Great Yarmouth Swimming Club can trace its history back to 1885 when a club of the same name was using the sea for County Championship races and Breydon Water for "Aquatic Sports". Mr Lucas Hunt, a local solicitor, was its first secretary.
1903 saw the formation of the Britannia Swimming Club under the leadership of a Mr Nat Tuddenham. Every member of this club had to "prove himself to be an efficient swimmer" and obtain a proficiency certificate before being allowed to swim from the town's Britannia Pier. Other founder members were the Delf brothers, A W Doig, W Dingle, F Baird, J Farrant and G Wilson.
A rival to the Britannia Swimming club, called the T.I.S. had been formed under the direction of Mr W E Green. This club later became known as the Otters Swimming Club whose founder president and chairman was Mr Humphrey Lynde. In 1914 it was suggested that the two clubs should amalgamate but this union was deferred until the end of the First World War.
On June 18th 1919 the two clubs merged, forming the Great Yarmouth Swimming Club (GYSC) under the chairmanship of Councillor Frederick Brett.
In 1921 the club was using a pool on Southtown Common but moved to the new Great Yarmouth Bathing Pool when it opened in July 1922.
The move to the new pool also prompted the club to allow women to join for the first time as a Ladies Section was formed. The club at this time was under the guidance of Mr F E Baird as Chairman and Mr Chas H Beckett as Secretary.
The Great Yarmouth Bathing pool was an open-air, unheated, salt-water pool. It was 100 yards long and used by the club until it was demolished in 1980. The club then moved to another open-air pool at the Great Yarmouth Grammar School.
Today the Great Yarmouth Swimming Club is a very successful Amateur Swimming Association (ASA) affiliated club. It still uses the former Grammar School pool, now thankfully indoor and heated, as well as the 25 metres Phoenix Pool in Bradwell.
The silver trophies from the Britannia, Otters and GYSC, many of which bear the names of these founder members, are still presented today at the annual Great Yarmouth Swimming Club Championships.