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#386245 - 5th Feb 2010 5:01pm New Brighton Open Air Bathing Pool *****
PaulWirral
Unregistered


New Brighton Open Air Bathing Pool
Indepth History

On the 13th of June, 1934, before an assembly of nearly 12,000 people, Lord Leverhulme declared open the finest and largest aquatic stadium in the World.



It was only appropriate that Lord Leverhulme should perform the ceremony because his father, William Hesketh Lever, Member of Parliament for the Wirral Division (which at time included Wallasey), laid the foundation stone to commemorate the commencement of the promenade extension from New Brighton to the Marine Lake on 22nd June, 1907.



The popularity of this once magnificent and attractive bathing pool was demonstrated by the fact that no fewer then 100,000 people passed the turnstiles within a week of the opening ceremony. During the first four weeks from the opening date some 350,000 persons paid for admission, of whom 87,400 were bathers, and in early July the Mayor presented a small souvenir to the 500,000th person registering at the turnstiles. During the first 4 months of the opening of the bathing pool almost one million paying customers visited.

The pool was built on sand, covering an area of approximately 4Ĺ acres and cost £103,240. It was constructed of mass concrete, the floor being reinforced with steel mesh. It was covered with a rendering of white Portland cement and a skirting of black tiles. The pool was so designed as to obtain as much sunshine as possible, thus facing south. It was sheltered from the north winds. The exterior walls were coated with Snowcrete, with special fine sand from Leighton Buzzard. Lights which lit up under water were placed at the deep end for night bathing. A 10 metre regulation standard, high diving stage was provided, with immediate stages, suitable for international diving competitions, also separate spring boards, double chutes for adults and children.



The pool was designed to allow for Championship swimming events, on the south being 165 feet (32 laps to one mile) by 60 feet. The central part of the Pool for general swimming was 330 feet by 60 feet (16 laps to the mile). The overall measurements of thePool - 6,500 square feet, 330 feet by 225 feet wide. On the north side the shallow area was 330 feet by 195 feet. The Pool held 4,000 and some 2-,000 spectators. The depth of the Pool haden average of 5 feet, but at the diving end, was 15 feet. The Pool contained 1,376,000 gallons of pure sea water, which could be filled or emptied in eight hours. The Pool was filled through the ornamented cascade. The water was constantly changed and purified, filtered and chemically treated, at a rate of 172,000 gallons per hour. the plant included chemical tanks, aerator, ammoniator, chlorinator, air compressor, and electric motors for the pumps etc. A regular supply of water was obtained from the adjoining Marine Lake, which acted as a huge storage and settlement tank. The total filter area equaled 861 square feet. The rate of filtration was 200 gallons per square foot per hour.

The admission fees were 6d for adults in the week and 1/- on Sundays and Bank Holidays. Children paid 4d and 6d. Non-bathers were charged 2d. The public paid at the main entrance turnstiles, and if wishing to bathe, proceeded round the promenade (which is elevated approximately 9 feet 6 inches above the water level) to the entrances of either ladies' or gentlemen's dressing boxes, where a further payment was made and towels and costumes, if required, obtained.

The main apartments housing the ladies' and gentlemen's dressing boxes were comparatively lofty structures (12 feet 6 inches high) arranged so as to derive the maximum sunlight. while 'Glas-crete' panels inserted in the roof and large horizontal steel windows in the walls gave efficient lighting and ventilation. The dressing boxes were constructed of timber framework, having asbestos sheet divisions with flush paneled doors. The lockers were constructed in two tiers. Again, using asbestos sheet divisions.







New Brighton Bathing Pool also included a cafe and kitchen which was situated in a central position between the ladies' and gentlemen's dressing boxes. Access to the cafe was by way of a raised terrace at the dressing box and promenade level. The cafe was a two-storey structure, 90 feet 8 inches long and 37 feet 10 inches in width, of modern design, embodying the use of of concrete balconies and canopies cantilevered out from the main walls. The ground level of the cafe consisted of a large room with wood-block floor, having two double-door openings leading on to a terrace overlooking the bath. At the west end of the cafe, ladies' and gentlemen's toilets were situated, and the east end was a large kitchen which had the stores, larder and the staff messroom and toilets. Communication between the kitchen and the cafe on the first floor was provided by a means of two service lifts. For the public two flight of stairs at the east and west end of the cafe provided the access to the cafe on the first floor.



