Club History - Formation and Early Years

At a public meeting in Crowborough held on 20th September 1976, Beacon Swimming Club was formed by David Reeves, who became the Secretary, Nicholas Levine, the then Headmaster of Beacon School, who became the first President, Charles Hudd who became the first Chairman and Bill Johnston, who was the swimming coach at Beacon school, and became the Club’s first coach.


A Committee of fourteen enthusiasts was formed into a Committee and a set of rules for the Club were drafted. It was also proposed to have synchronised swimming, water polo and lifesaving sections in due course.


The Club was based at Beacon School, Crowborough and, as the majority of swimmers were pupils at the school, Bill Johnston was able to 'encourage' them to attend early morning training, which started at 6.30a.m. and finished at approximately 8.30 a.m.


Beacon attended its first away GaIa in November, 1976 at Burgess Hill and were at home to Tonbridge in December. In 1977 swimmers came from Uckfield and Andrew Holden came with them and later became Club President.  With the training routine and the excellence of Bill Johnston’s coaching success came quickly for the Club and several swimmers represented Sussex in the 1977 lnter-County Championships with the Club’s first Club Championships being held that year. In the late 1970s and early 1980s swimmers from the Club qualified for Beacon School in the English Secondary Schools National finals for several years in a row competing against other top swimming schools in the country such as Millfield - a great achievement.


Anna Dadswell, who joined the Club as a ten year old quickly became one of the Club’s leading lights and forty years later still holds several All Time Club records – an amazing achievement. In 1978, Anna not only came first in the County Championships swimming butterfly but Anna also represented England on a number of occasions in the Age Group International Matches and was included in the National Youth Swimming Squad.