101 thoughts on “Stockton Swimming Baths

  1. My great grandparents Harry and Annie Griffiths lived and owned a shop on Bath Lane in the 1930s/40s near the baths. My grandma met my granddad when he came in the shop during the war when he was a soldier stationed on Bath Lane.

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  2. Great photos, just wondering if anyone knows where the G.T SNOW swimming cup is now, would love to see it. Thank you in advance

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  3. Hi folks I have just found this site, its amazing how many names of people who have fond memories of the old baths. I also was a swimmer for the club doing well swimming breaststroke, around the time of Dennis Buckton, Don Joyce Webster, Frank Townning ( who was my boy friend for 2 years) the lovely Mr Cook, Vera Milne who if I remember went to Canada, Mr and Mrs Robson, Mrs Greenwood, Barbara Terrill, and many more. I remember going to league matches around the area and once at Gateshead we were a team member short and I enlisted the help of my then boy friend to swim for us not telling him that he was against the chap who had had a great win at the commonwealth games. He came a very long way back loser of course but got us a point. It didn’t put him off and we celebrated 48 years of marriage until he passed away last year. I would love to have a reunion of all of the Stockton Swimming Club of the 50’s era. Any one interested?

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  4. My grandparents Charles and Elizabeth Thompson lived in Bowser Street in the 40s to 60’s. Their children were Charles, Minnie, Amy, Frank, Ernie and Jim.

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  5. Paul Fellows – the team that trained at Hardwick Pool was Teesside Starfish and was set up by ‘Doc’ Angus. A number of the Stockton ASC swimmers joined. Team colours were green ans yellow! Names like Judith Cockcroft, Julie Bowbanks, John Edon, Ian and Neil Scott, Ken Blott spring to mind, although I didn’t stay in swimming for much longer after that. Sam Foggin was one of the coaches for Stockton ASC and we bumped into him on a night out in Newcastle of all places. It must have been over a decade since we had last seen him, but we exchanged some great memories of training nights and galas. A lovely man.

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  6. It makes me feel cold just looking at the picture of Stockton baths. The overpowering smell of chlorine and the stinging eyes, memories of sliding along the marble(?) benches like a whiskey glass on a saloon bar – happy days.

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  7. I lived above the shop opposite the baths in 1951/53. When we moved to Norton I always used these baths including the Turkish baths up until they knocked them down – they should neve have knocked them down. My mum also used the laundry, I can remember going with he. Yes, and as others have said, we walked to the baths – we seemed to walk everywhere in those days. What memories they bring back.

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  8. Yes I also learned to swim in Stockton Swimming Baths .. taught by Mr Wilson! After lessons.. an ice cold lime juice drink from the vending machine next to the turnstiles! I do recall the cockroaches in the deep end of the old pool though! It looks so primitive looking at the photograph and amazing that it was the only pool in the area before the new pool or Billingham Forum. It was however very real and a great place to go. After all a pool is a pool is a pool! Before the new pool we sometimes used to trek across to Eston Baths in Middlesbrough (on the old electric trolley buses or in the back of the Morris Minor Van my Dad had). The tiles in the old pool were a green salt glaze in the sixties. In the 70’s the pool was refurbished after the new pool next door was built (still find it hard to believe they demolished that as well!) and the old pool was re-tiled in the more modern turquoise shade and used for school swimming lessons. We used to go there in the early seventies from Richard Hind Technical School. Sometimes we were at the old pool, other times the new pool. The new diving pool was brilliant – 14 ft deep with two spring boards and a high board. I so much miss the opportunity these days to dive from a great height. It was so thrilling and scary at the same time. I always remember Lol B doing a belly flop from the high board, he was red raw! Ouch!!!! Fully recovered the week after though and back off top board again. Feel sorry for the kids today that they don’t really get much of a chance to dive in the overly protected world they live in today, where hardly any pool has a diving board anymore. I remember also when the new Stockton Baths opened that it had the old style pool design with gully edges and the water level about 12inches down from the edge whereas the Forum had flush edges. On the one hand it seemed a bit retro… on the other hand it was macho to be able to haul oneself out of the pool at Stockton to impress the girls! I also used to go swimming after school in the evenings at the Hardwick school pool (Sheraton School, also demolished!) I think the pool may still be there though… Starfish swimming club. That was a tough regime. I did become best at back crawl at Richard Hind, only to finish last in the Town swimming Gala – full of hay fever on the day of the big race! Thanks so much for the photographs. Wish they were in colour and also you had ones of the new (demolished) pools, especially the inside including the magnificent diving pool.

