‘Age is no barrier when you’re doing something you enjoy and appreciate!’ This is the case of the 91 year-old great grandfather Norman Lancefield – a former beekeeper and now an active member of the Barry branch of the British Sub Aqua Club (BSAC) and the oldest scuba diver in the UK.
It was during his holidays in Spain when Norman took up the sport for the first time trying some snorkeling, and it was on the way home when he made up his mind to go deeper in his new skill.
In spite of taking his hobby relatively late, in 1978 when he was already 58, Norman has succeeded in hundreds of dives with the latest one at Babbacombe Beach in Torquay. Underwater life is another world for Norman and he feels privileged to be able to see it. Norman doesn’t like to go much on wrecks and prefers to see seaweed, both small and big, considering it a beautiful part of nature.
The sea life really dazzles Norman and he recalls an interesting moment during a dive off the Gower coast in Wales. ‘I was following my companion closely,’ he says, ‘and suddenly I saw what I thought was a stone, and then I said, no, that’s not a stone. I grabbed my buddy by the ankle and showed him. Believe it or not, it was an octopus.’ This is what enjoys me.
Mary Tetley, the chief executive of the BSAC says that as far as BSAC is aware, Norman is the oldest active diving member and they are truly delighted that he is still getting in the water.
Even the age can not deter Norman from taking on adventures in life. A member of the BSAC for over 30 years, he still attends training sessions at the same school every week, doing better in the tests even than some of the younger members.