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.
A large old lime tree had stood close to where the pool
was to be constructed.
When the new pool was opened by the Hon. Mrs. Henn Collins on
21 June it
was described as the only open-air swimming pool of its kind
in this country.
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.
A popular pastime over the bank holiday weekend in August 1935
was bathing by floodlight. 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.
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.
One of the first advertisements announced:
SWIM AT MATLOCK BATH'S
WONDERFUL NEW OPEN AIR SWIMMING POOL
-with Spa water straight from a warm spring, constantly changing
120 ft. long, 42 ft. wide, 9 ft. deep (at deep end).
every day floodlit at night-Music every evening Dinner Dance every
Weekends 2/-, Other Days 1/-
Children half price. Onlookers 6d.
There is more about the New Bath Hotel