Latchmere Road Baths frontage along Latchmere Road – 1899. Taken from very old original newspaper cuttings.Public Libraries – Battersea District Library – Richard Shaw (1994)
Latchmere Road Baths – A grand old building
Latchmere Road Baths were opened in 1899. There was a spectacular opening event in 1889 featuring ‘Little Ada, the Wonderful Baby Swimmer’ and performances by Miss Ada Webb, world class champion diver and known as “Empress of the Sea” and “Queen of the Crystal Tank’. Please see an article featuring Miss Ada Webb on my post on…
…Scarborough Pools. Thank you to the anonymous contributor.
The buildings were utilitarian in character. A sober Queen Anne-style entrance block on Latchmere Road, of stock brick with red-brick dressings, featured twin pedimented gables at either end. The baths building contained three swimming baths with a full complement of slipper baths. The first class bath was 100’ x 35’ – wide and spacious with tiered seating. it was set out as an amphitheatre to admit many spectators; the second class bath was 97’ x 30’ – cubicled down each side and the boys bath was 75’ x 25’
There first and second class baths were boarded over during the winter months and used as a gymnasium and recreation room respectively. Boxing matches were also the order of the day.
The Ladies swimming bath […]
Nine Elms Baths Battersea’s Championship Baths of the time with an ornate bottom!
…Latchmere Ladies Baths had additional features in that the bottom of the pond had green glazed bricks formed into bands, panels and stars for ornamental purposes and which also formed guidelines when swimming competitions were held. Taken from an original newspaper cutting.
There were many alterations during the course of its life. The biggest was the removal of the iron gallery and south wall in the first-class bath to create deep amphitheatre seating under the roof of the former boys’ pool. Following war damage, the gables of the 1889 building were rebuilt without their mini- pediments and in the 1970s the men’s first-class slipper baths lost its Latchmere Road gable.
OUTCOME: The council decided to redevelop the whole of the Latchmere site in 1977. Due to much public outcry and vehement demonstrating, clearance was delayed until 1980, the historic Latchmere Bath being eventually demolished. They were replaced by a large indoor Leisure Complex. Nothing remains of the original baths.
More pools to glance at…click on