wigan baths39 Comments
Photo: Tim Cooke
Item #: 33523
The baths opened in 1966.
Oh how I loved going to this place,I taught my children how to swim here.
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.
I looked at the picture and all of a sudden I got an imaginary and almost overpowering smell of chlorine!
MikeW,my hubby always said what a horrible smell of chlorine came from there...I loved it.
What's "international" about it?
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.
You could look in through the windows behind the diving stages , but only at the top end because of the slope in the street .
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.
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.
It got the name "International" because there were men from all over the world working on it but mainly Irish.
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.
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
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).
Your right Garry, my husband worked on this, he did a lot of the plumbing and heating.
Did Mr Spooner ever work a the new baths?
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??
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.
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.
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.
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
Why are we not surprised !???
The story about it being too short is an urban legend, and Wigan was not the only one to suffer from the rumours!
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.
I have only just noticed that it was William Eaves & Co, Blackpool, that built the swimming pool.
Yes Albert William eaves also built Tesco, scholes supermarket and the extension on Wigan tec .cheers eric
Thank you Eric. As CJAlan mentions, that these baths have been demolished. Does Wigan have a swimming pool?.
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.
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.
There are hardly any books in the library Edna !
I didn't know that Janet, I haven't been since the first lockdown. I wonder why that is?
Janet. You are the the Council tax payer, and you deserve good amenities for what you pay. Contact the councillor for your Wigan area.
Wasn’t there a small pool or fountain outside when the place first opened?
Thanks Albert,will do.
That's right Dtease , later on it was planted with shrubs if my memory serves me right.
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,!!
Just looked up the company that built the baths and they only started trading in 1971.???
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).