Our Shop

The History

Amphibian Sports was originally started by Ali MacCleod and Peter Hines back in 1981. Here is an article that Ali wrote for us taking us through the shops history in brief...

 

"Amphibian Sports was started completely from scratch; we were just keen divers who felt there was a need for a proper dive shop in South London, catering for all the local BSAC clubs.  The original rental for the shop, just the single window - half the size it is now, was £1500 per year. We put up simple shelves and bought our first stock on a cash basis. Both Pete and myself had full times jobs so Sally my wife, who was also a keen diver, agreed to run the shop.


At the start we bought an ancient Williams and James compressor and started making the rounds of all our local dive clubs and generally making ourselves known from the beginning. our catchphrase was 'South London Friendly Dive Shop', though by our regulars as 'Amphibian Sharks'!


We were told by everyone in the trade that we were mad to try and start a dive shop. 'It's to cut throat, you will never survive' but the truth was that we steadily increased our turnover over the next ten years until it became a substantial business.


After the first few years, Pete Hines and myself dropped out of the business which was then expanded by Sally and subsequently Drew Watson also became a partner.


In 1990, when the last depression happened, Sally and Drew decided to cut back on national sales to concentrate on local clubs again and the shop continued to be a profitable concern, albeit on a slightly smaller scale.


In 1994 Sally retired from the business which was taken over by Drew who also retired a few years later when it was taken over by Bob Lenham.
We are very happy that Amphibian Sports is still being run as a successful dive shop so many years after it first started and wish you every success for the future."

Ali Macleod 2010


After Bob Lenham had run the shop for another few years, Bob sold the shop to Paul Toomer of (Diving Matrix/RAID) then after a couple of years Bob bought the shop back with James Deane. They worked together for five years when Bob sold the shop to James so he could do more diving around the south coast.


Sadly Bob went missing during a dive in 2009 on the Empire Javelin and was never found. He was a big part of our life. He had worked with James for 11 years and taught him all he knew about the diving industry, servicing etc.

 

James is still there today and still loves the sport, we hope we can keep going for another 30 years.

There have been a great buch of people that keep using the shop year after year, and has turned into a drop in spot for most on there way though London for a cup of tea and a look at new bits of kit. Made some great friends over the years, and James and the team are excited for the shop's future, taking Amphibian forward with changing trends in the industry and making more friends.

 

Thanks for reading,

Safe diving.

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