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  9. I remember the old baths well, I was in the Bailey St Boys swimming team in the 50s. I lived in Bath Street very close to old Stockton Baths.

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  10. Derek, your mum’s name does ring a bell now although I still can’t confirm that my mum was a bridesmaid to yours. I shall have words with my elder sister, Joan, when I can, she might remember. Yes, it is sometime since we saw each other, it must be 60 years or so. The family left Bowser Street in 1950 and I left The Yorkshire Penny Bank Stockton in 1962 for work in banking in the Middle East. I visit quite often to see all the family except twin brother John who is in Australia but he visits quite regularly from there. But thank goodness for Skype for keeping in touch. I’ve recently moved to Bedfordshire after 38 years in Lincolnshire; prior to that I was in Hull and Harlow! Take care.

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  11. Hello Derek, I don’t know the details of your Mum, what was her maiden name? I do know that they knew each other because mum used to mention your mum quite often and, of course, we knew other well as kids.

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  12. Surnames of families or individuals living in Bowser Street in the 40’s & 50’s which come to mind: Winter, Hiscocks, Walker, Stockton, Holmes, Nattrass, Elkin, Fox, Rust, Petts & Holmes. The corner shop was owned/run by Mrs Henderson whose daughter became Mrs Duggan. Hopefully, my recollections are reasonably correct!

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  13. Ed Buliavac – I was born at 3 Bowser Street in 1941 and my family lived there until 1950 when we moved to Ragworth Estate. My Grandmother, Elizabeth Ferguson, generally known as ‘Fergie’ lived at 31 Bowser Street. She was one of the last to leave the street in 1957 or 1958 when the street was knocked down for redevelopment. Unfortunately, I’ve not seen any pictures of the street itself.

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  14. I live in California and my great-grandmother, Margaret Edwards, is from Stockton. She lived at 3 Bowser Street which has been mentioned on this page. It seems there is no longer a Bowser Street in town. Is this true? If so, does anyone know what happened to it? Thank you so much in advance. I am enjoying all the photographs! Looks like a really nice community.

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  15. My mother, Etta, was a Greenwood, born in Stockton-on-Tees in 1925. She emigrated to South Africa in the early 1950s. I seem to recall her father’s name was Albert, and her mother was a tailor/seamstress. I wonder if anyone who has posted here has any knowledge of her or her sisters (Miriam and Bertha), and if the Albert Greenwood mentioned above could have been her father? Sadly, her memory is not great anymore, and she spoke very little about her early life in England. She did, however, insist that her children become competitive swimmers, so perhaps she swam at this pool, too.

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  16. Yes you are right Ken, Bill Harburn was a ex Bailey Street School swimmer who made a clean sweep in the Stockton Schools gala. He was one of Clive Marrison’s rivals along with Norman Alderson at the Stockton Swimming Club. Bill’s two brothers Albert & Bobby Harburn were also good swimmers.

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  17. Many years ago it was only a dream that any school other than Bailey Street would win any of the swimming trophies. In the ealier years of the Forties they seemed to win them every year, maybe because of the war and getting down to the baths from Richard Hind. I remember at RH we had one excellent swimmer called Clive Marrison who always had to carry the rest of us scrubbers. Clive came from Norton and swam and played water polo for Stockton for a lot of years. In those years Mr Plummer took football lessons and a lady called Dot Duffney took keep fit in St Peters Hall, I can’t remember if we went swimming. We didn’t have a proper sports master till Mr Fenny came home from the RAF. I seem to remember that just before and and at the start of the war, RH had a diving champion from Egypt. I’m sure Ken can confirm this history because he dealt with a lot of the sports after I left about 1947.

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  18. The system at the old Stockton baths to indicate when to get out was by numbers. After paying your 4d at the entrance, you were given a basket just before the changing rooms. The basket had a number on it and when your time was up they used to hold a board up in the pool with a range of numbers and if yours lay within it you had to get out. Anyone who ignored this would then see their clothes in the basket standing on the pool side with the attendant threatening to throw them in the water!

