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A potted history of our club

Formerly called North Notts Nautilus (NNN), Mansfield and District SCUBA Diving Club (a.k.a. MADSCUBA or SCUBAMAD) is the new name adopted by the club in January 2015 and we have a long and rich history (culturally, not financially, unfortunately!).


The club was originally founded by Mr. A. Lambert in Feb 1973, when he and four other divers from Mansfield & District Underwater Swimming Club decided to go it alone. NNN was immediately registered as Club No 586 with the British Sub Aqua Club (BSAC). The club Logo was designed as a shield with the divers OK signal at its heart and incorporating the club motto in Latin, ABSIT INVIDIA, meaning “Let there be no ill will”.


Baths sessions were held on a Thursday evening at The Joseph Whittaker School in Rainworth and this was followed by lectures in a small café upstairs. Friday night was also pool training at Sutton in Ashfield Swimming Baths followed by refreshments at the local “Staff of Life”.

Now lost in the mists of time, a significant milestone came in Feb 1976, when local newspaper the CHAD sponsored us to visit Loch Ness to search for Nessie.

Twenty four divers gathered outside the CHAD offices to be formally sent off by Mansfield Councillor Mr L. Wright. A three-page spread was published on the expedition and the CHAD made a film of the whole event, which was later transferred to video. This film has been shown in many countries around the world as an example of how news can be made interesting on a small budget. Needless to say, Nessie was never found, but how was diving in Lock Ness, you may ask?  In a word, COLD!  If Nessie exists in those dark waters, she is made of stern stuff.

Until quite recently we also had a club house. This was a suburban house on Beech Avenue, Mansfield, which was purchased, repurposed and refurbished. It had a kit room, a lecture room, plus a large social area with a bar and pool table. It was the location for countless memorable events over the years. When the club house was first purchased in the 70s it was somewhat dilapidated, to the extent that a tramp was living in it. When an elder statesman of the club was recounting that fact to new member a few years ago, without skipping a beat, the new member said, “So you decided to stay then?”  To paraphrase a common idiom, you don’t have to have a sense of humour to belong to this club, but it helps! 

Sadly not many of the members from those early times are still with us, but some of the tales have been handed down and we don’t need a great deal of encouragement to regale newcomers.


In 1999, for various reasons, NNN decided to switch allegiances from BSAC and became branch No 942 of the Sub Aqua Association (SAA). We enjoy our partnership with this excellent organisation to this day.

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