Cardiff Empire Pool – 1958. Greatest International Venue
Cardiff Empire Pool was built for the 1958 Empire Games. Now known as Commonwealth Games.
Cardiff Empire Pool – WHAT a pool! Host to the greatest International Swimming and Diving events during the duration of its life.
This dream of a pool became reality by spring 1958. The pool 165 feet by 60 feet – 3 feet deep to 16 feet under the full International diving stage. with four spotlights. Room for 1,722 spectators under a single span roof of 139 feet and…6 inches!
During the Empire Games the door opened to: 3 Golds 2 Silvers 4 Bronzes from these boards for ENGLAND, and 1 Gold for Scotland. The spotlight was set on this fine International Golden squad for England and Scotland. Brian Phelps and Ann Long in the Silver Squad for England, and David Tarsey, Ray Cann, Elizabeth Ferris and Molly Weiland in the Bronze Squad for England!
Cardiff Empire Pool witnessed well known swimmers of the day splashing their way towards TWO individual swimming Golds – Anita Lonsborough and Judy Grinham.
THREE swimming Silvers – J.I. Dyson and G.H. Symonds and Margaret Edwards and TWO swimming Bronzes – Chris Walkden and Christine Gosden. TWO relays battled for TWO Bronzes. Ian Black secured a Gold for Scotland. Cardiff’s Empire Pool was sure in the fast lane! The Empire Games at Empire Pool Cardiff.
A famous diving National event was introduced in the 50’s – the “Empire Pool Diving Trophy” The pool saw the birth of many future Olympic and International representatives – including Wales’s Bobby Morgan, literally pipped at the post in Sheffield, by a whisker of .03 points which lost him a deserved European Highboard title.
Wales are very proud of their other National Sport. Rugby. The new Millennium Stadium was built, but it dangerously nudged the Wales Empire Pool. The massive following of the sport of Rugby necessitated more car parking space and the life of this pool became threatened.
The final swim meet (R). The pride of Wales in 1958 is no more. The echoes and sounds of excited, thrilling cheers, the melodious crescendos of “We’ll Keep a Welcome in the Hillside” have now been transferred to the sphere of the mighty Millennium Stadium.