History of Dudley Dolphin
We’re a Scuba Diving and Snorkelling Club based at Lodge Farm Reservoir in Netherton, Dudley, West Midlands.
Back in 1959, Tel Corbett, a former Admiralty diver, was driving past Lodge Farm Reservoir when he decided to have a look at it as a possible dive site. He was impressed with the clarity of the water and when he later dived it, he found that as long as he kept 6 feet off the bottom the visibility was good.
The following Sunday, Tel visited the reservoir to discover other divers there from West Bromwich Underwater Exploration Club. They had recently discovered the reservoir by accident and started diving there unofficially. They invited Tel to join them, which he did, along with his wife Hazel, mainly to gain the use of their compressor which in those days were few and far between.
In 1961, Dudley Council decided to buy the reservoir from British Waterways for, it was rumoured, use as a landfill site. Tel and Hazel attended a meeting to discuss the future of the reservoir and there they met Gerald Walker who was planning to lease it from the council for water-skiing. Dudley Water-Ski and Yachting Club opened on 13th August 1963 and the use of the reservoir for these two sports meant that it was no longer possible for WBUEC to continue diving there. They moved on to Chasewater and Stoney Cove. In the meantime, Tel and Hazel had left them and joined Dudley Sailing Club
In the autumn of 1964 a meeting between DWS&YC and eight divers (Tel and Hazel Corbett, Phil Aspery, John and Bob Stevenson, Wilf Bradley, David Hughes and Denis Trueman) led to the formation of a diving club by constitution whose aims were to ‘promote underwater exploration, science and sport’. Tel became Chairman and Phil Asprey the Diving Officer. Diving was to be allowed in the reservoir once a month up to 10am on a Sunday for a minimal annual fee.
The fashion in those days was to give clubs a name and the idea of ‘Dolphin’ came from the dolphins on the fountain in Dudley marketplace. It was chosen as a symbol of a friendly, peaceful and intelligent marine animal, and because it would make an attractive emblem.