletter and anything they thought suitable for publication, either about branches or themselves, an opinion or complaint; they only need to write to the Editor.

NORFED Scientific & Technical Group:

The New Chairman Ken Crow told us briefly of his ideas; To introduce a Scientific & Technical Group into NORFED, I wrote to each club listed in N.N&V. The reply was sufficiently encouraging to merit attempts to set up a working committee whose task will be to formalise an embryo organisation. Now S.&T.G. of BSAC, is only active chiefly in the South of England and is organised only in groups; the main groups being Archaeology, Marine, Geology, Medical, Photography and Technical. I find it difficult at this stage to visualise a group that would be active in all these fields.

During the first twelve months, I envisage a period of getting together to get to know each other, perhaps over a 2 or 3 week-end dives and meetings which will give us time to consider what fields should be explored in depth and allow the emergence of group co-ordinators. I must stress at this point the importance of careful planning beforehand to ensure maximum effectiveness on diving expeditions.

I also feel that during this initial period, I think it will be necessary to develop certain basic pieces of equipment and this could be undertaken by local groups as part of an overall programme; things that come to mind include underwater lighting rigs, a metal detector, echo sounder and underwater communications. It would also be useful to arrange a non-diving programme which would include visits, conferences and it may be possible to arrange lecture courses in specific subjects. I will try to form a coordinating group, the first task of which will be to visit interested clubs and discuss plans in more detail and then a programme can be drawn up and circulated to all clubs; thereafter only these clubs would be informed.

Here’s hoping that the NORFED S.&T.G. can prove to be an adequate and complementary group to that of the South.

Hand Signals:

Gerry Jackson protested about the change in signals and got plenty of support from the meeting. Gerald Farnworth as a past member of the National Diving Committee explained that despite the opposition BSAC had decided to let the new signals stand, as reversing back would now only creat more confusion.

First Class Divers on the National Diving Committee:

Furness branch had the support of the meeting in asking that National Diving Committee have all First-Class divers allowed to sit on the BSAC Committee. The Secretary has forwarded this resolution accordingly.

The Watersports:

  • Lord Wakefield presented the winners

Barracuda Shield:

  • Furnace branch, which they now hold until next year won with 84 points and Halifax were second with 47 points.

Obstacle Race:

  • 1st C. Reeves Halifax;
  • 2nd J. Scanlon Furness
  • 3rd J. Slater Bradford.

Tug of War:

  • 1st Furness branch;
  • 2nd Halifax branch.

Underwater Navigation Race:

  • 1st Furness branch;
  • 2nd East Lancs;
  • 3rd Furness branch
  • 4th Furnace branch.

Dingy Race:

  • 1st Furness branch
  • 2nd Halifax branch.

Action in Blackpool:

Embracing plans are being made by NORFED for the staging of BS-AC AGM at Blackpool in March 1967. Blackpool will be the host branch and a couple of weeks ago “Triton” fought its way along the famous Golden Mile, packed with illumination sightseers, to find out all about it.

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