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  19. I remember swimming in this pool in 1955 for Richard Hind when we won the Greenwood shield as well as the Snow cup and later as a member of the Stockton swimming team during the years of Mr Cook(coach and wonderful man later killed in a tragic accident), Mr Robson, Mr Goff and of course Dennis Buckton (best man at my wedding). Dave Pinkney and Billy Fisher were just youngsters then and the above Joyce Webster, a good breast stroke swimmer and very nice person. The ‘old’ pool above was known in the swimming world then as a ‘fast’ pool which enabled me to equal the then county record for 100yds freestyle of 44secs and tie with a swimmer called Barry Shapman from Darlington. It got me my Northumberland and Durham county swimming badge but when in larger pools I could not keep the times. I think this is why the swimming fraternity pushed for a larger pool at Stockton as it was difficult to train in a small pool and then compete in larger ones. Those gruelling training sessions make me tired now to think about and the enormous amount of food I had to eat to keep my strength up all seems vain now just to say ‘I won’.

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  20. I remember going to the old Stockton baths with my sister, Lynn Olive. While we were in the baths my mother, Rita Oliver, would be in the wash house doing the washing.

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  21. Thanks for that information. Bill is my cousin and his Mum was my Auntie Nora (although for some reason we always new her as Auntie Nod) Sadly she died some years ago at a ripe old age but she was a lovely lovely lady. It was she and Bill”s sister June who gave me info on the Greenwood shield. They also helped me when I was researching the ancient canoe that my Grandfather dug when dredging the river Tees. It was donated to the Dorman museum around 1927.

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  22. The coloured rubber bands were introduced in the new Stockton baths, there was an indicator board in the middle of the front of the spectator gallery which used to flash the respective colour when their time was up. Close, Frank, but no cigar mate !

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  23. The Mrs Greenwood presenting prizes in 1968 was possibly the Mrs Greenwood still swimming and officiating when she was 80 or even 90 years old. It was Bill Greenwood”s mum, he was also a good swimmer when we were at Richard Hind in the 1950s.

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  24. I have vague memories of getting a coloured arm band to wear, showing what “session” you were in. Or was that at Billingham Baths?

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  25. I”m not sure if Mrs Greenwood was a relative, I”m sure she must have been. Unfortunately although my father was one of nine children, none of them are alive which makes it difficult to gather information. It would be interesting to know if anyone remembers the family.

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  26. Great to see these pics, brought loads of memories back. I was never away from there when I was a kid. When I first started to go I ran and jumped in at the deep end but couldn”t swim – I was soon in trouble, I was drowning and kept going under. I started to feel weak and thought I”de had it. Suddenly I felt someone grab me and I was put on the side. I laid there feeling sick, swallowed a lot of water, don”t know to this day who it was who pulled me out. When your time was up the whistle was blown. If you were slow getting out he used to hold your basket over the water, it always worked. Used to love the tupenny dip buns.

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  27. I was lucky enough to win the Greenwood shield in 1968 (I think that was the year because the shield was for under-15 boys freestyle). John Thompson beat me the year before. The lady that presented me with the shield was a Mrs Greenwood and she was also an official in Stockton ASA. Was she a relative of yours, Joy?

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  28. Read with interest your stories of Stockton baths. My grandparents, Charles & Rachel Greenwood, lived at 11 Bath Lane and it was my Grandfather who donated the Greenwood swimming shield roundabout 1912. I have photos of my father (Wilfred) and Uncles Albert & Charlie winning it and a collective photo of the family in their swimming suits. (No distinguishing between male or female swim suits) I hope this little piece of information may be of some interest.

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    • Hi, I am busy researching my Greenwood family tree. I think Charles Greenwood was my grandfathers brother, his wife Rachel was originally called Rachel Skipp. There is a story in our family that the shield was donated by Charles to encourage swimmers after a nautical disaster. Any light anyone can shed on this would be greatly appreciated.

      David Greenwood.

