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Report - Durham City Baths - Sept 2011

Carbonel

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
#1
I called in here when passing recently as I used to swim at Durham Baths years ago. Access was a joke – it’s common knowledge that the place has been totally pikeyed and I think the council must be waiting for a fire-related “accidentâ€￾.

Some history of the baths (borrowed from http://www.keystothepast.info/durhamcc/K2P.nsf/K2PDetail?readform&PRN=D15802 and http://www.bbc.co.uk/wear/content/articles/2008/07/14/durham_pool_feature.shtml - nice pic of the original diving boards on the BBC site):

The Baths were officially opened on 28th September 1932 at a cost of £31,519, replacing a peat-floored pool. The old pool had brown water due to the peat. Forty times national champion and Olympic swimmer J.G. Hatfield gave a display at the opening.

Separate entrances were provided for men and women, with a ticket office between. The larger pool measured 75ft by 30ft, big enough to be accepted by the Amateur Swimming Association for competitive meetings. The hall was enhanced with plaster decoration of bulrushes and water lilies on the arch-ribbed roof. The balcony was supported by a pair of sandstone columns in the form of lotus buds, at either end of the pool. Wrought iron railings around the balcony contained seahorse, dolphin and waterspout designs. A large window at the south end of the hall was decorated with water plants and goldfish in coloured glass, under the badge of the City (you can still see the badge, though the lower part of window is now gone).

The pool was closed in 2008. It is not a listed building and was due to be demolished and replaced with homes, offices and a restaurant at Elvet Waterside, but this fell through due to the recession.

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Thanks :)
 

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