The sole public access in to New Brighton Bathing Pool was by way of the main entrance block on the south side of the bath. This block consisted of the manager's office, general office, central pay-boxes, turnstiles, messrooms for staff, male and female competitors' changing rooms and was flanked on each side by three shops.



On 10th May, 1937 a large display of Gymnastics was given by Wallasey school children in the empty pool, in celebration of King George VI's Coronation. Over 1,200 pupils took part in the display, which included Country-Dancing.

The first Miss New Brighton Bathing Girl contest started at the Pool in 1949 when the first heat attracted only nine entrants. The following heat saw an increase to 23 entrants. Edna McFarlane won the final, as the rain teamed down, collecting her cup and cheque for £75. 15,000 paid to watch the event. In 1950 Violet Pretty became the holder of the title, she became known to millions as Anne Heywood, the Rank film actress. She entered on a day drip from Birmingham at the age of 18.

Wendy Ann George was Miss New Brighton in 1974. She went on to become Miss Great Britain, as did the Moreton girl, Tracy Dodds (she won the Miss New Brighton under the name Tracy Nielson-Steele in 1977). She was also romantically linked in the early 1980s with the lead singer of Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark, Andy McCluskey, from Hoylake.

The first Wallasey girl to win was Joan Boardman in 1960 who went on to win Miss England. Local teacher Hazel Jane Williams, won for Wallasey in 1979, whilst in 1986 20 year Linzi Butler from Moreton won the title. In 1976 the winner of the contest automatically gained entry to Miss British Isles' Contest at Great Yarmouth. Gillian Clark won that year and went on to take the national crown. She came from Raby Mere. She became a dancer and appeared on T.V. The winner received silver trophy. £750 in cash and a sash along with other smaller prizes.



The final was always held in the Bathing Pool regardless of the weather, but in 1981 it was decided if the weather was bad, the event would be transferred to the Floral Pavilion. The last contest was held in 1989 and was won by Jayne Corness of Wavertree.

In May 1984 Granada Television staged a £100,000 Pop Spectacular under the title of "New Brighton Rock" with leading groups taking part such as Eddie Grant, Frankie Goes to Hollywood, Gloria Gaynor, Helen Terry, Madness, Nick Lowe, Nik Kershaw, Spandau Ballet, The Flying Pickets, and the Weather Girls. The show was recorded over 2 days: Monday 21st May and Tuesday 22nd May and was broadcasted on ITV on Saturday 23rd June 1984 at 10.40 pm.

On 26th/27th February 1990, hurricane force winds measuring more then 100 m.p.h caused severe damage to the pool. With costs of more then £4 million to repair the damage it was decided by the authorities to demolish the building. The Merseyside Development Corporation (M.D.C) bulldozed the site in the summer of 1990.



Edited by uptoncx (18th Sep 2010 7:41am)
Edit Reason: Images reinstated

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#386251 - 5th Feb 2010 5:37pm Re: New Brighton Open Air Bathing Pool [Re: ]
Garygadge Offline
Smartchild

Registered: 23rd Oct 2007
Posts: 493
Loc: Wirral
Great place this was, worse thing they ever did was do away with it and not rebuild it. Did any one go to the New Brighton Rock held here in the 80's?

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#386254 - 5th Feb 2010 5:48pm Re: New Brighton Open Air Bathing Pool [Re: Garygadge]
KevinFinity Offline

Forum Master

Registered: 30th Apr 2009
Posts: 2312
Loc: Wirral
My mate went to New Brighton Rock. He fondly recalls seeing Maddness. Apparently the sax player nearly slipped over and almost fell off the stage.

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#386260 - 5th Feb 2010 6:31pm Re: New Brighton Open Air Bathing Pool [Re: KevinFinity]
bri445 Offline

Veteran

Registered: 27th Apr 2009
Posts: 678
Loc: Isle of Wight
Now that's REAL Art Deco!

What an asset to the Wirral this could have been.

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#386271 - 5th Feb 2010 7:28pm Re: New Brighton Open Air Bathing Pool [Re: bri445]
abcdefgh Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 4th Aug 2009
Posts: 350
Loc: wirral
They bulldozed it too soon, I also remember the Rock Show, good.
The Merseyside development corporation had a lot to answer for, I always hated that word Merseyside, to think Merseyside doesnt actually exist anymore but were still saddled with the horrible name.


