Wave Shape
Wave Shape

Our club

Wave Shape
The one thing you will notice with BSAC 49 is the diversity of activities that take place.

That means we’re confident that there is something of interest for everyone, no matter what your diving goals are, there will be a variety of activities to help achieve them.

The club

The Branch (BSAC49) has a rich history. Established in 1957, we celebrated our 60th anniversary in 2017. We are one of the oldest British Sub-Aqua Club’s and with over 100+ members, are still going strong.

Both BSAC and BSAC49 are World Record Holders. You may have read that BSAC Member Ray
Woolley broke his own Guinness World Record of being the World’s Oldest Scuba Diver on his 95th Birthday.

You may not have read that BSAC 49 has held two World Records for Scuba Diving.

In 1974, a member lasted 50 hours underwater in a tank. This has been beaten now by members of the Royal Navy, by days! The Club still holds a World Record for a member lasting 5 hours and 25 minutes on a 12 litre cylinder of air pumped to 200bar in a 12 foot 6-inch pool.

Could you be our next record holder?

Our history

In 1957, the Ilford Underwater Swimming Club was established.

In 1976, the Club moved from Ilford to a new location in Cambourne Avenue, Romford, where upon it updated the name to the Havering and Ilford British Sub-Aqua Club, keeping the Branch number 49.

In 1987, we leased land in Central Park, Gooshays Drive, Romford, from Havering Council and in 1988, club members commenced the building of our current Clubhouse.

One of our members, Steve Barnett, has published a book, available for purchase, which charts the Club’s interesting and varied history.

The Club’s Structure

The Club is run by a Committee comprising 15 members, elected annually by the membership at the AGM held in December every year.

We have a healthy mix of long-standing members respectful of the values and traditions of the club, along with new blood, who provide new views and ideas that help the club evolve and grow.

The Committee meets on the first Monday of each month and is a forum to address any questions members may have.

The club currently boasts a membership of 100 divers, with a mix of diving grades, from Trainees, Ocean Divers & Sports Divers, through to the more advanced grades of Dive Leader, Advanced Diver & Instructors.


We are proud to have our own clubhouse and bar – This provides the club with the revenue to allow it to invest in equipment and events for the benefit of our members.

With Scuba Diving at the heart of the club we have 17 full sets of diving equipment (Mask, Fins, Regulator, Air Cylinder, BCD, Weights etc.), supplemented by the many ancillary pieces of kit, ranging from Wetsuits, Drysuits, Snorkel; DSMB, Reels, Scooters etc.).

To support our diving activity, the club has two Rigid Inflatable Boats (RIBs) and there is an active schedule of dives out on the RIBs throughout the year. The UK offers simply the most thrilling, challenging and rewarding diving in the world, whether you want to explore the
amazing wrecks, or diverse marine life our country has to offer.

Skills Development

The diver training programme runs throughout the year.

For the newcomers, once you’ve progressed from the local and deep water pools, then there are training days at the inland sites, such as the famous Stoney Cove and the NDAC in Chepstow. Shore dives and shallow water dives also take place on some of the inshore reefs, where
there is much to see. This is quickly followed by dives from the Club RIBs.

For the more experienced divers, there are exciting wrecks to explore in some of the deeper waters offshore. If you enjoy underwater photography, then a dive on one of the natural and artificial reefs with their plethora of marine life, will give you plenty to smile about and we run a Photographer of the Year Competition, where you can bag bragging rights (and a trophy).

All the photographers on our website have been taken by our members, one of which even has his own underwater photo page on Facebook, ‘Colin Pavitt’s underwater photos’.

We also subscribe to skill development courses, run by both BSAC and external providers, where our members have qualified in Boat Handling, First Aid Treatment, Oxygen Administration Therapy, Marine VHF Radio to name but a few.


We’re a social bunch, so it’s not just about diving, but developing friendships which last a lifetime.

Events such as Black Tie Dinner & Dance, Quiz Nights, Themed Parties, BBQs, Barn Dances and live bands are regular slots in our calendar.

Even our club maintenance days can be fun!

As well as UK Diving excursions the length and breadth of the country, there is a calendar of overseas holidays, which naturally have diving at the heart of them. Recent excursions, both hotel based and liveaboard, include the core sites of the Red Sea, Malta, Cyprus, Norway and the Canary Islands, to destinations further afield, such as the Maldives, the US and Caribbean, the Philippines and the wonder of Truk Lagoon.

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