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EFES night out @ Sat Apr 21 8pm – 11:30pm (Mansfield 735 Social Events)

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Title: EFES night out Howdy, Helen is organising a night at EFES Turkish restaurant on Outram Street, Sutton. If you have never been I can assure you that we are always made welcome, the foods good and so is the Raki! Everyone is invited and the more that go the better it’ll be, so please contact Helen as soon as possible if you want to go by email at:

see you all there!

When: Sat Apr 21 8pm – 11:30pm GMT (no daylight saving) Where: EFES restaurant, Sutton Calendar: Mansfield 735 Social Events Who: * – creator * All Members

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Howdy, I’ve been asked by paul brownley to see if anyone can get to stoney this coming Friday as he is looking for a buddy to do a couple of dives, paul is working away at the moment and can’t send emails, if you are up for it then contact him on 07855 962860


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Howdy, I have got a place available on the trip to Plymouth over the weekend of 28th/29th April, if anyone fancies it.

We will be travelling down on Friday afternoon/evening and diving on the Saturday and Sunday, two dives each day.

The trip is open to all levels and we will be diving on the James Egan Layne and the Scylla. This will be a great opportunity to shake off the winter cobwebs and will be a good early season chance to get into the sea.

The cost is £132 all in, that’s for two nights B&B and two days diving, BARGAIN!!!!!!!!!!, the only other thing you will need is some money for a bag of chips and a few shandies.

This will be first come first served so let me know as soon as.

Travellers get together

Hi chaps, I’m home from Iceland from 24th – 30th April for my sisters wedding and your all off to Plymouth that weekend too…great timing! So just wondered if anyone who was interested in a dive trip to Iceland, catch up with me or just another excuse to go to the luscious Travellers Rest, would like to meet at 8pm on 25th April? Let me know if you’ll be coming? Thanks,Jen

Jennie Mills PADI Master Scuba Diver Trainer 267213Emergency First Response Instructor 267213BSAC Open Water Instructor 6460 Email: jennie_mills@hotmail.comMobile: +44 (0) 7950975726

Stoney cove

Hi all, there will be sports diver and ocean diver training taking place at Stoney cove this Saturday 25th please be there for 7.30-8.00 pm. Anyone just wanting to dive or can help with training please let me know ASAP.any problems or queries give me a call 07989414099.

Kind Regards, Steve Cheesmond. Training Officer. Mansfield BSAC 735

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The History of the Branch

Originally seeded from Nottingham BSAC, Mansfield and District Underwater Swimming Club (MDUSC) was formed in 1958 as an independent diving club. The club enjoyed many years of success as an independent body and  joined the British Sub Aqua Club in 1970. The main drivers of this initiative were three of MDUSC’s instructors who had already joined Alf Temperton’s BSAC Special Branch in Lincoln. Jim Butler, Deric Ellerby and Phil Stone were involved in the Derbyshire Association of Sub Aqua Clubs, helping organise and teach on training courses and wanting to advance their instructor qualifications within the BSAC system.

Early homemade underwater camera housing.
Early home made underwater camera housing.

Another significant enticement was the opportunity to participate in the BSAC’s newest project, to charter MV British Diver. Those opposed giving up the clubs independent status pointed out with the current membership of BSAC it would be Mansfield’s turn sometime in the 21st century. Luckily  MDUSC became a branch of the BSAC and Mansfield 735 were able to charter British Diver for the next four years. The first year BSAC extended the season by a week to accommodate the Oban based circumnavigation of Skye project, a fantastic success even the though optional visits to Iceland and New York had to be trimmed out. The ‘exotic’ expedition has become a well established tradition that has helped cement the club diving spirit ever since.

Already active at local county level, joining BSAC rapidly opened up wider horizons to 735. ‘Twinning’ first with Hartlepool and Scarborough Branches, joint Scottish and Mediterranean expeditions were organised. These contacts are still well alive to this day. Individuals in the Branch also progressed their BSAC qualifications, both on the instructor path and broadening experience with Chartwork, Navigation, Boat Handling, Recompression Chamber Operation, Compressor Management and Marine Biology being just some of the courses the Branch was active in running. These brought wider regional contacts leading to joint expeditions with Doncaster, Selby and RAF Lakenheath to sites as far apart as Scapa Flow and the South of France (long distances in those days!).

With Deric Ellerby becoming BSAC East Midlands Regional Coach, the Branch was heavily involved in supporting regional training events and an annual Regional Conference, supplying both instructors and administration (and sandwiches).

Opening of the Branch Club House
Opening of the Branch Club House

Renting and re-furbishing a derelict council property to make a viable Clubhouse was another unifying project, even though in true BSAC fashion it was the lorry drivers and accountants who had to do the plumbing work and the teachers and miners the electrical work, whilst the plumbers and carpenters argued over which brewery to adopt. The clubhouse was opened by the BSAC chairman, Kendal Mc Donald in 1976.

