About The Manchester Fencing Centre

The Manchester Fencing Centre was developed by 3 good friends and highly motivated individuals; Michael Swiffin, Stuart Marshall and Dave Taylor.

Dave Taylor, Michael Swiffin and Stuart Marshall.......

The concept was simple, Marshall Fencing Club was rapidly outgrowing its current venue and the North of England lacked a major fencing venue that could host competitions, training camps etc.

so why not do both?!

After scouring Oldham and the surrounding areas for suitable venues for the centre, and after visiting many, many units - they settled on Osborne Mill.
Its location and condition meant that although there was an extraordinary amount of work to be done to it, it wasn't beyond the scope of the trio.

Armed with nothing more than broken sabre blades, knees pads and an endless supply of KFC, 250,000 nails were knocked in and 15,000 square ft of timber was brushed, mopped and sanded BY HAND.....!

Stuart Marshall
Head coach of Marshall Fencing Club

Notable Fencing successes
• Regional sabre Champion for North West England for 8 years.
• 2010 Commonwealth Gold Medallist for England in Melbourne 2010
• Former 4 time British Youth Champion.
• Former Great Britain Cadet, Junior and Senior team member at major international competitions including European and World Championships at Cadet, Junior and senior levels.
• Member of the UK Sport funded British Olympic pathway 2008-2010

My experience of European and world fencing and having trained and competed with the best fencers in the world has given me the knowledge and the drive to give inspiration and confidence to those that I coach, giving the fencer better performance outcomes.

Previous and current Coaching successes
• Coach of current British and English Youth Champions 2016 in U9/U10/U11/U12/U13/U16
• Currently coaching many Junior and senior fencers that attend international Cadet and Junior competitions.
• Coach of veteran fencers that attended the Veterans World/European/commonwealth Championships 2012-2016

Michael Swiffin

Former GBR fencer and 6 times North West sabre champion, Michael started fencing in 1986 at Romiley under the tutelage or Beryl and Eddie Goodall before moving to Stockport Sword Club under Professor Tom Etchells and Professor Andrew Vincent.

Michael competed nationally and internationally in A grade competitions over a 20 year period before taking time out to raise a family and go bald.

He is a fully qualified BFA Level 2 Sabre and Level 2 Foil coach.
Also First Aid Trained and Safeguarding trained.

Dave 'KIWI' Taylor
Dave was born Wellington New Zealand at some point in the last century, he started playing football at the age of 4 and by the time he was in his mid thirties he had found that kicking the ball was a great passtime.
His continued success at finding the ball and kicking it earned him New Zealand trials aged 17 and as with so many kids of his age just didn't quite make the grade and so started coaching instead.

This was really helpful.

.....Fast forward 30(ish) years.....

Dave was bored one day and thought he needed to do something different and so at the age of 41 he started fencing at Stockport Sword Club.

He showed a little aptitude and so was coached in a vain attempt to improve his way of life and he did indeed improve...a little....

Coached by Michael Swiffin (see above), Dave soon reached his potential with an outstanding performance at the 2014 Veteran Commonwealth in Largs where he surpassed his target of not coming last and quite frankly shocked the entire fencing world, coaching staff, himself and his underpants to come 5th.
The only downside for our intrepid Kiwi was that he was beaten by an Aussie....

Dave recently competed at the Malta Open losing to current Vets world Champ 11-15 in the final to get a nice, shiny Silver medal.

Well done Dave. :)

Now coaching at Marshall Fencing Club and the Manchester Fencing Centre, Dave has been an integral part of the coaching staff being involved in coaching our students to BYC , EYC medals

He is a British Fencing L2 Sabre Coach and all round nice guy (unless you are Australian)....(or ask him to say Knutsford)

A few photos before work started in earnest!

Osborne Mill - External 3
The awesome Osborne Mill

The floor....so many nails.....


The blue thing is a conveyer belt to the upper floors

Fantastic venue. Excellent facilities, friendly and experienced coaches passionate about developing fencing for all. Open to anyone to use, train, coach and learn.

Jane Williamson