Lowestoft – Denes Swimming Pool – 1921. Tents to cubicles

Children enjoying a swim in the Pool

School Children enjoying their lessons in the Pool. Suffolk County Libraries – Kerry Meal – (1996)

The Mayor slid down the chute and duly opened the pool in July 1921!  

The development of the “Denes” took place once the new sea wall had been built.  This was to protect the area from the elements.

The Mayor of Lowestoft Cllr William Smith opening the "new Cjhronicle learn -to- Swim Campaign 1936

The Mayor of Lowestoft Cllr William Smith opening the “new Chronicle Learn – to- Swim Campaign” 1936. Suffolk County Libraries Kerry Meal 1966 Click to enlarge

The open air pool was unheated. It originally had tents for changing until cubicles were provided. The pool was fed by sea water that was pumped through a pipe that was attached to a groyne in the beach, that led under the new wall to the pool. The pool was a good size, being 50 yards by 33 yards with a basin cut out to 6 feet deep under the boards.

Spectators sunbathing and watching the cool activities in the water

Spectators sunbathing and watching the cool activities in the water. Suffolk County Libraries Kerry Meal 1996

The spectators enjoyed sitting alongside the pool in deck chairs, enjoying the sun and sea breezes and dozing to a band playing in the background.

Local school children were marched down for their weekly classes for swimming and diving lessons. School and Scout Galas were held and immensely enjoyed. It was the time to show all that they had learned during the season.

Denes Pool on the Beach

Denes Pool on the Beach. Suffolk County Libraries Kerry Meal 1996 Click to enlarge

During the winter months the pool was drained, the cubicles were camoflaged around the side by moving screens and it became a popular venue for exhibitions and entertainment. A famous exhibition was held there called the “Fairy Fountain” featuring inumerable jets of water illuminated by coloured light bulbs. Later disabled children were to exhibit and sell their handmade crafts, flowers and table ware

OUTCOME:
In 1940 the pool was used for training by H.M.S. Europa. First to go had been the cubicles. In 19 43 the groyne was washed away by heavy seas.  This carried the inlet pipe to the pool. The pool was abandoned and following the war, the pool was filled in and eventually became a car park within North Denes Park, close to North Denes Caravan Site which is now no longer – 2012.

The site of Dene's Swimming Pool

The site of Dene’s Swimming Pool 2004  agj  – Click to enlarge

Adjacent to the pool site there had once been allotments, that had been developed into a cricket pitch and tennis courts (which remain) beyond which was a paddling pool turned yachting pool – now filled in. In all it had been a wonderful recreation area with the pool at its heart.

 

Site of the once well patronised Dean's Pool

Site of the once well patronised Dean’s Pool.

Lowestoft Grand Indoor Baths. Indoor old Sea Water Baths

 

 

 

 

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