The club building

The history of the Manchester Diving Group can be traced back to the beginnings of Sport Diving as a leisure activity in this country.

After the end the end of the Second World War servicemen trained to dive by the military continued to pursue their interest in the sport in civilian life. Interest in SCUBA grew, and dedicated diving clubs began to emerge. In 1950 the first incarnation of the MDG was set up. It was known as "The Sunlight House Divers" after the workplace of early members who had been allowed to use the pool at Sunlight House to conduct diver training. Two years later the name changed to the "Manchester Tadpoles", and whilst the origin of this name is not truly known it probably had something to do with the 1.5 cuft cylinders which had been nick-named "tadpoles". In 1956 the name changed yet again, this time to the one we still use - Manchester Diving Group. A new training schedule was devised and this is the one still in use today, although there have been some changes to reflect new equipment and techniques.

As the club developed in the early '50s, diver related businesses had begun to appear. Oscar Gugen, a Frenchman ran one named Typhoon. He sought to form a national diving organisation with its centre in London, and in 1953 this led to the foundation of the British Sub Aqua Club (BSAC). The first BSAC branch was based in London, but Gugen had heard of MDG which by now was quite large, and paid a visit to enquire if we would like to join his organisation. There were members who preferred to remain independent and there were those who wanted to join BSAC, so a vote was held and the club split. One club started in Oldham known as the BSAC no 2 branch, another was Blackpool (no 4) whilst Macclesfield took up the no 6 slot. Today the number of BSAC branches runs into hundreds.

MDG was often approached by other clubs that were starting up to supply an examining body for their instructors and for permission to use the MDG training schedule. This schedule was later used and printed in the first BSAC manuals.

The only affiliation the MDG had with BSAC was that it became a member of NORFED -The Northern Federation of Diving Clubs during the 1960s and 70s. This organisation was mainly dominated by BSAC branches due to their number, but it was MDG's name that was often found on the top of the trophies of NORFED's annual sports diving competitions.

Over the years the club has gone from strength to strength. We have our own clubhouse, compressor, equipment stock and boat (there are plenty of diving clubs which simply meet in a pub once a week). There's something going on most weekends during the summer and lots of socials during the winter. Due to the growing popularity of Sport Diving across the world the club joined the Sub Aqua Association (SAA) in 1997. This has allowed the MDG to retain its independent status and high training standards but has given individual members access to an internationally recognised diving certificate.

© MDG 2020