A tour around Balliol Baths

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A tour around Balliol Baths

Postby tipster » Mon Aug 14, 2017 8:36 am

TONY
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Re: A tour around Balliol Baths

Postby beardedpapa » Mon Aug 14, 2017 11:03 am

Thanks Tony

Brings back a lot of memories, that's where I learnt to swim back in the 1950's

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Re: A tour around Balliol Baths

Postby Patricia » Mon Aug 14, 2017 1:14 pm

Tony - What a fantastic find!!! Remember going every Thursday
during the school day with our swimsuits rolled up in our towels
and walking crocodile fashion behind the teacher down Balliol Rd.
I learnt to swim there when I was 8 years of age and still have
my certificates for the Breadth & Length! :D
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Re: A tour around Balliol Baths

Postby lynne99 » Mon Aug 14, 2017 6:14 pm

We used to go to the smaller pool, as I remember it it was pale green and much posher than the "boys" pool. :D Perhaps I'm imagining it. Mock turtle soup from my flask on the way home yum yum.
Oh I forgot. I seem to remember a dark green tartan duffle bag - all mod cons. :D
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Re: A tour around Balliol Baths

Postby Matt » Mon Aug 14, 2017 7:37 pm

You are quite correct Lynne.The girls pool was "paradise" compared to the other one.
As Boy Scouts we were allowed in it on Thursdays after 7 pm for 1 whole hour. :lol: cup
of OXO when we came out .Every thing so clean and bright.
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Re: A tour around Balliol Baths

Postby Ernie Jackson. (Bunty) » Mon Aug 14, 2017 10:03 pm

I can almost smell it.

I too learned to swim there but in the 40's and as I kept sinking I worked out that I couldn't sink if I swam underwater. It seems daft but it worked and I swam a breadth underwater before I was able to do it on top.

I never saw the ladies swimming pool.

Whatever happened to the diving boards??? :roll: :roll: :roll:
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Re: A tour around Balliol Baths

Postby Patricia » Mon Aug 14, 2017 10:16 pm

Ernie -I was thinking the same thing - where are the diving boards?
Maybe, it is an insurance safety measure because they did away
here with the one at the neighborhood Colony Pool !
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Re: A tour around Balliol Baths

Postby dave s » Wed Aug 16, 2017 12:19 pm

Thanks for this Tony - brought back many happy memories for me. I learned to swim there in the 50s and swam there until I left Bootle in the early 70s. The diving boards were there all the time and I particularly remember the balcony in the large pool having a tarpaulin stretched its whole length behind which we youngsters got changed when the pool was busy. We kids used to jump off the balcony into the deep end -great fun.
I suppose diving boards are not allowed now due to health and safety as some pools do have them but, they are owned by private clubs and only club members can use them in club sessions. Being involved in lifesaving I'm aware diving starts in competition are not allowed unless the participant holds proof of being able to dive supplied by a suitably qualified instructor. Such is life today.
Does anyone remember the 'slips' we lads could hire if we'd forgotten our trunks? Enjoy. Dave s
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Re: A tour around Balliol Baths

Postby henry » Wed Aug 16, 2017 12:48 pm

I never had trunks only a cossie :P
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Re: A tour around Balliol Baths

Postby alamo1157 » Mon Sep 04, 2017 1:54 pm

Hi I tried to look at this but it would not open me !! Bugger I was looking forward to it Ha ! M
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Re: A tour around Balliol Baths

Postby Dan » Mon Jan 07, 2019 1:11 pm

Image

Image

Image

Regards

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Re: A tour around Balliol Baths

Postby Invicta » Mon Jan 07, 2019 1:57 pm

High board in to 6 foot of water, no wonder some of us had broken noses :shock:
We’d jump from the balcony rails for dares.
Anyone remember Mr Pike/Pyke a short rotund chap who coached us school kids? If you splashed one drop of water on him he would send you out :evil:
It was a dump but we’d spend hours in there and stop at Felices for a hot blackcurrant on the way home. :D Ken
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Re: A tour around Balliol Baths

Postby fatboyjoe90 » Tue Jan 08, 2019 1:19 am

I got my first three swimming certificates at Balliol Road baths when a was a lad. :wink:
Cheers Joe.
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Re: A tour around Balliol Baths

Postby Ernie Jackson. (Bunty) » Tue Jan 08, 2019 8:25 am

I learned to swim at Balliol Road. Initially I kept sinking but devised a cunning plan and learned to swim underwater first. The rest was easy.

Eventually I gained the Bronze Cross for life saving and later in life was awarded the Liverpool Shipwreck Society Life Saving award although never swam to save that life. The guy was twenty one at the time so will now be getting on to be seventy?

Before I learned to swim, I dipped in the canal along with the rest of the 'gang' and shared a make shift raft. That is another story. :roll:
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Re: A tour around Balliol Baths

Postby Walsh » Tue Jan 08, 2019 11:57 am

Dan, Ernie, Thanks.
Your posts on Balliol baths took me straight back to my childhood. Like many, at the age of 8, I first went to the Boys Baths with Christ Church Junior School. We anxiously lined up along the side, waiting for instructions from the teacher. The chlorine smell, splashing and echoing sounds only increased our excitement. One of my classmates pushed me hard from behind. I tumbled into the deep end, spluttered then, thankfully, came out swimming - seemed like a miracle at the time - but needs must. In the following years, I often went to the baths with mates. Someone would take a pair of flippers and it was always inspiring to feel the extra power and distance possible. As confidence rose, I managed certificates for a breadth, length and several for life saving; all were a challenge at the time. My Da was a strong swimmer and completed my swimming tuition, aged 10, by taking me to Freshfield and Ainsdale in the Summer to swim in, at times, the cold and rough sea. Of course, only wimps and girls complained, so I remained quiet and swam long and hard. Aged 11, I went to the Grammar School in Netherton. In our first year there, we were bussed to Balliol Baths on Friday afternoons for a swimming lesson. The good news is that we were sometimes transported in the coach used by Liverpool FC, complete with flags and stickers; we were in heaven. The bad news is that double maths followed. All in all, great, lifelong swimming lessons in Bootle.
Aged 9, we often collected used wooden lolly ice sticks, washed and dried them, then made them into a trellaced raft, followed by coating the raft in tar, melted by playing a magnifying glass onto road tarmac patches. One day, we found some planks of wood and empty oil drums at the side of the cut. An impromptu but real raft was made - it took hours then we proudly rode it, standing, down the canal towards Netherton. Sadly, my kids grew up in a 'safer' environment, playing too many computer games, despite me often taking them to the Park - I always missed the Rec and Derby - an essential part of my daily life as a Bootle Village street kid. Walshy.
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