A swimming club which can trace its origins as far back as 1918 is to close.
Members of the Cambridge Ladies Swimming Club have decided to hang up their swimming caps with assistant secretary Alex Seddon saying the primary reasons were financial, the lack of members and the lack of volunteer support.
Currently based at Almondbury Community School the club initially met at the Ramsden Street Baths, demolished in 1972, and then at the legendary Cambridge Road Baths until 1998 when it too closed down.
The Ramsden Street Baths were the venue for swimming lessons for many thousands of Huddersfield schoolchildren in the 1950s and 1960s.
Now club members gathered on their regular swimming night to thank secretary Shirley Beever, 81, known inevitably as ‘Miss Swimming’ for her incredible, unstinting service which dates back to 1964.
She has taught hundreds if not thousands of grateful beginners how to swim with a history of service from 1953 to 2001.
Alex said: “It’s very sad but we now have only three ladies and 18 juniors. When Cambridge Road Baths closed in 1998 that’s when membership began slipping and it’s continued ever since.
“I remember Shirley teaching me how to swim. It was not her that we were frightened of, though, but a man called ‘Frank’ who ran the groups with a rod of iron. Even as children we respected Shirley because we knew she knew what she was talking about.
“My three children have come through Cambridge Ladies and Shirley taught my children to swim. Hopefully, the three ladies will swim at the new leisure centre that is opening this summer at Springwood, I don’t know about the juniors.”
Miss Beever said: “I still swim at the John Smith’s Stadium when I am in the mood and I am still involved with swimming but it is sad that the club is giving up. At its peak we had over 200 members.”
Thomas Berry, 16, of Almondbury, added: “All good things come to an end. I have been a member of the club since I was five-years-old when Shirley taught me. It’s upsetting but there it is.”
The three ladies will enjoy an historic last swim at the baths on Thursday, January 29 and that will be that.