You may be wondering why on earth I am showing you a photo of Santa when we have just finished eating all our Easter Eggs and we are desperately looking for some Spring type weather and a little sunshine??


Let me introduce you to Les Swift! I am really pleased and proud to say that Les holds two records in the history of Dolphin Club.

The first is that he is our oldest swimmer at a mere 85 years young.

The second is that he has also been swimming with us for over 15 years, which makes him our longest attending member! (P.S. I must add that it hasn’t taken Les 15 years to learn to swim!)

Les first met Dave when his daughter (whose children all went through our swimming club!) bought her dad a swimming voucher with us for 6 lessons as a 70th birthday present.

He first came along to one of our venues at the old Bellhouse Hotel in Beaconsfield.

He then attended another one of our venues in High Wycombe before finally coming along to The Marlow Club.

Les had basic swimming skills but found it difficult to take a breath when swimming and was also lacking in confidence when he was attempting to swim on his back. Les is now more than happy to try all four swimming strokes and is now confident enough to have a go at anything Dave suggests (now that is a real worry!!)

Breast stroke is Les’s favourite stroke and he now has a great leg kick and a good glide. Diving to the bottom and swimming with snorkel and flippers are just some the fun elements that Les has enjoyed! Les has also achieved 10m Butterfly which is just amazing!

Les’s early career involved ten years working for the RAF and Air Ministry as an instrument maker (navigational) and during that time also played saxophone with the RAF station dance band. A different type of instrument.

Perhaps that explains having a good lung capacity!


You may be asking why the Santa outfit? Les’s daughter who is a teacher at the Montessori school in Downley asked her dad if he would be Santa 15 years ago and since then 3 different schools in the area receive a visit from Les in his Santa outfit at Christmas time each year.

Les really enjoys his swimming, but for both Les and Dave this weekly lesson has become much more than just that, it is also a well enjoyed social occasion.

But remember – You can never stop learning!