Club History

Location

The Club is most centrally located in the vicinity of Calcutta High Court, Assembly House, Eden Garden Stadium and the Hoogly River.

Genesis

In the editorial of the Statesman on 24th May, 1887 appeared that "Everyone will be glad to learn that the Lieutenant Governor has sanctioned the construction of the Calcutta Swimming Club on the site selected near Chandpal Ghat". It was on this day that the Lieutenant Governor of Bengal has sanctioned the construction of "CALCUTTA SWIMMING BATH", the forerunner of the existing – The Calcutta Swimming Club.

"The Swimming Bath" was founded by a group of Calcutta merchants headed by Messrs A.H.Willis and Busland to provide amenities for their young and junior assistants, who had neither the social standing nor the financial means necessary for membership of more important Clubs. The founders in their astute wisdom introduced the "CASH PAYMENT" rule which in those days of chits and credit slips was unique and intended to prevent the young members running into debt.

Calcutta Swimming Club, as we see it today, was actually founded by the Late Walter Davis, a partner of Hamilton & Company. He was the first Secretary of the Club. Since its inception the Lieutenant Governor of Bengal was the Head of the Club till 1923 when Mr. N. Hamilton was elected as it's first President.

The Club in the days immediately after the first WORLD WAR had only the inside Swimming Bath with dressing cubicles on the North side. Outside the northern side, there was a rectangular shaped TANK, a little smaller than the SWIMMING BATH . The sides of the Tank were built up by perhaps a couple of feet of earth banks held together by long grass. The present dressing rooms and the "porch" were added after 1926 and the rest of the buildings were cam up after the construction of the outside Pool, which was built in the 1930s..

From the mid 1920s onwards there were sessions for LADIES, two or three times a week for about an hour and mixed bathing was permitted on Friday evenings. Men used the dressing cubicles on the North side and the Women, the Gallery. There was a screen along the gallery rail to prevent those downstairs seeing too much or, for that matter anything. Of course, men had to wear "SLIPS" under the then costume regulations, while the ladies were completely covered all much too properly..

Catering was of course in its infancy and a Bovril and biscuits. The biscuits used to be wet by the time the old bearer brought them in a cracked cup and that was all there was to be had. The ladies eventually started the tea service.

The bath could be reserved by a member for private parties for a modest fee – many stories were told of these parties.

The Club celebrated its GOLDEN JUBILEE in 1937 and some of the commemorative Pewter TANKARDS presented by members are still with the Club. During the Second World War the Club offered relaxation to tired service Officers on leave from weary services at various theatres. In 1941, the Club was honoured by a FIGHTER AIRCRAFT being named "Calcutta Swimming Club" in appreciation of its contribution to the War efforts.

The period immediately after World War II was undoubtedly the most prosperous in the Club's history. There were over five thousand individual members and financial resources were plentiful. During this period the original 'LEAN TO' verandah was replaced by the larger brick structure, while both the Bar and Verandah were air-conditioned.

In 1964, Maharaja of CoochBehar was inducted as the First INDIAN MEMBER. Again it was in 1976, Late P.T. Basu was elected as the First INDIAN PRESIDENT of the Club. The Club celebrated its CENTENARY in 1985. The Club has been continuously undergoing major renovations / upgradation to enhance the facilities to its members..

History Picture 1

History Picture 2

History Picture 3

History Picture 4