ONE hundred years of sporting history will now be proudly on display at a local museum thanks to a successful appeal by members of the former Gourock Amateur Swimming Club.

Past president John Howieson led a campaign to recover trophies won over the years and create a lasting legacy to a club with a proud heritage in the town.

There was a tremendous response to the plea and thanks to the hard work of all those involved there is now an impressive collection of 20 shields, trophies and cups which will take pride of place in the Watt Institution.

Former members of the club hope this will be a fitting celebration of all the young people who were members of the club, and secure its place in the town's history.

Delighted John, who now lives in Moray, said: "We are so pleased that we have managed to get so many trophies, though there are still some we would still like to find.

"It is important that we have a collection in the museum to mark the club's history.

"I would like to thank everyone for their support. I am proud that this collection is now in the Watt Institution and will be on display."

John became involved with the club when his children were young and remained at the heart of it for over 20 years.

He was inspired to collect the silverware after realising the club, founded in 1906, was now defunct.

Gourock's Anne Margaret Lawson was also one of the members involved, along with Alison Clark.

She said: "It is brilliant that we have managed to secure so many of the trophies and they will be in the Watt Institution."

They were helped by town councillor Lynne Quinn, who stepped in to offer support with the silverware salvage mission.

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She said: "I am delighted for John and the other members that this collection is now in the Watt Institution as they have worked so hard to make it happen.

"I think it is important that our local sporting success is recognised. The Gourock Amateur Swimming Club has such a strong history."

The council's education and communities convenor Councillor Jim Clocherty was on hand to accept the collection. The museum plans to create a digital display with the memorabilia in its community space.

He said: “These items will help the Watt Institution to display sporting history of Inverclyde.

“For over a century, Gourock Amateur Swimming Club helped its many members improve their swimming and fitness and the museum is an ideal place to share members’ stories through future displays and activities.

“I’m sure visitors to the Watt Institution will look forward to seeing the display and finding out more about the group.”