Duck and Dive was formed over 25 years ago. After teaching scuba diving in Cyprus, Garry returned to the United Kingdom and opened Duck and Dive, originally teaching theory from his grandmother’s cellar in Eccleshill in Bradford. A few months later we had out grown the premises, so bought a static caravan at Moor Valley Park, Hawksworth, over the moors near Baildon. This became his base for academic training for 6 years.
Previously using Shipley dive pool for practical teaching, it was limited to 45 minutes a week and it was used for as long as possible before moving to Tong pool, which we used twice a week on Thursday and Saturdays. Unfortunately, Bradford MDC closed the pool, so operations were moved to Bingley Grammar school. The pool was not deep enough for Scuba and was not fit for purpose, it was then, we decided to be in control of his own destiny and build his own pool In Shipley. Ten years ago, the journey of The Aqua clinic begun.
Before the pool was built we had a fully functioning and stocked dive shop in the building next door in Shipley. It was here in the late 1990’s he started teaching technical diving and exploring ship wrecks around the UK. This led onto Garry forming a company called Narked at 60, which was his own brand of diving equipment and was one of the first online e-commerce scuba equipment web stores. This evolved into the range being sold in most major dive shops in the UK and in an array of dive stores around the world.
This success meant bigger premises were required so we moved to a larger unit off Preston street in Bradford. Work commenced with the famous brand RAB clothing on our under-suit garments, Typhoon international and ISP for our buoyancy products and Bowstone diving on the design and development of utility equipment. Garry then worked with specialist metal work companies their services of laser cutting, tumbling/ deburring, electro polishing and powder coating of the stainless-steel range which helped make a more rounded product. Garry also teamed up with local companies in the Yorkshire region to offer dry suit repairs and produce his own branded Narked at 60 made to measure Dry suits, both in neoprene and membrane materials.
Garry worked with Business link and target export support team (TESS) and wrote manuals for their product range and CE marked goods. This enabled him to start travelling to worldwide exhibitions, demonstrating the British made product range and signing up distributors helping him to become one of the biggest British made suppliers. This was run in line with him teaching courses in which students were using his own equipment, this included police forces across the U.K. At its peak he was teaching over 450 students a year at all levels and became some of the youngest TDI /SDI Instructors in Europe. Garry has been a PADI instructor for over 25 years and retains his qualification. Garry has worked with the BBC helping produce documentaries for the television and has written articles for the Telegraph & Argus newspaper and technical dive magazines.
Garry in 2008 started work with building his own pools in the current premises and he was keen to teach main stream scuba and offer specialised swimming lessons which is offered today in Duck and Dive.