Hastings Lifeguards was founded in October 1972 following the idea of an ex Policeman, Trefor Simmonds who had moved to London and later returned to the Hastings area.
He approached a number of local organisations, aquatic clubs and blue light services inviting them, together with the Local Authority and Councillors, to an introductory meeting which approved the idea and formed a steering committee.
The clubs' initial patrolling base was under the promenade at Warrior Square, St.Leonards. Indeed we 'lived' under the promenade for over 30 years but did move next door for a while. Our initial base was shared with some 500 deckchairs that we had to move each weekend to get to our equipment - a new concept of 'fitness training'.
Our first boat was a fibreglass rana (at the time we thought ourselves lucky to have this) and we regularly patrolled with it and ran boat handling courses for our members.
After some 15 years we moved next door and we installed electricity, a separate entrance platform for the boats (yes two now!), changing rooms with showers, a kitchen area, first aid area and dry training room. This sounds great, and it was after our first base, but it always had the disadvantage of being underground.
Unfortunately work to install a cycle way on the top of the promenade rendered our HQs very unsuitable as water penetrated through the promenade and ran into our base causing damage to equipment and electrics.
However every cloud has a silver lining and we were invited to move to the Hastings Motor Boat and Yacht Club However every cloud has a silver lining and we were invited to move to the Hastings Motor Boat and Yacht Club premises at Rock’n’Ore. They had an area unsuitable for boats because of possible rock falls but where a 40 feet steel container could be stored. Eventually the planning application was accepted and we set about moving over the end of 2005 and early 2006. Our old base was over 100 feet long and twice the width of the container and like everyone with space you fill it up!! So we had a brutal clear out and we moved. We had the contained foam lined to prevent condensation, planned carefully how everything would be stored and set about racking it.
2015 sees a new chapter in the clubs’ history. We have moved to East Hastings Sea Angling Association. at The Stade, Hastings (next to the Lifeboat).
We have taken our container, our boats and all our equipment with us.
We have affiliated all our current HLG club members so they can use EHSAA clubhouse for social purposes by just showing their current HLG membership card.
Open water training will start as soon as the weather gets warmer and we are looking forward to new patrolling areas and new activities for all our club to be involved with.
Over the past few years the club has also formed some good partnerships, for example with Hastings Borough Council beach lifeguards, Freedom Leisure and local swimming clubs.
Diary Dates 2019:
Safety In Action - Bexhill
Extended Life Support
Safety In Action - Hastings
Annual Club Competiton
Use Easy Fundraising to help raise funds for the Club - Search --> Hastings & St. Leonards Voluntary Lifeguards