Clacton-on-sea Pier Pool above from private postcard collection AGJ. Photo Preston Ltd. St Albans.
Clacton-on-sea Pier Pool – The WONDER Swimming Pool. An engineering feat.
It was first of its kind in the world. The pool was built on the pier over the sea!
Clacton-on-sea Pier Pool was a wonder. It was opened by Mr P.J. Pybus – Minister of Transport. 160 ft. by 65 ft., 171 piles supported 315,000 gallons of water (2,000 tons) over…water!
Clacton-on-sea Pier pool opening was celebrated by a massive happy crowd. The cascade was switched on and the gala began. The bright and delightful scene saw Mannequin parades, a comedy polo match, “diving down” for prizes – A diving display was given by Mr and Mrs. W.S.T. Burne, who represented Great Britain in the 1928 Olympic Games.
Chief swimming instructor 74 years old Mr George Webb plunged from the top board 17 feet above the water. Music accompanied the activities with Teddy Dobbs’ Laguna Band. The Cascade was illuminated red, and the pool in luminous green. Festivities carried on into the evening finishing with gigantic Catherine Wheels and zooming rockets.
Thousands flocked to Marine Parade to watch the pyrotechnics display filling the skies from the Clacton-on-sea Pier Pool. During the years, sports galas were held and many children learned to swim. Regular first class water polo matches were played every Sunday and VISITORS galas were introduced.
First Stop – Clacton-on-sea Pier Pool! Beulah Gundling
Beulah Gundling the famous “Water Ballet” star of the era, started her World Tour here. She also performed at Woodcock Street Baths mentioned on this website. I was a tiny girl spectator. Thrilling.
The USA star began three weeks of demonstrating, unassuming charm, beauty, and skills during Coronation year. She helped the sport be included in the Olympic programme.
Performances were given in front of the Duke of Edinburgh who said of her “An ambassador of the sport.”
I was very happy to find some Olympics 1952 footage of Beulah – which now unfortunately has been shifted. However will continue to try and locate once again.
Awaiting the start of an Essex Police Gala in 1962. A promotion found in the Ocean Theatre Programme
Boating diving and gymnastic fun at the Clacton-on-sea Pier Pool – Water Sprites 1933. Click on Pathe clip
OUTCOME: It was decided to close the pool at the end of the summer season 1971. Due to falling attendances and rising running costs proposals were made for change of use. Plans were in progress for using the pool as a dolphinarium.
Swimmers from a “different species” were to occupy the Clacton-on-sea pool – it was planned for three dolphins, and two otters to grace the water.
LATER OUTCOME: 2003 indicated that the pool is empty and unused, and very derelict.
I wished I’d known this Lido when it was “alive”. Have you any more hints?