St Leonards Pool - image

Hastings St Leonards Bathing Pool -1933. The finest of pools

St Leonards Bathing Pool above from a private postcard collection AGJ

Hastings St Leonard's Bathing Pool - image

Hastings St Leonard’s Bathing Pool Aqua Events- Original Image – Hastings Central Library – Brian Scott (1994)

Hastings St Leonards Bathing Pool was one of Britains Finest opened on May 27th 1933.  Sir Humphry Rolleston G.C.V.O. declared the pool open in front of 5,000 spectators.

Hastings - Construction of St Leonard's Bathing Pool. Brassey Inst. - image

Construction of St Leonard’s Pool 1933 – The Observer. Hasting’s Central Library Brassey Institute B. Scott 1994 enlarge +


Hastings St Leonards Bathing Pool - The Opening of the Pool - image

The Opening Ceremony. Watching the High Diver Dare Devil Leslie . St Leonard’s Observer 3rd June 1933. Hasting’s Central Library 1994. enlarge ++

The Bathing Pool saw over loaded buses making their way along the promenade to join in and enjoy this momentous occasion. Sunshine added the final touch to the glorious scene of colour seen in the great bathing pool. Festooned in flags and bunting, hundreds of swimmers were awaiting the first gun to indicate the “big splash.”

The Official Party took place in the sun bathing section of the luxurious medical Baths at White Rock. Dressed in scarlet robes […]


Minehead Pool similar demise.  Somerset’s  “On your marks …GO”

…Mayor, Cllr. H.Burden introduced Sir Humphry, and asked him to declare the pool open. The gun was fired, 250 bathers plunged into the dazzling clear blue waters.

A thrilling moment came when Dare-Devil Leslie stood poised on the edge of a 60 ft drop.

Hastings St Leonards Bathing Pool - Railway Poster of the Swimming Pool - image

Railway Poster of the Swimming Pool

He flung off his cloak and launched into a perfect swallow dive. A parade of Victorian/Edwardian bathing costumes, the latest Jantzen costumes and beach suits followed. Diving and swimming exhibitions intermingled with the celebrations.
Sir Humphry was then taken on an inspection of the 330ft. by 90ft pool, which held a million gallons of water. The pool graduated in depth from 2 ft to 15 ft. under the fine International diving stage.  The Bathing Pool staged many National Swimming and Diving Championships, and thus hosted many an International star. 

Fashion at the Pool

Fashion at the Pool- Many good shots of the pool too! – Click on Pathe Clip

Adding weight behind this, Mr T Mather, Empire Highboard Champion 1934 was the manager of the pool. New ways of diving training were introduced, including belts and trampolining. Winifred Gibson of ASA Author fame held her excercise classes on the decks of the pool. Plus fashion and beauty shows.

Hasting s St leonards Bathing Pool. This is the life at St Leonard's

This is the life at St Leonard’s- Hastings 1960s. Central Library 1994

This fine bathing pool lent its vastness and versatility, to eventually becoming a very popular Holiday Camp in 1960.

Hastings - Water Polo at St Leonards - image

Water Polo at St Leonards- Belgium & Scottish Teams. Thanks Alan Cullen for redirection 2003 Click on Pathe clip.

In addition to the immense pleasurable activities and events, there was the serious” stuff”  too! 

Hastings St Leonards Bathing Pool - Happy Campers - image

Happy Campers at St Leonard’s. Evening Argus. Hasting’s Library. Brassey Institute. 1994

OUTCOME: Due to package holidays available, bathers dwindled. When threats of closure raised it’s ugly head,  much debate and public outcry resulted.  Ideas were to turn the site into a marine centre; a roofing business; holiday complex; luxury housing.  None transpired. 

Hastings St Leonards Bathing Pool - Derelict - image

The Derelict Pool. Hi de Hi gone forever. Evening Argus 2nd March 1989. Hastings Central Library 1994 enlarge +

Hastings St Leonards Bathing Pool - The end of an era - AGJ 2000 - image

Hastings St Leonards Bathing Pool – The end of an era. AGJ 2000 enlarge ++

Hastings St Leonards Bathing Pool Site - image

Site of St Leonard’s Swimming Pool 2009.

“Hi-de-Hi” days were over at Hastings St Leonards Bathing Pool. By 1989 the beautiful pool was razed to the ground. The rubble was ground down, and used for cement to help reconstruct the sea wall, and to build a cycle way.

I wondered over the site imagining the laughter and hearing the splashes. I wonder how many of my visitors have actually swum here?

More to looksee into the Hey day of pools. Click on.



St. Leonards - snippets - image