Images Index> Matlock Bath, 20th and 21stC Images> This page
Matlock Bath : New Bath Hotel - the Outdoor Swimming Pool
Matlock Bath : Twentieth Century Photographs, Postcards, Engravings & Etchings
 
Swimming pool of the new Bath Hotel - rescanned 27 Apr 2017
20th & 21st C Images
Next Image
Previous Image
More Matlock Bath Pictures
18th & 19thC
"Just" Images
Matlock Bath
General Info
About Matlock Bath
Find a Name
18thc and 19thc Tour Guides have historical info about the New Bath


New Bath Hotel (5)



Bath Terrace Hotel



The above postcard shows the pool and the picturesque turnstile at the swimming pool entrance. Trust Houses, Ltd., who owned the New Bath Hotel in the 1930s, submitted plans to the Council for a swimming pool in the hotel's grounds in 1934; it was hoped that it would add to Matlock Bath's attractions[1]. A large old lime tree had once stood close to where the pool was to be constructed[2]. When the new pool was opened by the Hon. Mrs. Henn Collins on 21 June[3] it was described as the only open-air swimming pool of its kind in this country[4]. The gala opening featured displays by world swimming champions, a water polo match and a mannequin parade and the announcer, a Mr. S. H. Miller, reportedly kept the audience constantly amused[5].

A popular pastime over the bank holiday weekend in August 1935 was bathing by floodlight[6]. Fed by thermal water from a natural spring, the Olympic sized pool was always popular during the summer months and it was here many local children learned to swim. The slide and diving boards at the deep end, which can be seen behind the turnstile building, were removed some years ago.

The white building which is slightly to the right behind the pool had in earlier times been Walker's or the Bath Terrace Hotel. By 1934 it had become an annexe to the New Bath, although the building was eventually demolished. This was where bathers changed for many years and where, later on, some of the hotel staff were accommodated. The former hotel had been converted to provide cubicles for 60, lockers for 400 and shower baths were also available[4]. There were ground floor changing rooms for males, and female facilities on the first floor.

The long low building behind the pool and to the left is part of the mews buildings of Portland House.

Below are two views of the pool, taken in the 1930s and this time looking towards the back of the hotel's main building. Perhaps the bunting was for a special event. Spectators certainly outnumber swimmers! Teas, ices and refreshments were served on the terrace surrounding the pool. One waiter, in a white jacket, can be seen serving from a trolley.


Spectators sitting round the pool

One of the first advertisements announced[7]:

Every-day
SWIM AT MATLOCK BATH'S WONDERFUL NEW OPEN AIR SWIMMING POOL
-with Spa water straight from a warm spring, constantly changing itself.
120 ft. long, 42 ft. wide, 9 ft. deep (at deep end).
Open every day floodlit at night-Music every evening Dinner Dance every Saturday
SWIMMERS
Weekends 2/-, Other Days 1/-
Children half price. Onlookers 6d.

Photograph of the New Bath Pool



There is more about the New Bath Hotel
   
       

1. "Swimming Pool, New Bath Hotel, Matlock Bath" published by F. Frith & Co., Ltd, Reigate. No date Postcard in the collection of, provided by and © Ann Andrews
2. "Bathing Pool, New Bath Hotel, Matlock Bath". No publisher and not posted, No.6463 © Ann Andrews
Another version of the lower image first shown on Michael Portillo's "Great British Railway Journeys" on BBC2 on 25 January 2010
3. Photograph of the New Bath Pool from an advertisement for the hotel published in "The Matlocks, Derbyshire. Official Guide" Issued by the Come to Derbyshire Association, published 1930s. In the collection of, provided by and © Ann Andrews
Intended for personal use only. Research by Ann Andrews.

References:

[1] "Derby Daily Telegraph", 15 March 1934
[2] See Matlock Bath from Cat Tor
[3] "ibid.", 21 June 1934
[4] "ibid.", 8 June 1934
[5] "ibid.", 22 June 1934
[6] "ibid.",, 5 August 1935.
[7] "ibid.", 3 July 1934