Aquatic Carnival

From Historical Hastings

The Aquatic Carnival was an event initially held at Shornden Reservoir - the water from this reservoir not providing drinking water to the town at this time - on Saturday the 31st of July 1909. It featured international water polo matches, with a Brussels team playing a local team for the 'Observer Challenge Shield', high diving exhibitions, water rescues and other entertainments[1]. The visiting team from Belgium were accommodated in the Royal Oak Hotel. A trial match between the Hastings and St. Leonards Swimming Club and a team from Bexhill was planned for the Tuesday before[2].

The 'Carnival' next makes an appearance in 1926 - this time the venue is the White Rock Baths with gala swimming events and an elimination set of water polo matches held on the 1st of October; Mr. H. Baker being listed as the hon. secretary[3]. There is then another circa 10 year gap, when the event appears again; this time at the Bathing Pool on Saturday the 8th of September, 1934 when the event is part of the main Hastings Carnival week of events[4]. This time, the event would appear to have been more successful - running each year as part of the town Carnival until 1937[5]. Following this, the fore-shadowing of WW2 would appear to have curtailed the event.

References & Notes