IKSAC is one of the oldest diving clubs in the Midlands having been in existence in one form or another since the early 1970’s.
We specialise in diver training within a friendly supportive club environment. We have in excess of 60 members at all levels of qualification. Some new members have yet to progress from the pool whilst some of the older members have been diving for over 30 years. Ages range from the younger ones of teen-age, right through to retirement age (and beyond in some cases).
Our former Diving Officer (D.O.) and long standing member Trevor Perry has written a brief history of the club (see below).
A brief history of the club.
The club was formed in 1973 being BSAC branch 592. It used Ilkeston pool as it’s base, which at that time still had the 3 metre diving pool which was useful for diver training. At this time Kimberley Leisure Centre was about to open, and members John Morris and Ray Booth approached the centre to see if it would be possible to use it for training. Permission was granted with the condition that the club changed it’s name to Ilkeston and Kimberley Sub Aqua Club. And so on the 5th October 1974, the day the leisure centre opened, IKSAC was born. We have been based at Kimberley since then.
At Ilkeston (the date escapes me) we had a party underwater in the deep pool. It was decked out on the bottom with tables and chairs, and the divers ate fruit, and drank soft drinks and beer underwater. The TV heard about the event and sent along a crew to film us. A BMX bike had been donated and they filmed us riding off the top diving board. The presenter had a change of clothes and dropped off the diving board fully clothed to join us. We made a spot on prime time TV news.
Another first for IKSAC was the production of a training video in 1984. Back then in the early days of sport diving there were no training aids and all lessons had to be handwritten by the D.O. As luck would have it, the club boasted a professional forensic videographer amongst it’s ranks. And so on the 10th March 1984 we made the training video “Diving from small boats”. Looking back now the boats are a bit dated bit the majority of the content is still relevant. We sold many copies to diving clubs (with a lot going abroad) and some to the RNLI.
In those days Fort Bovisands at Plymouth was busy with training and B.A.D lads courses (basic air diving). IKSAC members used to go down and train on the commercial diving equipment, leading to deep diving,warm water suits, underwater cutting using thermic lances, underwater video and explosives. The weekends that the fleet was in port used to be spent on Union Street.
IKSAC members were also pioneering diving in the Red Sea. In the 70’s and 80’s when Sharm was still a Bedouin village in the middle of nowhere, club members used to fly into Israel and cross the border at Taba. We would then travel up and down Sinai in jeeps, sleeping at the side of the sea, and eating food prepared by the Bedouins over a large blowtorch.
Around the late 90’s we hit a crisis with membership. Because of the decisions taken by BSAC and PADI to commercialise their operations, we had a problem getting instructors onto training courses which were costing hundreds of pounds. The decision was taken to leave BSAC and join the SAA and so in February 1999 IKSAC became SAA branch 945, which is where we remain to this day.
Trevor Perry March 2011