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    • Hello Joy,

      I think we may be distantly related. My grandfather’s brother was
      Charles William Greenwood who married Rachael Skipp and lived in Stockton. Surviving members of my family say he instigated the Greenwood Shield after having pulled a couple of children out of the river and that the shield was a way of encouraging local children to lean to swim. He was known by us as uncle Billy. I understand he died in Morpeth in 1912 at a relatively young age. Family myth suggests he was a mariner and that he may also have owned vessels on the Tees. Anything you (or anyone else) can tell me would be greatly appreciated. You can get my email via Picture Stockton – pictures@stockton.gov.uk

      David Greenwood

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      • Are you Billy Greenwood’s son, Billy will be about seventy-seven now, He went to Newtown School & Richard Hind, him & his sister were good swimmers.

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      • Hi David, I have only just picked up your message regarding the Greenwood family. I do have photos of the Greenwood swimming shield with various Uncles having won the swimming competition. (Including my father Wilfred Greenwood who was either youngest or second youngest of the Greenwood family) Also have limited information regarding the boat business which I could forward to you if you would like. I am not very good with technology so could post some details if you would allow me to have your address.
        I look forward to hearing from you in due course and apologise for the delay in replying to you.

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        • Joy! Thank you every so much for your response to my questions about the Greenwood Shield and Charles William Greenwood (my grandfather’s brother). I would be delighted for any information about the Shield, the family and their involvement in shipping that you have. Unfortunately I live in France! If you email pictures@stockton.gov.uk they will forward on my email and postal address. I would be more than happy to recompense you for any costs re photocopying, postage etc. perhaps also you would tell me your fathers name. I know Charles had several children and I haven’t yet looked at their life histories. In the meantime if you would like any information about your grandfather’s brother Albert, please don’t hesitate to ask.

          David Greenwood

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  29. I used to live in Princess Avenue, just over the road from the baths. My auntie Joan Broderick and mum Maureen Martin worked there so I used to get in free, hence was a “water baby”, swam & dived for school etc there until new baths opened. Remember my gran Lily Broderick doing the laundry and ironing in the wash house adjoining it.

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    • I worked with Joan at the baths from about 1967 to 1970 we had a great time we used take turns nipping over to the Lord Nelson for a swift orange ‘wink wink’ it was a great place to work
      and great people to work with.

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      • Hi Ian,
        I just noticed your post when looking for some old photos. My auntie Joan is still living in Stockton, I see her when I am visiting from my current home in Spain.

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  30. Fantastic to view these photos – the memories came flooding back. I lived in Cromwell Green, and the baths were at the end of the street, so when I came home from school I would go swimning 2 or 3 times a week, sometimes having the pool to myself.

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    • Hi. Does anyone remember Blanche o’Neil nee Charlton?
      My grandmother Blanche o’Neil lived as 12 Cromwell Street, sadly her mother and other siblings died in a tragic house fire. Blanch lived on, and was at one time bath attendant at Billingham baths, but his is many years ago. Her son Jack o’Neil swam for the county, he emigrated to Australia. Kathleen O’Neil is my mam, now 87 years.

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  31. I do not think these Baths are the original Stockton Baths post 1946, As I remember them they had Cubicles down the side of the baths also a balcony along both sides of the Baths, The shop mentioned was just opposite the baths entrance and as kids we were always hungry when we came out from swimming and headed straight for the shop to buy a loaf of bread which we scoffed without and butter or any other spread. There was also a shower on the side of the baths where you had to go before entering the pool.

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  32. My youngest brother Chris mentioned this site to me and the photos brought back so many memories – not least of the chilly changing rooms and eyes red from the chlorine! It even prompted me to dig out my old scrapbook from the 60″s. Oddly, I don”t remember my Dad doing any coaching either although he used to ferry Andrew, myself and other club members all over the county to galas. I remember Peter Chisholm well, and Lorraine Kilvington (striped swimming cossy and black hair.) Other names which come to mind include Billy Dalton, Billy Fisher, Steve McGann, Ray Mallon, Janice McDonald and her twin brothers. The atmosphere in the pool during galas and waterpolo matches was fantastic and I”ll never forget it.