This functioned very successfully for ten years until a combination of a major rent rise and the drink driving restrictions forced its closure in 1986.

Inevitably over the years some of the original prime movers had to be replaced, usually because their BSAC commitments had moved geographically wider, but this merely encouraged newer members to advance their own qualifications and follow similar paths. So a continuity was maintained and 735’s development has kept pace with changes in both BSAC and diving habits and techniques.

An early trip to the Farne Islands. The square boat in the picture was known as "Jacks Kipper Box".
An early trip to the Farne Islands. The square boat in the picture was known as “Jacks Kipper Box”.

Expeditions today are to the South China Sea, with members diving locations such as Truk Lagoon and the Galapagos. Having previously played host to visitors from BSAC Japan, 735 was delighted to receive a batch of specially produced ‘qualification’ cards to commemorate it’s 50th Anniversary. The Branch even got a special congratulatory mention in the ‘BSAC Japan Times’ magazine.

SS Britannia

On a foggy morning in the Farne Islands, September 1915 the SS Britannia ran aground. She was on a trip from Newcastle to Leith and hit ‘the Callers’ early morning on the 25th of September.
Word was sent to Seahouses of the wreck and the lifeboat dispatched.
It was hoped that the Britannia might refloat on the next tide, however it soon became apparent that this would not be the case owing to the amount of water in her holds.
The lifeboat took off Captain Halerow,19 crew and 2 passengers and she was abandoned.

It is not clear exactly what her cargo was at the time of sinking, whatever it was she was quickly relieved of it by local fishermen who report they had found nothing but boots, all of which were ‘left’.

A Plan of the Britannia
A Plan of the Britannia

In 1971 Mansfield and District Underwater Swimming club as the club was then known lead a series of expeditions to the Farne Islands and identified several wrecks including the Britannia and the Snowdonia. Diving in the early 70’s was clearly a different sport to the one we know today, older club members tell of eras of homemade kit and close shaves.  At that time the club had a small  RIB which was used to make the crossing to the Farnes, alarmingly the crossing from Seahouses was also made by an improvised, flat bottomed craft known as Jacks Kipperbox, which the club regularly used for diving on the islands.

A schematic of the wrecks engine space.
A schematic of the wrecks engine space.

Once the Britannia had been identified, club members of the time did extensive research into its history, design and sinking. She had been built in 1885 by S. & H. Morton and Company of Leith, she had a gross weight of 740 tons and length of 210.4 ft. The Britannia was not insured at the time of sinking and so in 1971 was still owned by Currie Line of Leith.
Britannia was purchased by the club from Currie Line not long after her identification.

The Britannia machinespaceThe wreck remains one the clubs oldest, largest, most unusual and sadly under used items of equipment. Dives were regularly made on the Britannia throughout the 1970s and many items were lifted from the wreck, again evidence of a past era. Many of the artefacts from the ship can today be found in the clubhouse of Scarborough BSAC. They and the rest of Mansfield’s possessions were gifted to Hartlepool and Scarborough BSACs when the Mansfield 735 clubhouse closed in the 1980s. Plans, papers and reports on the Britannia remain in the club archive, the original expedition report ‘Project 1971’ can be found on the Expedition Reports section.

If any-one has recently dived the Britannia or would like to learn more about the wreck, please feel free to get in touch the branch archive has numerous papers pertaining to the wreck, which may prove interesting to any-one looking to dive her.

Try Scuba Diving

As long as you can swim to a basic level and are aged between 8 and 100, you’re more than welcome to come and try scuba diving. A ‘try dive’ is a great way to see if diving is for you and it cost only £10.00 During the ‘try dive’ the instructor will introduce you to the kit and then show you the ropes in the pool.

The club underwaterIf you’re from and school or group and would like to come for a try dive or would like us to come to you please get in touch and we’ll do our best to sort out some activities for you.
Try dives make great presents and are a fantastic introduction to diving. Contact us using the form on the right. for more information
For information about taking scuba diving lessons with us click here

If you don’t want a dive or just want to do some snorkelling or swimming.
At the baths session the pool is split between divers and swimmers/snorkelers There’s no need to pay at the reception come straight through to the pool side just pay your money to one of the pool marshals, photographs of whom are below.
Children are welcome so long as they are accompanied by an adult.


Jim Butler
Jim Butler
Alan Cockell
Alan Cockell







If you don’t want to swim or dive you are welcome to come to the pool to watch the action or just for a chat. There are usually several club members in the public viewing area at Lammas Leisure Centre during our pool session who would be happy to answer any questions you may have. If you can’t get to the pool then you can always come down to see us at Sutton-in-Ashfield Sailing Club. We meet there from 18:00 on Saturdays and from 19:30 on Thursdays.

Please see our contact page for more information about where we meet.