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When I went to Birchfield road school I can remember that swimming lessons were compulsory in the 1950s . We were marched up to the bus stop by the Crown & Cushion and the teacher would pay the fair to Grove Lane Baths with tokens witch looked like plastic buttons. and occasionally we used to go to Kingstanding Baths.
The picture show the first class bath. This had separate changing rooms. The second class bath next door had no such refinements - you changed behind a communal curtain. For this reason, male and female swimmers used the second class bath on alternate nights. The good old days! willey
That's a smashing picture. I was also terrified of water Topsy, I could sort of swim about ten yards, but then I was so exhausted. I used to go occasionally to Grove Lane, but undressing behind those doors used to terrify me more than the water - I had the feeling that as the door did not completely cover the cubicle, everyone could SEE! I never did any better whatever swimming pool I went to until I was 59 - then I had lessons and found out I was doing everything right except the breathing!
I wonder if anyone has a photograph of Grove Lane Swimming baths? I don't expect it is there anymore. The changing cubicles were up overlooking the pool. My friends and I used to go regularly in the school holidays. I remember the woman in the ticket booth asking whether we didn't have homes to go to!! There used to be a large tree (well large to me, whose roots I used to stand on whilst waiting for the bus home. I have a feeling it was on the corner of Selborne Road, but I might be getting mixed up here - it was a LONG time ago! About 1960. I wonder if the tree is still there?
I went swimming recently, and is it just me, or do they have the water temperature several times warmer nowadays? I remember Grove Lane's water seemed freezing to me.
We used to go to Grove Lane Baths once a week for swimming lessons with school in the early 1950's. But also used to go on a Sunday morning with my sister as well. I can remember standing on the balcony talking to the boys on the diving board, and then into the cafe afterwards for a hot Bovril!
Grove Lane Baths opened on the 28th of January 1908 and offered first and second class swimming baths, suites of first and second class private baths for men and women and Turkish bathes designed in the appropriate eastern style.
The first class swimming bath which had a spectator gallery was fitted with a floor and in the winter months used for social purposes.
What a lovely picture of the old swimming baths. I only lived in Antrobus Road so the baths were easy to get to.Spent many happy hours with friends swimming and also having the weekly bath as we had no bath in those days. Also the hot drink of cow and gate at the end of our swimming session was something to look forward to.