I was taken to Barrowell Green baths in the 1930s and 1940s by my school. They were located next to the waste incinerators and presumably the surplus heat was re-circulated to take the chill off the water in the pool. However, the water was always cold. This could have been for any of three reasons:
It was 8am in the morning and the sun (assuming it was shining) had not warmed the atmosphere around the open air bath.
The heat transfer system from the incinerator may have been primitive and inefficient
at that time.
We boys were wearing only swimming trunks and had to stand around, waiting permission from the teacher to enter the water for our 'lesson'.
We used to be 'taught' to swim by being put into a harness and dragged through the water by one of the masters standing on the edge of the pool. This usually resulted in
our swallowing large quantities of chlorinated water and scrambling out spluttering and shivering. If a teacher had first taught us how to float we might have made some progress.
The best part of the visit was the drink of hot Bovril available at
one penny a cup after we had got dried and changed out of our awful clinging, wet woollen, costumes.
The school also paid attention to the wider curriculum. In one year, for
example, we were taken once a week to Barrowell Green open air swimming
baths. The idea was to teach us how to swim, but I never did
I hated the swimming costumes provided by the school. They were long
with blue and white stripes and frills round the arm holes, and, as they were
made of cotton, they stood away from the skin, making us feel colder than ever
when we got out of the water.
There were also extra-curricular activities.
If you can add anything to this page or provide a photo, I would be pleased to hear from you.
Pat Cryer, webmaster
This website Join me in the 1900s is © Pat Cryer.