Jenny Carr formed the Club in 1977 under the umbrella of Ilminster Community Association. The Club quickly grew and Jenny Carr, Joan Filler and Kath Crabb qualified as instructors to enable regular teaching sessions to be held. The Club held its first full meeting in 1978 when a Constitution was drawn up, a Committee formed and officers elected. The club held their first gala in the same year with many trophies being donated by the townspeople.
The club played a major role in preventing the closure of St James's pool in 1982/3, which at that time was the only venue available in the area. In 1985 Princess Anne opened The Kingfisher pool. The Club transferred Saturday and Monday sessions to Kingfisher. When St James's Street pool re-opened in 1986 a Thursday evening session was started and that continued until 1998 when Taunton Deane withdrew our hourly session to provide lesson themselves which they actually did for 6 weeks but unfortunately they then transferred that session to one of the Taunton swimming clubs. We fought long and hard but were always doomed to fail against the might of Taunton Deane. We re-introduced a Thursday evening session at Queens College and whilst it was convenient the pool was rather small and inhibited training. In 1999 we commenced hiring 2 50metre lanes at Millfield Street and we provide transport in the form of either a mini-bus or coach.
Ilminster Swimming Club has approximately 200 members (of all ages) swimming regularly.
The club is run solely on a voluntary basis and parents are expected to assist or take their turn as Chairman, Treasurer, Secretary, Committee Member or just offer to help at the poolside. All teaching staff is fully qualified and is totally voluntary. Ilminster swimming club encourages parents and young swimmers over the age of 16 to become teachers, paying the full cost of the training course.
We hold an annual club gala in April and Saturday/Sunday half-hour swimmers have their own very special splash/mini gala. Our gala awards night is held in May and the evening also includes the 'Endeavour' awards, which are awarded by teachers for effort and progress throughout the year.
We run half hour sessions between 8-9am on a Saturday and 9-10am on a Sunday. There are also hourly sessions between 6.30-7.30pm and 7.30-8.30pm on Tuesday evening; 8-9am on Sunday and 7.30-8.30pm on a Wednesday.