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Club History

In July 1886 the public baths was opened at St Petersgate and before the end of that year Stockport Swimming Club had been founded. William Hopwood joined the club in 1912 at the age of seven and in the year 2006, his daughters and grandchildren are still serving members of the club. In these early days of the club, Water Polo was the principle club activity and "Bill" was an active member of the clubs Water Polo team. After the second world war the popularity of Water Polo declined and the club concentrated on the teaching and coaching of swimming.

The club first came to prominence in 1950 when Miss A Garnett won the 100yds Cheshire Ladies Breastroke title and in the late 50's and 60's with S. Cooper achieving the M&D Breastroke championship in 1959 and 1960 and Jean Bowlas taking the Breastroke championship in 1963 to 1966.

In 1957 Di Wilkinson, emerged as a brilliant star to dominate the local swimming scene and becoming an international swimmer, ranked amongst the top handful of girl swimmers in the world, she once shatterd nineteen records in one week at Blackpool. Both Di Wilkinson and Mike Turner went on to become Olympic swimmers.

In the late 70's one of the clubs teenage swimmers,Stephen Dockery, started long distance swimming, winning many of the open water championships he entered and finally a successful England to France channel swim on the 6th August 1979. He also represented the UK in many International events.

The club has also, in its time, organised a number of successful swimming events. In 1974 the first Jubilee galas started attracting entries from all over the country and also the very popular "Shrimps" gala which, unfortunatly, came to an end because of new rulings by the ASA. The club the launched a Masters Swimming Gala in 1983, which became as popular as the "Shrimps", and again attracting entries nationwide. This came to an end when the Sharston pool closed as there was not a pool , in the area, that could host the event at that time.

Ian Alan Ainsworth joined Stockport Swimming Club in the mid 70s Ian was a succesful long distance and open water swimmer winning many titles. Ian represent Great Britain at the Damme-Brugge Championship in Belgium.

At the time that the "Masters" was formed, the club created an adult swimming section to the Club night. This section has a core of regular swimmers and has taught many adults to swim and provided training for more accomplished swimmers. In 1991, Keith Stones, a Heart transplant patient, Presented the Club with his Silver Medal that he won in the Third European Championships for Heart transplant Patients, in appreciation of the training and advice that the adult section gave him proir to the event.

Stockport Swimming Club wish to pay tribute to Frank Dockery who died on the 29th August 2008 after suffering for many years from stokes and heart attacks. Frank served for many years on the committee and was responsible in setting up the adult swimming groups in the early 80s, initially at the Petersgate baths in Stockport and later at Cheldle and also for a brief time at Victoria Baths in Levenshume. Frank was the instigator of the nationally popular Shrimps Gala and later, the equally popular Masters Gala. These two event helped to established Stockport Swimming Club as a popular respected club.

The club continues to promote swimming to swimmers of all ages, and holds internal competitions throughout the year to provide encouragement to all its members.

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Personal Histories

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