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wigan baths

39 Comments

Wigan International Pool
Photo: Tim Cooke
Views: 1,651
Item #: 33523
Wigan International pool nearing completion. I think the baths opened in 1968, so this must be around 1967.

Comment by: Garry on 2nd February 2022 at 14:23

The baths opened in 1966.

Comment by: Maureen on 2nd February 2022 at 15:46

Oh how I loved going to this place,I taught my children how to swim here.

Comment by: Veronica on 2nd February 2022 at 16:49

That's right Garry it was a tumultuous year! The week after I went on my first foreign holiday and the '66 World Cup was being played. That's how I remember...exciting times.

Comment by: MikeW on 2nd February 2022 at 17:13

I looked at the picture and all of a sudden I got an imaginary and almost overpowering smell of chlorine!

Comment by: Maureen on 2nd February 2022 at 17:50

MikeW,my hubby always said what a horrible smell of chlorine came from there...I loved it.

Comment by: James Hanson on 2nd February 2022 at 20:26

What's "international" about it?

Comment by: CJAlan on 3rd February 2022 at 07:09

I remember visiting the baths regularly as a child in the 1980s and early 90s.

I too remember the over powering smell of chroline as you stepped into the foyer, and the cafe windows (upstairs) were always steamed up with condensation.

Its probably no wonder this building was demolished a few years ago.

Comment by: Poet on 3rd February 2022 at 08:25

You could look in through the windows behind the diving stages , but only at the top end because of the slope in the street .

Comment by: irene roberts on 3rd February 2022 at 08:41

People now call this "the old baths"....I still think of it as "the new baths"! "The Old Baths", to me, will always be the one in Millgate.

Comment by: Ray on 3rd February 2022 at 09:11

James, The baths were referred to as " International " because many years
ago, there were swimming gala competitions with swimmers from many
countries around the world. Cheers, Ray.

Comment by: Mick on 3rd February 2022 at 09:41

It got the name "International" because there were men from all over the world working on it but mainly Irish.

Comment by: Albert.S. on 3rd February 2022 at 09:51

When I visited Wigan, I never got the chance to use the pool, but I used the cafe, where my sister in law worked. Later in the seventies, she was the Mayoress of Wigan.

Comment by: Valerie Bradshaw on 3rd February 2022 at 10:41

I thought it was meant to be international but then when it was completed the pool was something like 2 feet short of the required international standard

Comment by: Mark on 3rd February 2022 at 12:30

Remember going here shortly after it opened in the late 60s.
10d (4p) half fare return to Wigan on the bus, a shilling (5p) entrance fee, and afterwards 10d (4p) for a massive meat and potato pie in the cafe.
Total expenditure 2s 8d (14p).

Comment by: Edna on 3rd February 2022 at 14:13

Your right Garry, my husband worked on this, he did a lot of the plumbing and heating.

Comment by: John Brown on 3rd February 2022 at 14:40

Great picture.

Comment by: John on 3rd February 2022 at 19:26

Did Mr Spooner ever work a the new baths?

Comment by: RON HUNT on 3rd February 2022 at 19:50

Val I think it was a couple of inches short as the designers hadn't accounted for the thickness of the tiles.
I think?? Mr Spooner became the caretaker at my old school the Thomas Linacre when the old baths were demolished??

Comment by: Dave on 3rd February 2022 at 19:54

I worked on the baths when it was being built.They filled the pool up with a fire hose it took ages all the workers on the site looked up at the top diving stage and who going to dive of that?.My mate who was sixteen at the time said me climbed to the top and dove straight off touching his toes on the way down they were so impressed they had a collection and gave him the money.

Comment by: James rudd on 4th February 2022 at 07:58

It's ironic that the site of a Roman bath house was found very close by.My uncle worked on the construction of the baths ( not the roman) they found many old mine workings.

Comment by: Elizabeth on 4th February 2022 at 10:00

Hiya Val,hope you're OK,hope to see you before long.I have heard that as well,about the pool being too short to be called international.

Comment by: RON HUNT on 4th February 2022 at 12:47

The reason they found out about the length of the pool was There was an International meeting against I think the USA? The times they were getting were very fast so they decided to investigate and found out the length of the pool was less than the required length. Hence no more Internationals.. Another 'cock up' by Wigan Council

Comment by: Elizabeth on 4th February 2022 at 14:25

Why are we not surprised !???

Comment by: MikeW on 4th February 2022 at 16:23

The story about it being too short is an urban legend, and Wigan was not the only one to suffer from the rumours!

https://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/greater-manchester-news/cold-showers-concrete-diving-platforms-18277551

The simple fact is the pool and its facilities quickly become outdated and unable to meet the requirements for international competitions. Organisers had better venues to choose from in more convenient locations in the country, and they did.

Comment by: Albert.S. on 4th February 2022 at 19:10

I have only just noticed that it was William Eaves & Co, Blackpool, that built the swimming pool.

Comment by: Eric on 6th February 2022 at 20:20

Yes Albert William eaves also built Tesco, scholes supermarket and the extension on Wigan tec .cheers eric

Comment by: Albert.S. on 8th February 2022 at 09:48

Thank you Eric. As CJAlan mentions, that these baths have been demolished. Does Wigan have a swimming pool?.

Comment by: Edna on 9th February 2022 at 09:24

Yes Albert, it's in the new Wigan Life Centre, at the top of Mill Gate. The Library is in there as well.So is the Gym.

Comment by: Albert.S. on 9th February 2022 at 12:33

Thank you Edna. As well as getting your muscles toned up. Your brain can be enhanced, all in one location. Seems to be a money saver.

Comment by: Janet on 9th February 2022 at 14:56

There are hardly any books in the library Edna !

Comment by: Edna on 9th February 2022 at 18:05

I didn't know that Janet, I haven't been since the first lockdown. I wonder why that is?

Comment by: Albert.S. on 10th February 2022 at 09:59

Janet. You are the the Council tax payer, and you deserve good amenities for what you pay. Contact the councillor for your Wigan area.

Comment by: DTease on 11th February 2022 at 13:40

Wasn’t there a small pool or fountain outside when the place first opened?

Comment by: Janet on 11th February 2022 at 17:00

Thanks Albert,will do.

Comment by: Veronica on 13th February 2022 at 15:30

That's right Dtease , later on it was planted with shrubs if my memory serves me right.

Comment by: jim kershaw on 27th February 2022 at 14:29

yes I remember mr spooner who ruled the baths with an iron hand ,we were terrified of him, i always said that when the baths closed I would make sure I rescued the brillcreme machine from the entrance next to the reception, price 1 penny for a blob in your hand, and hang it on my walls never did,!!

Comment by: Henry western on 3rd April 2022 at 16:46

Just looked up the company that built the baths and they only started trading in 1971.???

Comment by: Bill Aldridge on 7th April 2022 at 14:36

Yes Veronica and Dtease that's my memory too, and it was the site where a lorry went down into the old mine workings (but I might be mistaken as I can't find any reference to it now).

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