The Northern Federation of Divers was created in 1958 and comprised of dozens of clubs sharing their resources and training skills with other less-equipped clubs. It was very successful and many other Federations were conceived across the UK. Norfed led the way in expedition diving, identifying wrecks, raising small boats, raising World War Two aircraft and guns plus many cannon, all of which are now on public display. Norfed divers also acted as stand-by divers for the water speed record attempt by Donald Campbell in Blue Bird.
Diving has come a long way since then, with BSAC establishing itself as a premier club-based organisation and numerous other training agencies shaping the diving industry as we see it today. Sadly, Norfed’s presence declined as clubs began to buy their own boats, training kit and organise their own diving, however a core of divers kept the group alive.
This year, Norfed celebrates 60 years of diving. A new Facebook group page has been created and the aim is to develop into a community of clubs and divers to promote ‘Diving with a Purpose’. To celebrate this birthday, Norfed have planned a Dive Festival in the North East of England called Nor-Fest, which will take place on Saturday 28 July at Beadnell Harbour and Beadnell Village Hall, Meadow Lane, Beadnell, Northumberland. Those of you who have visited the Farnes Islands will know the village. Visiting divers can shore dive or launch RIBs from the Harbour on the morning LW. From 4pm onwards, there will be presentations from guest speakers, held at Beadnell Village Hall, along with light refreshments followed by a BBQ in the evening outside the hall hosted by local clubs. There will be trade stands outside the hall on the grass area, and the BSAC technical team will be present offering help on open circuit and rebreather technical diving. The day will come to a close as delegates adjourn to a local pub to enjoy the annual craft beer and jazz festival.
Tickets are priced at £5 each, which allows entry to the guest speaker presentations, a delegate bag full of goodies and free prize draw. To get a ticket and receive updates and announcements, visit the Nor-Fest Facebook group. A link to the event is on the main Norfed home page.