Granville Rd Baths Kilburn – 1937
“Willesden’s First Indoor Baths”
Granville Rd Baths I’ve found what I can. There should be much more. Indeed it provided a very much required facility for the public and it was forecasted that it will prove very popular indeed.
Mr F Wilkinson was the Borough Engineer to whom everyone was indebted for regular updates on the progress of design and development. Many houses of the congested area, didn’t posess bathrooms and it was considered that not only would there be a swimming pool for leisure and exercise but slippers baths also.
Eventually by means of a compulsory purchase order, the council acquired a row of terraces together with stables and cottages at the rear, and the building was designed specifically for this confined site.
The swimming pool was opened 3rd July 1937. Dimensions were 100ft x 33ft with an “extreme” depth of 10ft. The pool had a lofty roof which carried concrete arches and the impression was airiness and light. The pool also had a 5 metre board, 3 metre and 2.5metre firmboards plus 1 and 3 metre springboards., which was in keeping with National Competition at the time. Southern Counties Diving Competitions took place here.
Lockers and cubicles were 32 and 54 respectively and there were communal dressing rooms for schoolchildren.
A lovely blogspot here – “Swimming at Granville Road Baths”
On another level there were 24 each slipper baths for men and women, plus a public laundry with washing machines. There was no cafe but 3 dispensing machines. There was a comfortable little flat for the superintendant who supervised at all times.
What the Baths represented:
“Leon Kossoff has always been obsessively concerned with particular sites in the area of London where he lives. He began a series of paintings of the Children’s Swimming Baths at Kilburn in 1967, with the pool crowded with families swimming and diving. The bath provides a simple perspective framework within which the figures are shown as a mass of intersecting marks. The overall effect is one of frenetic movement, light and noise.”
Anne’s note: Placement of diving boards appear different to Granville Road??? King Edwards Indoor pool Willesden had diving boards at this angle.
Willesden Baths above – Willesden Library 1994
OUTCOME: With new swimming and diving regulations coming into force, and the area becoming regenerated with many apartment blocks being built, Granville Road Baths were demolished in the 80s. For a time the site was a little parkland and recently, state of the art apartments have been built together with the Tabot Centre, a youth centre for after school hours projects.
A much needed and well patronised pool. Any other tip-offs?