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The first issue of Triton with a colour cover
CARELESS OF THE EXPENSE, in 1965 Triton sported its first colour cover, and ran another later in the year to tie in with a special feature to mark the release of Thunderball, the new James Bond film complete with underwater scenes.

JUST AS IT HAD TAKEN Triton and boosted its potential, that same year Eaton Publications joined forces with the Brighton BSAC club, which had been holding its own annual conferences for some years, to co-organise a higher-profile event.
It brought over world-famous names including Philippe Cousteau, son of Jacques, and Professor Jacques Piccard, “first citizen of the Sea Age” and pilot of a “mesoscaphe” that could explore the ocean depths.
The conference was run in conjunction with the new film festival, and became a regular event. Guest presenters would include the greatest names in international underwater exploration, including Jacques Cousteau and Hans Hass; George Bond of the US Navy’s Sealab experiments; underwater-living pioneer Ed Link; shark-divers Ron & Valerie Taylor and Eugenie Clark; treasure-hunters Bob Marx and Arthur C Clarke; oceanographer Sylvia Earle; archaeologists Robert Stenuit, Alexander McKee and Margaret Rule; film-makers Stanton Waterman and Mike Portelly; photographer David Doubilet and many more.
The magazine also organised many ad hoc campaigns, projects and activities designed to raise the profile of diving. One example was the Great Brighton Inner Tube Race, when diving clubs constructed craft out of inner tubes for a race between the piers, to draw attention to a Save the Whale conference being held in the town.
In 1968 Triton’s page size was increased but it was only in 1972 that the present A4 format was adopted, with regular colour covers.

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First appearance of DIVER, in 1978
IN THE 1970s those early signs of unease about the spearfishing activities of divers became more pronounced, but it was Triton and then DIVER that took the step of campaigning against the competitions on which it had once reported. It succeeded in persuading the BSAC to support a ban on the spearfishing of territorial fish such as grouper.
Following this and its scallop-catching campaign, DIVER launched Underwater Conservation Year and the Underwater Conservation Programme, and went on to found the Marine Conservation Society, with Prince Charles as its President. It was also prominent in the campaign to promote and raise funds for the salvage of the Tudor warship the Mary Rose.
By the late 1970s, diving in the UK was expanding fast and with it the need to cater for an influx of new divers to the sport. BSAC was gaining members fast, and PADI put a toe into the water in the UK at this point.
Triton was still bi-monthly, but for a few years it alternated with a newspaper called Diver, which concentrated on diving news as Triton became more feature-led.
Peter Small’s ambition had been to get Triton onto British news-stands, but as a club magazine this always proved difficult to achieve.


IN THE EARLY 1980s, however, Bernard Eaton solved the problem. He bought up a consumer magazine called Underwater World, which had won a following but was struggling financially.
Incorporating this title into DIVER finally gave the magazine the boost it needed to gain access to the shelves of WH Smith and other newsagents, and tap into the growing diving market.
It was now Britain’s best-selling diving magazine, a status it retains to this day.
In the late 1980s DIVER took over the running of the annual Dive Show at Crystal Palace. Soon there were two shows, one in London (at Olympia, Wembley and then ExCeL) and Birmingham (at the NEC) and these have been major events in the annual diving calendar ever since.
In 1995 it teamed up with the US magazine aquaCorps to organise the two-day European Technical Diving Conference – EuroTek – at the NEC, attended by leading international divers and experts.
Soon afterwards it instituted the DIVER Awards, whereby readers’ votes reward excellence in the diving industry. Imitated in recent years but still the original and most prestigious diving trade accolades, the DIVER Awards give winners a trophy of which they can be justifiably proud.

AND IT WAS EARLY among magazines in launching its own website, divernet.com, which carried the majority of the content from the previous month’s edition online to form a valuable accumulating resource for divers.
Over the years DIVER has campaigned for many causes, from cessation of spearfishing and wreck-pillaging on scuba to airline baggage allowances and shark protection.
In 1999, 36 years after Bernard Eaton had relaunched Triton, DIVER parted company with the British Sub-Aqua Club, which now wanted more control of a magazine the success of which it could never have foreseen, and a share of its revenue.
As it turned out, the split was fortunate for DIVER. It came at a time when club membership was starting to decline, with more new divers wanting the quicker fix that professional training could give them.
DIVER was able to serve leisure divers whatever their training background, and 14 years on remains the only UK sport diving magazine that is independent of any training agency.
Bernard Eaton, who had thus maintained his and Peter Small’s insistence on editorial independence, and the ability to “tell it like it is”, was one of the first nominations for the International Scuba Diving Hall Of Fame in 2000.
He died in 2012 at the age of 86, and his son Nigel continues to run the magazine along with the Dive Shows and underwater business magazines.
As David Bellamy put it after his old friend’s death: “It was Cousteau who opened the eyes of the world to the wonders of scuba diving. It was Bernard who crafted the pages that led people of all walks of life to take their first steps under water.”