Visit Peebles - The Royal Burgh

Peebles Swimming Club

We are a very friendly and welcoming club - we welcome Non-members and are always looking for new members to join.

PEEBLES AMATEUR SWIMMING CLUB Swimming as a sport has always been popular in Peebles. As early as the turn of the present century, and when Tweed was at its original height, swimming galas were held in the Minister's Pool or 'The Dookets'. In addition to races, young men wearing a chest harness played 'salmon' to rod anglers who endeavoured to 'land' them!

It was only with the gift to the town of swimming baths by Sir Henry Ballantyne in 1919 that swimming and indeed competitive swimming could take place all the year round. Further, diving events which had hitherto been held in Tweed at 'The Dookets' were also transferred to the indoor venue. The first baths were built at the foot of Tweed Brae and it was here that the Peebles Amateur Swimming Club was instituted on 13 July 1922. The secretary and treasurer was J. Jardine and amongst the first office-bearers were Mrs Borthwick, and Messrs Runciman, Scott and Flint (YMCA). It is important to note that at this stage outdoor galas and other events continued to be held in the Tweed at 'The Minnie' .

The first bathmaster appointed was Joe Lamb and it is a testimony to his ability that he was to remain in the post until after the Second World War when he was succeeded by Joe Brock. Over the years both of these early bathmasters were highly influential in the encouragement of the youth of Peebles in competitive swimming. In 1934, for example, Margaret Smith held the Scottish 1,000 Yards record at fifteen minutes and twenty-five seconds. The same girl held the Scottish One Mile record in 1938 with a time of twenty-nine minutes and eleven seconds, and indeed Margaret Smith represented Scotland in the One Mile in 1935.

In the post-Second World War period and before the opening of the present baths at Castlehill, under the guidance of Joe Brock, Lynne Ellis and Jamie Murray will be remembered for their achievements in competitive swimming. Only with the opening of the new pool in 1984, a pool which meets international standards, could the swimmers of Peebles reach their full potential. In consequence, the membership of the swimming club has increased, and in general the sport of swimming has become even more popular

Historical content : taken from History of Peebles 1850 - 1990