Albatross History – Central Pool Reading – Diving in Reading

1966/7-to 2018

ALbatross history start up - image

First Competitive Squad

Albatross History – picture above … the very first competitive squad.
Andrew Dixon;  Lynne Crowther;  Suzanne Smith;  Paul Holton; Karen Ward;  Veronica Latto;  

Strong History – Bright Future” Quotes the Reading Evening Post

The Central Pool in Reading built in 1966 will be a pool of the past from the end of January 2018 – a tribute.

Start up of Diving in Reading. From  Reading SC Diving Section to a specialist Club – 

Albatross Diving Club.

Albatross Diving Club of Reading Celebrated it’s 40th Anniversary this year – 23rd February 2019
By hopping onto any of the page links below for reading, there is news of the first 14 years of diving in Reading. They also have sequential page links, They are images of the pages from the book (which actually goes to 2002)


Part 1  Just click any link below.
Reflections and why this record?
1968/70  (1) Diver Michael sets the scene
1972/73   (1) Please don’t let me fluff it
1974 (1) Away to the Channel Islands. Lynne heads the team.
1975   (1) Ian and Paul grab silver and gold
1976/7  (1) Splash hit for Paul and Suzanne
1977  (4) First step into glamour. International spectacle  2.  Reading diving display team  3.  Beverley tops and Lindsey starts to spin  4. Reading diver picked for England team in Holland
1978   (5) Ambition coming to fruition  2.  Four out of four events and golden Holton  3 Albatross has hatched. Diving to success  4. Dedicated Divers in new colours  5.  Diana models new track suit with beautiful badge 

 Part 2
1979  (13)  Albatross swoop for nap hand  2.  Suzanne falls off the board and Paul doubles up  3.  Albatross divers shine in inter-county match  4. Juliet lifts schools trophy. Albatross flying together  5.  Little Louise shows her metal
6.  Mariannes Stuttgard chance snatched away  7. Caroline leads Albatross team in Southampton  8. Abbey National Building Society promotes  9. First Birthday Gala with National VIPs  10. A synchro team injected beautiful rhythm
11.Tanya, Beverley and Martin appeared and dived well-first Gala 12.  Albatross guaranteed to fly higher  13.  Stylish Joy first recipient of Presidents Cup
1980 (12) Claire skillfully joined the nest – Mark(s) scored  2.  The year Caroline and Andrew led the divers  3.  Go Get David Go Get Sponsorship  4.  Victorious Sarah led divers to soar in Alton match  5.  Abigail helped team of nine to battle in Bexley Challenge at Feltham  6.  Girls jet out to Germany    7.  No room in the luggage for the Monheim Trophies!   8.  Andrew flies to top in RAF Cranwell Air Training Corp National Champs   9.  Louise and Marianne soar in ESSA Luton   10.  Richard in first International friendly. Marianne foxes the judges.     11.  Fiona and Scarlett lead the procession under floodlight  12.  Claire receives President’s Cup

Here the online coverage shows a summary of the first 14 years of Diving at the new Central Pool, Reading SC Diving Section,  and the first 2 years of Albatross Diving Club (40th year today 2018!) .

Quick Touch Gallerythe whole book at a glance! covering through to 2002

There is a lot to load so allow 5-10 seconds.

By 1980 this time the divers had been formed into 3 solid Squads:

Are you here?
  Low Flyers 
  2. High Flyers   3. Wings 
Ewan and Samantha lead the divers 
5.  The Coaching Squad 
6.  The Diving Committee
7.   Abigail starts the show with a selection of some early Champions with Trophies (slideshow) 
8.  Terry starts a selection of Stars, and Rising Stars of the 80s (slideshow)
9.  A jump to Michelle and the 90s “Divers of the Month” and Coaches (slideshow)


Central Swimming Pool Reading. Baths Manager Mr John Anstey - image

Central Swimming Pool Reading with the first baths manager the late Mr John Anstey. The nucleus of Reading’s Aquaworld…” Albatross History – were you a competitive diver in Reading during 1966-2002?  Do you have recollections? You may find yourself!  It was fun,  I’m so glad of it.

Albatross History covers these years. You are most likely mentioned and you may find yourself wherever you are in the world today! Dive into your chosen years,  which also have sequential links. In a sparkling new state of the art swimming pool with separate diving pool,  it was literally moments after the opening in 1967 that an introduction to diving was set up in within Reading Swimming Club – in fact….diving had begun in 1966 in public sessions before the  Official Opening Ceremony in 1967!  With courtesy of the Baths Manager,  the late Mr John Anstey and many many thanks for his continuous support and interest.

