- Last Updated: 05 February 2017
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Leicester Underwater Exploration Club was formed in 1958 by a small group of enthusiastic people who had discovered the new sport of SCUBA diving. Over the years the membership has changed somewhat but we retain some very long standing members. One of the earlier members was a director of the Midland Diving Co. Ltd. (now MDE).
The club remained independent at first, until eventually in 1967 it joined the British Sub-Aqua Club (BSAC) and became Branch No. 0321. Around this time underwater films were beginning to be shown on the TV and this caused an upsurge in interest which boosted membership to around 120.
Membership stayed around this mark rising to around 150 in 1976 where it stayed until the mid-1990's. During the first years of diving the club based its activities around the available inland waters and once a year on holiday to the coast. In 1965 the first club inflatable and engine was purchased and named 'Anne Oxia'. During the following years more sea dives were held and a second boat and engine was purchased which was christened 'Hy Poxia'. By now even more sea dives were being organised as well as a club holiday and several diving weekends each summer. Trouble was experienced with one of the engines and was sold and a new engine purchased. In 1974 'Anne Oxia' was looking worse for wear and was sold to a club member. A new inflatable was purchased and she was called 'Anne Oxia II'.
During 1968 a member was involved in the rescue of a girl diver at Stoney Cove whose life he certainly saved. Her parents were very grateful and a her doctor father, in his appreciation, presented the club with a cheque for £120. This money was used towards the purchase of a Minute Man resuscitator.
In 1974, after many meetings with the Sports Council, the club was granted £600 towards the cost of a portable compressor to enable its members to dive away from the much used coastal resorts where facilities were available for divers. The club added £220 and the compressor was officially presented in April 1974. In May 1984 the club purchased a van to transport scuba equipment and the compressor to dive sites and in 1988 two new rigid hull inflatables were bought from Northern Dive with engines from the RNLI. In 1992 one of the boats, unfortunately, was stolen and replaced with a 5.5m Delta.
Training had taken place at St. Margarets Baths in Leicester until 1987 when the centre closed for refurbishment and new facilities were found for the club at Aylestone Leisure Centre until works were completed the following year. LUEC remained at St. Margarets until its close and subsequent demolition in 2001 when training was transferred back to Ayleston Leisure Centre and we remain there to this day.