Edited by aegean (5th Feb 2010 7:31pm)

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#386278 - 5th Feb 2010 8:10pm Re: New Brighton Open Air Bathing Pool [Re: abcdefgh]
Hiekel_Essterol Offline
Addict

Registered: 2nd May 2008
Posts: 275
Loc: Wallasey
How much would something like that cost to build these days?
_________________________
Paul

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#386293 - 5th Feb 2010 9:11pm Re: New Brighton Open Air Bathing Pool [Re: ]
MrG65 Offline
Member

Registered: 2nd Feb 2010
Posts: 56
Loc: Here
Originally Posted By: PaulWirral


The Merseyside Development Corporation (M.D.C) bulldozed the site in the summer of 1990.


Looks like they didn't quite remove it all at the time.......... some of the lower pump room area (below pool floor level) is currently being broken out as part of the redevelopment works. The whole thing is a maze/network of pipes. I've got a plan somewhere which I'll try and scan in next week.

It's interesting to think that all of this frontage, including King's Parade wall, was built out on the foreshore and the area behind backfilled with rubble/sand/rubbish. Again, I've got a plan somewhere......

Excellent old photos you've posted, by the way

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#386372 - 6th Feb 2010 11:35am Re: New Brighton Open Air Bathing Pool [Re: MrG65]
chriskay Offline
Forum Veteran

Registered: 25th Oct 2007
Posts: 4868
Loc: shropshire
A fine set of photos, Paul.
_________________________
Carpe diem.

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#388500 - 15th Feb 2010 11:40am Re: New Brighton Open Air Bathing Pool [Re: chriskay]
derekdwc Online   content


Forum Veteran

Registered: 13th Oct 2008
Posts: 4983
Loc: Birkenhead
during Last Beauty contest Aug 1988
taken from negs lent by my brother
If there is someone who was or knows a contestant I have quite a few pics I could email them


Attachments: Viewing Permissions May Apply. Click Me
dresses.jpg

bathing costumes.jpg

camcording.jpg

ladies dressing boxes.jpg

Description: ladies dressing boxes




Edited by derekdwc (15th Feb 2010 11:43am)

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#388501 - 15th Feb 2010 11:42am Re: New Brighton Open Air Bathing Pool [Re: derekdwc]
derekdwc Online   content


Forum Veteran

Registered: 13th Oct 2008
Posts: 4983
Loc: Birkenhead
some more of baths


Attachments: Viewing Permissions May Apply. Click Me
in the water.jpg

more spectators.jpg

nb.jpg

spectators.jpg



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#388502 - 15th Feb 2010 11:44am Re: New Brighton Open Air Bathing Pool [Re: derekdwc]
MissGuided Offline

Awesome
Wiki Guardian

Registered: 18th Jul 2008
Posts: 9995
Loc: Back of the wardrobe


The big hair!!! nono
_________________________


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#388504 - 15th Feb 2010 12:08pm Re: New Brighton Open Air Bathing Pool [Re: MissGuided]
Wench Offline

H4H County Volunteer
Wiki Veteran

Registered: 9th Aug 2008
Posts: 8616
Loc: Second Circle of Hell.
I had big hair in '88 too raftl
_________________________
Sometimes Police Officers give more than just speeding tickets!

Itís hard to be fit as a fiddle when youíre shaped like a cello!

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#388510 - 15th Feb 2010 12:21pm Re: New Brighton Open Air Bathing Pool [Re: Wench]
MissGuided Offline

Awesome
Wiki Guardian

Registered: 18th Jul 2008
Posts: 9995
Loc: Back of the wardrobe
Did you keep Insette in business? think
_________________________


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#388511 - 15th Feb 2010 12:38pm Re: New Brighton Open Air Bathing Pool [Re: MissGuided]
Wench Offline

H4H County Volunteer
Wiki Veteran

Registered: 9th Aug 2008
Posts: 8616
Loc: Second Circle of Hell.
yes
_________________________
Sometimes Police Officers give more than just speeding tickets!

Itís hard to be fit as a fiddle when youíre shaped like a cello!

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#388513 - 15th Feb 2010 12:46pm Re: New Brighton Open Air Bathing Pool [Re: Wench]
billy_anorak59 Offline

Addict

Registered: 4th Feb 2009
Posts: 199
Loc: Cambridgeshire
Anyone mentioned this? (can't see it anywhere...)

Clicky
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Sitting on a cornflake, waiting for the van to come.

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