"I spent yesterday while it was
'gale force rain' outside going through the EdinPhoto web site
again, but found no mention of the 'Vickies'. (Victoria Baths,
Leith). So here are some of my memories
was born in 1949 and lived
at the bottom of Bangor Road. Then, when
I was around 4-years-old we
moved to Easter Drylaw, as the scheme
was being built around us.
We were bussed
up to Flora Stevenson Primary School for
a couple of years, while Drylaw school
was being built.
We moved out to Gracemount for a
while, then moved back into Henderson
Gardens in Leith when I was around 9-years-old,
Primary School, I was the only one
out of a class of 35 who went
on to Leithie (Leith Academy). Others
went to Bellvue or David Kilpatrick's,
aka DK or the Daft Kids !!"
back into Henderson Gardens, Leith, when
I was around 8 years
old. Our local school was Dr Bell's.
my mum and I bumped into a neighbour
(Jimmy Rutherford ) who lived up the stair.
My mum asked if he would take me around to the Vickies and
teach me how to swim. So,
from then on, every Friday tea-time
we went with him to Vickies.
Around same time we were sent into Dr
Bells pool once a week. So within a short time I was starting to
swim like a fish.
Vickies was like the other
7ft deep at the
3ft deep at shallow-end.
Cubicles around side of pool.
Diving boards and a spring board.
Carbolic soap in chunks,
- What seemed like boiling water coming through the shower.
Rutherford suggested I join a club called Young
Men's Amateur Swimming Club (YMASC). I
joined that because he had been a member there.
After a year, when
I was about 10-years old, I moved over to Leith ASC.
Martin Bendix was the main coach
'day job' was being the 'hard hat diver'
for Leith Docks. i.e. he wore the heavy
brass helmet, rather than SCUBA gear.
After a while it became evident
that Leith ASC was promoting the Ladies'
section. By this time I was at
Leithie (Leith Academy) and a
met a couple of my classmates
who were members of 1930 ASC,
so I transferred to their clubs. Names that I remember from
our team there :
all at the same school, so that meant that our school swim team
"The club met
on Monday and Friday nights.
The main fun was learning then completing at a high level
in the Junior Water Polo team. Team members were George Smith,
Gordon, David, and two others whose names I've
1930 Junior Water Polo Team
had David Hay senior and junior.
Both were Scottish caps in their day.Those
of us in the Juniors won the East
of Scotland Championship for some 6
David senior was main coach for the
rest of us. So we had 1 hour dry-land
weights training downstairs in the old club
room, then 1 hour
then about 1 hour water polo
training or a competitive match.
Vickies, the clubs all met on different nights of the week:
Tuesdays: Leith, Girls' Section.
Wednesdays: Leith, Boys' Section.
nights a week in Vickies,
then maybe 1 or 2 matches against other teams,
it's no wonder that I was a wee
Ian Smith, Ayr, Ayrshire,
Scotland: 13+25 November 2015