Swimming Events Guide 2024

Scarborough sewage rebels Sons of Neptune to feature in a new film

In the 1980s, a group of year-round sea swimmers from the North East started to notice the quality of their local bays deteriorate due to sewage in the sea. They started to stage eccentric stunts to highlight their cause, which eventually saw them take on the government. Now, their story is being turned into a film.

Set in Scarborough in the 1980’s, the film will tell the story of what happened when the powers that be were challenged by this little group of enthusiastic swimmers, convincing the world to join the campaign to stop dumping of raw untreated sewage in our seas.

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Founder members of the team seen in 1986. Marketing Executive Bryan Dew; Lawyer and group leader Freddie Drabble; Schoolmaster Geoff Nunn; Master Mariner Capt Sydney Smith MBE; Bookmaker Cecil Ridley; Podiatrist Author & Broadcaster Charles White; Chartered Accountant Chris Found. Source: https://www.sonsofneptune.co/

After noticing the disappearance of eels & crabs and the alarming build up of pollution, in 1983 the group decided that action had to be taken before it was too late. What followed was a 15 year campaign to stop untreated sewage being discharged into the sea, full of action and outrage. After taking on Thatcher, their eccentric actions eventually led to the UK being compelled by Directive to ensure that no sewage sludge was discharged into the sea.

“Their exploits are now making their way to the screen. It’s a familiar story of British eccentrics and a battle against the authorities, but also a tale of how high-minded idealism can affect peoples’ lives in all sorts of ways. There are still people in the North Yorkshire town who can’t forgive them.” – BBC

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