Floating in a Sea of Memories

The Basement

Illustration students from the University of Brighton, guitarist Bella Kardasis and Paul Farrington perform a live improvised soundtrack to accompany a screening of amateur 16mm films created between 1946 – 1954 by Roger Dunford, a member of Brighton Swimming Club.

Designer and Brighton Swimming Club member Paul Farrington discovered 23 reels of 16mm film hidden away in Roger’s garden shed. The films capture the antics of Brighton Swimming Club and life in Brighton, from filming Campbell’s liner at the West Pier and frolicking at the lido at Black Rock. The films are part of Floating Memories, a Heritage Lottery funded project to create an archive of the history of Brighton Swimming Club, one of the oldest in England. The project includes interviews with members of the club past and present, some of which will be played at the event.


This newsletter summarizes the highlights and achievements of the Floating Memories project so far, and outlines some of the plans for the coming months. Download it here

International Swimming Hall of Fame

The Floating Memories Walking Tours Map / Guide (which can be downloaded here) has been accepted as a poster presentation and also printed in the book celebrating the International Aquatic History Symposium and Film Festival in Florida, 9-12 May 2012.

Comments from the ISHOF committee reads: I was fascinated to read this abstract. It helps me realize the countless hours that need to be spent from those working in front the computer, the volunteers and the project leader. It is surely a useful lesson for all our IAHSFF attendees that will watch several films in the film festival. This abstract somehow teaches us the dreams, expectations and challenges that need to be overcome before the completion of the project. Moreover, it tells us how meaningful can be used our aquatic motion picture heritage can be as well as how it can be used to entertain and educate our and the future generation. I suggest publication as poster presentation unless the author could present orally examples of his/her work.

Map / Guide – Free download

Explore the forgotten, hidden and lost sites of Brighton’s swimming pools, bathing houses and changing facilities with this map which has been created to complement a series of walking tours for the Heritage Lottery Funded project Floating Memories – Brighton Swimming Club Archives 1860 – Present in May 2012.

For those of you who live in Brighton a copy of this map can be picked up from the Brighton Tourist Information Centre, for those who don’t you can download a copy of the map here.

The content has been by produced by a team of volunteers attending research workshops at the Brighton History Centre, Rare Books at Jubilee Library, Brighton Museum & Art Gallery and the Brighton Swimming Club archives held at East Sussex Record Office in 2011/12. Images have been provided by volunteers researching the James Gray Collection through the Regency Society.

Wellsbourne Society

The Floating Memories – Brighton Swimming Club project is part of the Wellsbourne Society event happening tomorrow night at the Latest Bar. There will be live music, archive films and talks from the volunteer project team highlighting the club’s rich history.

Set up and hosted by Dr Bramwell and Prof Clayton (Caught by the River), this is a quarterly event dedicated to the landscape, streets, myths & spirit of Brighton, and takes its name from the city’s lost river.

Thursday 21st June 2012
The Latest Music Bar

Heritage Open Days

This September, the Floating Memories project is participating in a series of Heritage Open Days (organised for the South East by the Regency Town House). The open days will include some more talks, and an event where members of the public can listen to some of the oral histories of Brighton Swimming Club whilst having a swim in the sea themselves!

As part of this, we are looking for a small group of volunteers to act as invigilators/project ambassadors at the Brighton Fishing Museum from 6th – 9th September (10am – 5pm). The role of the ambassador/invigilator will be to chat to members of the public who visit the museum about the work of the project and the history of Brighton Swimming Club (in front of the Floating Memories exhibition in the museum). As part of this, you will receive some input about ways of engaging members of the public, and will also need to undertake some additional research to ensure you feel confident in chatting about the project/archive.

If you are interested in participating as an invigilator/project ambassador this September, please contact Paul directly at info@floatingmemories.co.uk

Oral History Workshop 2

Paul and the Floating Memories volunteer team have already recorded over twenty interviews with club members, and the material gathered so far has been really fascinating. The recorded interviews are helping to piece together the story of the club’s more recent history. On the 24th May 2012 Alan Dein from the Oral History Society will be visiting the project once again to review some of the interviews collected so far. For now though, we are taking a break from interviews whilst we focus on the forthcoming exhibitions and events in May, but will be setting up a second round after this. We are still looking for more members who would be willing to share their stories and memories, so if you are happy to be interviewed for the project, please do get in touch if you have not already done so.