Kettering swimming club recreate iconic photo

John Withpetersen, Tom Reed, Don Ward (president), Allan Withpetersen, Richard Harmer, Roger Patrick, Rob Mitchell
John Withpetersen, Tom Reed, Don Ward (president), Allan Withpetersen, Richard Harmer, Roger Patrick, Rob Mitchell

Kettering Amateur Swimming Club members gathered at Wicksteed Park to recreate an iconic photo from the 1920s of swimmers jumping into the park lake.

The club is celebrating its centenary this year and the photograph shows members from the its earlier days.

A group of seven current members, of varying ages, visited the lake last Thursday evening to recreate the shot from the 1920s.

One of them, the current chairman Roger Patrick, 74, is the son of one of the men diving into the water in the original photo.

Members also held a water polo match in the lake.

Mr Patrick said: “This was an opportunity for the club members to recreate the past, when swimming and playing water polo in the lake were the club norm.

“I saw the photograph at the Wicksteed Park archive last year and came up with the idea of recreating it for the centenary as well as having a water polo match in the lake.”

Mr Patrick said the evening was fantastic and added: “The Kettering mayor came down to watch and stayed for a while and there were more than 100 people watching what we were doing.

“It was great fun.

“The original photograph showed the start of a race and I knew that in that era the swimming club used to have races and water polo matches in the lake there.

“The work Wicksteed Park have done to create the new wooden pontoons is absolutely fantastic.

“I would urge anyone who hasn’t seen the new lake yet to have a look.”

Lake was central feature of park

The lake was one of the park’s major attractions when it was formally opened in 1921 by founder Charles Wicksteed.

It has been returned to its former glory as part of a £2m restoration scheme, with 50,000 cubic metres of silt being removed and the lake deepened.

New developments include a paddling area for toddlers, a beach and a pontoon, which the swimming club members used in their photo.

Club prepares to celebrate centenary

Kettering Amateur Swimming Club is getting ready to celebrate its centenary later this year.

A 100th anniversary bash in December takes place at the Kettering Conference Centre – and the club wants members past and present to come.

Former committee member Richard Braybrook said: “We are trying to include everybody. We want to meet people and generally talk about the lives of those involved with the club.”

Founded in December 1914, the club was first based at the Bath Lane swimming baths, which were demolished in the1980s. It is now based at the London Road pool and has more than 200 members.

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