Swimming: Trip down memory lane for Warrender club

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Renowned Warrender Swimming Club add another chapter to an illustrious history tomorrow (7pm) when John Comiskey, chief executive of Edinburgh Leisure, will open an exhibition portraying development dating back to when members of Bellahouston Baths raised £11,000 to build the facility that still exists at Thirlestane Road, Marchmont.

Now in its 125th year, the Warrender club have used the exhibition covering 18 metres of wall and also featuring a bronze statue commissioned by parents of a club member, as springboard to a variety of events culminating in a gala at the Royal Commonwealth Pool in December. Among those given pride of place are Ellen King, the club’s first Olympian in 1924 who was quickly followed by Jean McDowall four years later. In 1970, Warrender provided ten swimmers for the Commonwealth Games, held in Edinburgh, and the most famous was David Wilkie, who six years later struck Olympic gold when already a world record holder for breaststroke.

Club president Gillian Hepburn said: “Some amazing old photographs and programmes covering every aspect of the club’s history have been unearthed and we want to attract ex-members back through a Friends of Warrender project.

“There is so much tradition to enjoy and today we have so many members of all abilities that one of the biggest challenges is arranging water (swim time) around the city.”