Films Evening

Films Officer Adrian Barak has just informed us that the first of this year’s meetings, scheduled for this coming Saturday (16th March) has had to be cancelled, due to the venue, the Coach & Horses in Barnes having re-booked the room for rugby fans!

Adrian is prepared to run the event the following evening (Sunday 17th) if demand is sufficient, otherwise it will re-scheduled to Saturday 6th April.   In either event the projector will start rolling at 8pm, but he suggests you make it an hour earlier if you wish to sample the pub’s excellent menu.

Adrian promises an interesting programme.  The main feature will be the 3-part 1989 BBC drama/documentary ‘The Darkness Beckons’ about the history of cave diving.  This includes interviews with Graham Balcombe and a reconstruction of his standard dress dive in Wookey Hole in the 1930s, through to the post-war period and formation of the Cave Diving Group.

The ‘cartoon’ feature is a 12 minute film titled ‘Kamikaze’ – how to set about diving without any instruction!  He also hopes to put together a short tribute to the late Jim Hutchison.

Please let him know if you will be coming and your date preference.

T: 01424435905 or [email protected].

Farewell Jim Hutchison

Family, friends. old comrades and many from the society gathered at the Garden of England Crematorium, Sittingbourne to bid farewell to Jim.  The cortege was led by 4 flag bearers and the packed congregation joined in a service celebrating a remarkable life, which will be recalled in full in a future Historical Diving Times.  Jim was born in Bedfordshire in 1922 to a family with no connections with the sea.  Nevertheless, he lied about his age to join up, training at HMS Ganges, where he became a ‘button boy’, climbing to the very top of the Ganges mast and standing on the truck (diameter 2-3 feet) at a height of 140 feet.  No safety aids in those days, of course!  On ceremonial occasions he would have been rewarded with a shilling for this feat!

He became, at 16, the youngest diver in the navy and his war service included Arctic and Malta convoys and D-Day.  Subsequently he served on HMS Belfast in the Korean conflict and retained a close connection with that ship, now moored in the Thames as a museum.

Back in civy street he set up Medway Diving Contractors in 1970, running it successfully for many years before handing over the reins to his son, Peter.

Jim’s display commentaries, willingness to answer questions, whether on diving or his navy career and infectious grin will be sorely missed by the society and public alike.