The History of Porthmawr SLSC

Porthmawr SLSC was formed in 1961 by Dr George Middleton to offer assistance and support to people bathing at Whitesands Beach in St Davids, Pembrokeshire. Born out of two lifeguarding contingents, St Davids and Solva, the Club has grown to become one of the more popular destinations for training events and competitions in Wales.

The first clubhouse was little more than a cattle truck that acted as clubhouse and storage container and was sited in the small meadow close to St Patrick’s chapel memorial. A new concrete pre-fab hut was built on the south side of the car park after the cattle truck was washed away in severe storm.

March Past
Welsh Championships
Whitesands Beach, 1982

The eighties was probably the most successful period in the club’s competitive history. For a small club numbering less than sixty members, all facets of the club – junior, ladies and mens teams – featured successfully in Welsh and British national competitions.

Photo Shoot for County Echo Newspaper (mid eighties)

Towards the end of the eighties interest in competition trailed off as older active members left for university or settled down. Sadly, not enough younger members were coming through to fill the ranks. The look of the beach also changed when the club took possesion of a new, purpose built clubhouse.

The beginning of the nineties saw a resurgence in the club’s fortunes. Interest in Nippers (ages 7-13) and Masters (over 30s) was on the increase, and, Porthmawr was one of the first clubs in Wales to take ownership of the new Arancia class inshore rescue boats. Many still remember the successful Welsh championships of 1997, if not for the competition but a rousing rendition of the Full Monty – stuff of legend!

Recently, Porthmawr has become host to many successful examination training weekends for both young and old alike, and many consider Whitesands beach to be one of the finest beaches in Wales to host surf lifesaving competitions. Even the Nipper carnival and the Porthmawr Ironman/Ironwoman event held each August bank holiday have passed into Welsh surf lifesaving lore.