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Our History

Read more about the clubs history and how its changed since its founding in 1970.

To read more about the clubs founding, the building of its current club hut and how the clubs training and competitions have evolved over the past 52 years please press 'Read More' and select a decade. If you'd like to view our pictures taken over the past 5 decades please select 'History Gallery'. To view news cuttings about the clubs activities, please click here.

Select a Decade

Select a Decade


Christchurch Life Saving Club was founded in April 1970 with the purpose of providing a lifeguard service to beachgoers on Friars Cliff Beach in Christchurch. The club was founded with a £99 donation from Christchurch Council. Later in the same year, the then mayor presented the club with an original line and real. At the time the club had 37 active members, a large number of which were in their twenties. However, the club did have some 'cadets' who were aged between 12 and 15.


On Sunday the 16th of May 1973, in one of the clubs most defining moments to date, the then mayor Mr J. S. C. Morgan opened the new club hut. The hut had been built almost entirely by club members. One of them, Mr Dave Hopper was in charge of the build as he had experience in building "an outside loo for an ESSO oil rig". To see photos of the clubs opening and building and to read the articles published at the time please click here.



A busy and defining decade for the club. In August 1993, for the first time in 6 years, the club entered a float in the Christchurch Carnival procession, this was an event that the club participated in annually until its final entry in 1996. The Carnivals were a perfect opportunity for the club to engage with its community and to raise funds almost 10 years before the birth of social media. 


In 1994 the club participated in its first (to our knowledge) Nipper competition at a Pontins holiday camp, the competition took place in May in Brixham, Devon. Nipper competitions are something that the club participated in for many years, with our most recent entry in a national competition being at Exmouth beach in August 2015. 


In 1997 the club entered a team lead by Paul Hindley in the very first BHF Pier to Pier swim something Paul and CLSC have done every year since.


Although by 1999 the club had taken part in many competitions, this was the first year one had been held in Bournemouth since the 1970s. The S.L.S.A of GB Open Nipper Challenge took place on Bournemouth beach this year and not long after this, the RLSS Open Water Rookie Competition took place on Boscombe beach.


The Naughties

In 2002 the club featured on a then primetime BBC show called Changing Rooms, the then presenter Carol Smillie oversaw the installation of the clubs current kitchen and its first set of (literal) changing rooms. In 2002 the club also took part in a Nipper Camp at Long Barn Wales, this was the last national competition that the club took part in for 13 years.


In 2007, the club was run down and ceased to operate for many months, no training sessions or other activities took place until June when the club was restarted and began, overtime to run training sessions once again and over the following 10 years, grew massively to have over 130 active members of ages ranging from 7 to over 50.


In 2010 we participated in a regional competition, on the 13th of June we entered a team in the Branksome Chine Nipper Carnival. Photos of this event can be found here.

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