About SDHF


The Swedish Diving History Association started May 23, 1979 with the goal of rescuing the old dive tank house afterwards, which, according to the Fortification Administration’s intentions, would be demolished before the summer.

A call in a few newspapers and an invitation to people who were interested in and in many cases employed in diving activities in various forms resulted in a small crowd instituting the association which received only a board of two people Bo Cassel secretary and Hans Örnhagen chairman, with a mission to achieve the association’s goal, ie save the diving tank house to the afterlife.

April 11, 1997, is another mark date for the dive tank house. At that time, Dr. Claes Lindemark’s book on the active time of the dive tank house was presented and the Maritime History Museum officially announced that it is now renting the house by the Royal Djurgården administration and that the work will slowly start renovating the house to enable a collection of diving historically interesting objects together with Swedish Diving Historical Association. The Dive Tank House and the diving history collections were open for the first time in connection with the Archipelago Show May 29-30, 1998. Excerpt from the book” Dykhuset på Galärvarvet ”by Claes Lindemark, Maritime History Museum Report 33. ISBN 91-85268-66-6

Unfortunately, the book is over. May be found some antique stores.

On an early morning of May 23, 1979, a number of dive enthusiasts gathered outside the gas station at the Galärvarvet. The reason was that the Fortification Administration intended to demolish the building and lawn all over the surface between the dry dock and the gallery shed. Several attempts to preserve the building had been made and plans had also been made to move parts of the facility to a planned dive center at Välern in Gothenburg, but none of these plans could have been realized. Good advice was expensive and what the group, this early morning, found to be the best solution was to form a Swedish Diving History Association with the sole task of trying to preserve the tank house so that a diving history museum could later be housed in the house. As the initiator of the meeting at the tank house, I was chosen for chairman and Bo Cassel was elected secretary. Our first task was to ascribe to the authorities concerned and on 5 June a letter was sent to the Swedish Defense Materiel Administration, the Royal Djurgården administration and the Fortification Administration. After a brief introduction about the house and the Swedish Diving History Association, we appealed to the attributed authorities to: ”until now postpone the demolition of this monument on the development of the dive in Sweden.” Furthermore, the association asked for “one year of respite time to be able to draw up plans for the utilization of the tank facility as a living museum with voluntary efforts. It would be deeply unfortunate if yet another cultural monument was leveled with the ground before seriously considering the possibilities for its preservation. ”

In November of that year, the Fortification Administration responded that the demolition could be delayed. Plans to integrate a diving history museum in the tank house with the new museum planned for Vasa took off and in a letter from the Swedish Diving History Association to the Ministry of Education June 8, 1983, it was pointed out that:

“ There are historically interesting diving equipment scattered in various storage areas that are at risk of being dispersed and destroyed. With the support of the above, we request that the following proposal be taken into account in the government’s assignment to the Swedish Construction Agency to design new construction for the regal ship Vasa:

1. A diving and salvage museum will be set up in the new Wasa Museum adjacent to the interior of the dock.

The diving tank house and the diving history collections were open for the first time in connection with the Archipelago Show, May 29-30, 1998.

Excerpt from the book ”Dykhuset på Galärvarvet” by Claes Lindemark, Maritime History Museum Report 33. ISBN 91-85268-66-6. Unfortunately, the book is over. May be on antique store.

Epilogue

Early morning on May 23, 1979, a number of dive enthusiasts gathered outside the gas station at the Galär shipyard. The reason was that the Fortification Administration intended to demolish the building and lawn all over the surface between the dry dock and the gallery shed. Several attempts to preserve the building had been made and plans had also been made to move parts of the facility to a planned dive center at Välern in Gothenburg, but none of these plans had been realized. Good advice was expensive and what the group, this early morning, found to be the best solution was to form a Swedish Diving History Association with the sole task of trying to preserve the tank house so that a diving history museum later could be housed in the house. As the initiator of the meeting at the gas station, I was elected chairman and Bo Cassel was elected secretary. Our first task was to ascribe to the authorities concerned and on 5 June a letter was sent to the Swedish Defense Materiel Administration, the Royal Djurgården administration and the Fortification Administration. After a brief introduction about the house and the Swedish Diving History Association, we appealed to the attributed authorities to:”For the time being, postponing the demolition of this monument to the development of diving in Sweden.” Furthermore, the association asked for “one year of respite time to be able to draw up plans for the utilization of the tank facility as a living museum with voluntary efforts. It would be deeply unfortunate if another cultural monument was leveled with the ground before seriously considering the possibilities for its preservation”.

In November of that year, the Fortification Administration responded that the demolition could be delayed. Plans to integrate a diving history museum in the tank house with the new museum planned for Vasa took off and in a letter from the Swedish Diving History Association to the Ministry of Education June 8, 1983, it was pointed out that:

“There are historically interesting diving equipment scattered in various stores that risk being dispersed and destroyed. With the support of the above, we request that the following proposals be taken into account in the Government’s assignment to the Swedish Construction Agency to project new construction for the regal ship Vasa:

  1. A diving and salvage museum will be set up in the new Wasa Museum adjacent to the inner part of the dock.
  2. The pressure chamber plant is preserved at its present location as a memorial to the diving pioneer era in Sweden. It should be emphasized that this plant from the 1930s is unique in its kind”.

The Maritime History Museum and the State Cultural Council were in principle positive and the Ministry of Education had nothing to remember, but the costs would be taken within the framework of the design and new construction of the Vasa Museum. This came to mean, in all the turbulence that preceded the placement and construction of the Vasa Museum, that everyone was interested, but no one dared to go into a diving history museum until the Vasa Museum was completed.

In order to gain some momentum on the planning work for a diving history museum, which in the mid-80s ended up in the shadow of a national apartment namely the Vasa Museum, Swedish Diving History Association in 1988 discussed with the Swedish Defense Materiel Administration, the Fortification Administration and the Royal Djurgård Administration to donate houses with content as a gift to Maritime History Museums (SSHM). It turned out then that no law enforcement to the property existed and therefore could a donate of the building as intended, not be done. The Djurgårds Administration then outlined two possible solutions. Either the building is handed over to the SSHM in existing conditions to conduct museum activities and the SSHM will then have to renovate the building for its own resources or the Djurgårdsförvaltningen would renovate the building and then rent it out to SSHM.

A cost proposal from the Royal Building Board in 1989, for minimum measures for that the house could be used as a display magazine, ie without booths and other special furnishings and without renovation of pressure chamber and basin, ended up at SEK 1,225,000. These funds were not tangible and everything remained as it was, ie the tank house stood there and the Svensk Dykerihistorisk Förening deposited interesting equipment waiting for it to be a museum. Since nothing was renovated, the house was perceived as overdue and it turned out that the house was exposed to unauthorized visits for a period of time and valuable items disappeared before powerful locks were installed.

Since the late 1980s, in a wider circle, the possibilities of moving the Maritime History Museum from the current building to the buildings at the Gallär shipyard have been discussed. It is easy to realize that this would provide an opportunity for the realization of the plans at a diving history museum. It can also mean that the Swedish Diving History Association with volunteer efforts in collaboration with SSHM can begin a gentle renovation of the old dive and test facilities.

Hans Örnhagen

Chairman

Swedish Dykerihisorisk Förening