Playwright backs scuba fundraising appeal

Backing: Fiona Imlach with the letter
Backing: Fiona Imlach with the letter
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Playwright Alan Bennett has shared his own experiences of scuba diving to help a Clitheroe club boost its fundraising.

Members of the Ribble Valley branch of the British Sub-Aqua Club (BSAC) have already raised almost £4,000 for the RNLI by taking part on an underwater relay at Coniston Water last month in memory of former club stalwart Duncan Priestley, who passed away, aged 59, in August last year from cancer.

Now they have four Alan Bennett books for an online auction, which he will sign with a personal message to the buyer. The writer, well known for works such as The History Boys and Talking Heads, responded to a request from club training officer Fiona Imlach with a letter detailing his own experiences of scuba diving 50 years ago.

In his letter, Bennett, 80, wrote: “I’ve only once been scuba diving. It was in Sardinia in the early 60s before Sardinia was a holiday resort and was just a primitive island.

“We went diving, I say diving but it was only in five feet or so of an idyllic bay, the sandy floor of which was strewn with broken earthenware wine jars from centuries of Roman and mediaeval shipwrecks.

“I brought up the handle of a wine bottle which I still have somewhere, although it’s hardly a priceless artefact.”

To find out more about Ribble Valley Sub Aqua Club visit and to learn more about BSAC visit

To make a donation to the appeal, visit their fundraising website