Tara Manning (Williams) fondly shares her memory of swimming with the Club in the 1970s…
I remember swimming twice a week at first. I had been to the pool with my school and heard about the club. It was the late 1970s and had not long become the Penguins (formerly the Hammersmith Ladies SC) and I recall that it grew very quickly.
The annual club championships were hotly contested at several age groups. With my parents helping to run things, I can remember our house being full of the various trophies and medals before the event.
The first coaches I can remember were Mr Graham and his daughter Karen and Mr Street. Some time after Jim Marjoram started and my dad started helping out poolside too.
Gala time was great fun; imagine now, a minivan full of children zipping around London to various events with not a seat belt in sight. We were a noisy team and loved supporting each other from the poolside. At this point we had club costumes and, I think, club bags.
We also got very excited for the end of year disco held in a local school hall.
The Club developed further as we got older. Jim introduced land conditioning sessions and a few of us went to the Queen Mother pool in Victoria to train with Otter SC.
As time passed many of the juniors left, either giving up swimming as a sport or, like myself, to go on to further education. For me it was the end of that chapter with Penguins, but not the end of my story as I later returned as a masters swimmer for many years.