The pupils from Mr. Chippett's school at Riber attended weekly
swimming lessons at the Fountain Baths. The signboard that
the boys and their masters are standing round reads
"Deep End 7 Feet". Richard Beaumont remembered
the pool as "old and really quite dangerous" when
reminiscing about his time as a pupil at Riber in 1918.
Local historian and journalist Benjamin Bryan, writing about
the newly opened replacement Fountain Baths in 1887,
said the building was "spacious, well planned, and
particularly light and airy".
He commented that the depth of the water "can
be raised or lowered at very short notice" and that
the "beautifully clear and pure" water, brought
into the pool in 6" pipes, connected to the spring that
came down from Masson. He also said that bubbles in "greater
numbers are ... created when any bather plunges into the
water and all who avail themselves of the use of the bath
agree in testifying to the exhilarating and invigorating
properties it possesses". He didn't seem to have tried
it for himself!
Bryan went on to say there were "a row of dressing
boxes on the Eastern side"; these can be seen in the
photograph of the swimmers. He added that "it
must not be omitted to mention that there are also here several
rooms fitted up with hot baths".
Please email the web
you recognize anyone in the photograph.
a leaflet about the medicinal properties of the water for
the Fountain Baths elsewhere
on this website. The original baths were demolished in 1881.
It pre-dates the photograph at the top of the page. There
was no diving platform.