Goodbye Our Friend (Video)  The last swim and dive was – 31/01/18

January 31st 2018

Mr Paul Coombe – Facebook
“I wonder what history they might find when they start digging down for the new flats.”

Anne Green Jessel – Facebook
“Paul C Moore. They’ll find the banner “Albatross Diving Club” that went face down into the rubble of the diving pool basin. The diving pool was the last to go. Stood tall to the end!
I came when the pool opened and a large chunk of my life was spent coaching within the diving pool. (Why I came to live in Reading). In the 90s I handed over to my son Malcolm Green. We are celebrating 40 years anniversary of Albatross in a big way this year,  but 52 years of high competitive diving in Reading. I saw it brand new, and watched it, and documented it to the end. Memories all there CP xxx   from my family.

November 7th 2018


November 15th 2018



Reading Central Pool Official Opening - image

Reading Central Pool Official Opening

This is my personal tribute on behalf of all Aqua Sports and Achievements,  Children that learned to swim, to the Pool that served the Aquatic Stars and the Community so well. 
Also to my divers 1966-2002 and beyond to this present day,  and all those who came on board. They committed and helped start the progress of the Sport of Diving in Reading.  (This book was a previous presentation in 2002 due to the threat of closure at that time). Diving  has continued until today through many changes and with many success’s and commitment, and now in their RUBY year I wish Albatross Diving Club continuing soaring success in the future

Too be held at the Crown Plaza Hotel, Caversham Bridge –  River Suite.


At present there is no replacement pool.  The Club hires Abbey School pool to nurture the young chicks and give solid foundation training.  They have use of the clubs own dry gyms. The higher competitive divers travel to Hemel, Southampton, Southend and the Aquatic Centre in London for their advanced training.

Remember these times? Why not say Hello using my direct form below or on the Facebook Group  “Divers of the Past in Reading”   I’ll add your comments to the page unless asked not to!  It’ll be nice to hear from you.  I don’t forget anyone!  

See topmost comment below. Received from my message form. “My first diver”

Reflections and recollections




5 Responses

  1. Anne Green Jessel
    Anne Green Jessel / 3-7-2019 / ·

    A message from Hayley Artwell nee Johnson.
    Saw your advert ‘history of Albatross Divers’ and saw myself! Many fond memories. Anne you were my coach.
    My sister Maria Johnson was also a member.

    Lovely to hear from you. I dont forget you or Maria! Wished I could have found you before our big 40th Anniversary Celebration last week. But girls change their names! It was a momentous occasion. If you go onto Facebook, look up my group “Divers of the Past” Lots of best wishes to you both…Anne

  2. Mike Turner
    Mike Turner / 11-20-2018 / ·

    “Flog it” found my very first competition diver
    From: Mike Turner
    Sent: Mon, 19 Nov 2018 18:04:14 -0000 (GMT)
    Subject: Finding Lidos – Dive into Lost Lidos “A message from a diver of the past!”
    From: Mike Turner Subject: A message from a diver of the past!
    Message Body:
    Dear Anne,
    We saw you on TV yesterday on Flog It. My, that brought back some memories of the sixties, which prompted us to see what there was on the web.
    Would love to hear from you,
    Best regards,
    Mike Turner.

    This e-mail was sent from a contact form on Finding Lidos – Dive into Lost Lidos (

    Anne’s note…. The recent broadcast of “Flog it” was filmed 2012! and it keeps doing the rounds. Never know when. My a lot of changes with persons and projects since then. Still thank you “Flog it” for finding my very first diver!

  3. Sandra Sheene
    Sandra Sheene / 1-21-2018 / ·

    Hi, Anne, remember all these especially that little chappie at the back . Paul. I’m his mum Sandra. Do you remember me. .?

    1. Anne Green Jessel
      Anne Green Jessel / 1-21-2018 / ·

      I don’t forget anyone! Wonderful days. Pauls diving was great. He was known around the Nationals as “the inward dive straight” no one saw a better one! I was proud of him. He worked hard. Lovely to hear from you

  4. Paul Holton
    Paul Holton / 1-21-2018 / ·

    Hello Anne, I have read some of your blog on Albatross history, fantastic memories, I hope some of the other members of the club find the articles and enjoy them like I have. Time flies indeed, must be 40+ years since my first plunge into the deep end, all’s hunky dory with me, hope all’s well with you and your kin……. would love to comment about the baths as so much of mine and my families life are entwined into it’s early history. x Paul Holton

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