Harlesden Swimming Pool – Craven Park – Brent – 1935

Harlesden Swimming Pool - image

Harlesden Swimming Pool once brightened up everyone’s day. Brent Library 1994 tweaked by AGJ

Harlesden Swimming Pool sadly short-lived.

Harlesden Swimming Pool - Craven Park Brent - image

Courtesy of W.E. Kocher.  Thanks to his son! W. Kocher 1930s

Harlesden Swimming Pool. Craven Road. Brent - image

Courtesy of W.E. Kocher. Thanks to his son! W. Kocher. 1930s

Most residents these days would not know they are walking or living over the site of a swimming pool!

Harlesden Swimming Pool a lovely pool,  gave the Gala of it’s life on Opening Day. A feast of current diving stars honoured this pool.Opened June 1st 1935 by Alderman W.A. Hill (JP) Mayor of Willesden along with 7 Alderpersons and 13 Councillors, plus the Town Clerk and Mr F Wilkinson the Borough Engineer & Surveyor.

Harlesden Swimming Pool show diver C.D Tomalin - image

C.D. Tomalin

Aquatic Entertainment included divers of the famous Highgate Diving Club -Mr. C.D. Tomalin – Empire Games representative 1930 and Silver Medallist 1934 and Gold medallist 1938.
European Games representative 1934
Plain Diving Champion of England and held many other Amateur Swimming Association titles.
Mr Tommy Mather – British Empire Champion and Olympic representative 1928 & 1934.
Mr Johnny Rasch – British Empire Springboard Champion 1934 and
Mr Peter Beveridge British Empire Games representative 1934 and
Mr W.R. Browner – Irish International diver.

“As the pumps commenced delivering through the cascades, from a party of Elementary School Children a boy and a girl from each school will plunge into the bath and swim across.” Picture: Wing Commander C.D. Tomlin

Harlesden Swimming Pool - General view -image

General view of the Harlesden Swimming Pool. Brent Library 1994

Built alongside the GWR the pool was rectangular 165ft X 60ft. Held 400,000 gallons of filtrated water.

Had 148 dressing boxes and 728 steel lockers…
-Footbath’s, showers, slipper baths, toilets.
-Attendants rooms.
-Ticket Office  at the Denbigh Road entrance.
-Adjoining refreshment room and kitchen.
-Enjoyed night bathing by flood-light.
-Colourful footways.
-Diving stages.
-Water Chutes.
-Sun Beach.

It was a sure fine pool and so well patronised. Nothing would prepare for its eventual short life – so short – present generations may not know it ever existed, and indeed I asked one or two residents back in the 90s if they were aware that a swimming pool had been under their parked cars.

Harlesden Swimming Pool - Diagram of site of pool - image

Diagram of site of pool. Brent Library. 1994

Bombed during the war. It’s life as a swimming pool was 4/5 years.
Used as a miniature rifle range.

Harlesden Swimming Pool - Aerial view of the former site of the pool - image

Aerial view of the former site of the pool. Google earth.

Present day: A row of new terraced housing Gifford Road was once the site of the pool. Denbigh Road and adjacent roads along with the properties have all gone.

Sadly, most locals don’t realize the pool had ever existed. The whole pool site was triangular between a new road Armstrong Road, leading to Taylors Lane leading to Church Road.

I wonder how many residents know of its once existance?  Would love to know. Any hints?

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Harlesden Swimming Pool - Snippet 17 sdi