Gordon Harland


In the 1950s Gordon was lucky enough to be the first in his street to have a  television, he can still remember  Lloyd Bridges in Sea Hunt, Jacques Cousteau along with Hans & Lotty Hass  and their underwater films.  On a Sunday afternoon he would be glued to the 9" television screen, fascinated by these films, it was at this pointed he wanted to join the navy as his father had done, but ended up in the army... Right from the start plans do not always work out... In 1972 he got his first taste of SCUBA diving at Pontins holiday camp in Weymouth, he got the chance to do a try dive in the swimming pool, so grabbed it with both hands. 

Being a young family man with two children he could not take up SCUBA diving as a hobby as it was too expensive plus the only club at the time was BSAC and at this time you had to be of a certain class to join there club, a lot has changed since then.  After a stint in the British Army Infantry & Para’s he found myself in the Rhodesian Army, then into the South African Army & that's where he learnt to SCUBA dive along with boat handling with 4 Recce Regiment.

Gordon took up Scuba diving in England with BSAC in 1995 ending up as an Assistant Club Instructor and changed over to PADI in 1999 and now is a PADI Master SCUBA Diver Trainer (MSDT).  He started Harbour Lights SCUBA Diving Club because of the lack of facilities in the area and Gordon saw the benefits for having a local club so set to work...

His goal was to create a club where people can come and learn SCUBA diving in a friendly atmosphere, but also somewhere qualified divers can also brush up on skills and develop their own experience, this was the starting of Harbour Lights SCUBA Diving.  Other considerations where then taken in to account like kit and location... The club has an assortment of kit which can be used by club members enabling them to buy their own kit over time.  The club would also support Divemasters and Instructors giving them a place to teach and in turn learn, from each experience. 

There were a lot of questions that Gordon raised and put to himself, so in the in the end he decided to start his own SCUBA diving club and that was in 2000 & we haven’t look back.  With a few friends he started Harbour Lights SCUBA Diving Club, hiring a school pool, and then ended up at Hemel Hempstead Sportspace where we have been since 2004. 

Since HLSD started they have been given grants by the Hertfordshire Community Foundation & Grass Roots we managed to buy kit & equipment, the club now has a total of  twenty five sets of SCUBA diving kit including wet suits in a varity of sizes for club members. 

In 2006 the club decided to buy a six metre RIB [Motley Crew] that is used mostly during the summer months. which has leed to more than a few adventures.  The club also has a nine metre hard boat [Scuba Sue]  which is kept in Tenerife, and the club trys to get out to Tenerife about once a month.

Since 2000 HLSD have trained 256 people to different levels in SCUBA diving that's just the adults, they also have a junior section to the club.  HLSD is a non profit making club & run on a part time bases, they can be found 1 night a week  in the flexi pool & the diving pit  doing what Gordon created the club for, learning, developing and having  safe fun whilst SCUBA diving.

No matter what diving organization you belong or if you wish to take a course or just want to do a try dive and providing you are willing to abide by our safety rules you are more than welcome to come & join us