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  33. Came across this website whilst researching my family history and I believe that my ggg grandfather Benjamin Cossins was the Superintendant at these baths from when they opened in 1859 until he died in 1881. The 1861, 1871 and 1881 census show him here with his first wife Lucy (Matron of the Baths) then with his 2nd wife Catherine as the Matron. My gg grandfather John Crossly Cossins also worked (1881 census) here as assistant before getting married. Lovely to read all the comments and memories that the baths have evoked.

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  34. I too remember the chlorine content of the baths. As a member of the Thursday evening swimming club I ended up with three days in the Childrens” Hospital on Durham Road with suspected Polio. After a lumber puncture and other tests it was diagnosed as chlorine poisoning. I can only assume that I had overdosed on the water that had a weeks accumulation of chlorine concentration. It had been witnessed chlorine being administered to the water from the pool side when the chlorination system was faulty.

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  35. I learnt to swim and dive in the old Stockton baths in the early 30s where we were taken from Newtown School, a big change to the recent photos. There were cubicles at the the side with canvas across the front for changing into our cossy”s, but jumping from the Balcony was not tollerated. The manager at that time was a Mr Waters who was very strict.One of the school boys was told he would not be allowed in the baths after trying to jump off the Balcony, those days the water had chlorine put in during the week and the pool emptied every sat night and refilled for sunday morning. As an adult I often went there for the first session on sunday morning when the water was very clean. Water polo did take place there during the week and mixed bathing was only once a week , male or female sessions the rest of the week .

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  36. My grandfather Fred Outhwaite played water polo at Stockton and also in Darlington. This would have been in time around 1920. I have a photo of the players but not sure which pool it is.

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  37. I remember these baths from school (about 1975 I would guess). Occasionally we would turn up at the new baths to find they were closed and have to go to “Stocky old baths”. Apart from the lack of heat and mustiness They gave the impression that they hadn”t been used for months. I recall one school kid – probably Derek Rowntree – finding a very big bug, turning it on it”s back and flicking it across the changing room floor!

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  38. i also learned to swim in these baths,i can remember myself and old school mate colin cuthbert gaining our first certificate[10 yards] around 1968 also i was born just around the corner in beech street

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  39. I had my first swimming lessons there. It must have been around 1982/83, just before they were knocked down. We used to walk from Tilery School and it was always cold. We would get there and be handed a basket. Then would walk back to school even colder, past the gasometer. Much fun!!

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  40. Those baskets remind me of cold mornings learning life-saving techniques as late as the 1970s – we were transported by double-decker bus from Grangefield School.

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  41. Lorraine, you are lucky to still have dark hair! I”m afraid mine is pretty grey these days. I continued my swimming and water polo in the RN until the mid 70s. Good to hear from you!

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  42. My sister Katy told me about this site. What a surprise! Lots of familiar names and fond memories. I remember the baths very well. Icy cold! I recall during one of my training sessions cutting my foot on the tiles whilst attempting a rather inelegant tumble turn! Mary – What a fantastic surprise to come across your name and comments. Pete – The hair”s still dark and my backstroke is still pretty good, although I swim for pleasure these days. I continued competitive swimming when I left Stockton in 1970 until 1973, not for the County but for the Air Force. The coach, however, was not as good as Mr Webb and he certainly didn”t cheer you on as loudly. Did you know I always wanted to join the Stockton Otters? Unfortunately (and probably for the best in hindsight reading your comments about the weight of the ball) it was strictly men only! Julie – I was flattered to hear what you”d written about me. I remember you and Petra well. I too recall us all singing “Lollypop” with great gusto and talking 90 to the dozen about babies – my mum and Mary”s mammy producing siblings at roughly the same time. C J Allinson – How can anyone not remember Pete”s Snack Bar – the dip n” bread was to die for, especially after an early morning swim.

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  43. I learned to swim at the baths in the 1960″s. I used to buy a packet of chips with scraps and eat them on the way to the bus stop outside of Marks and Spencers to go home to Newham Grange Estate.

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  44. To Chris Webb – I remember your brothers Colin and Andrew very well. I guess you must have been the little tot sat on the side watching us swim in the 60″s!!

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  45. Really strange finding this site, as I also learnt to swim at this pool. I was the youngest son of Eric and Emily Webb. Seem to remember training at this pool prior to switching to the what was then the new 33m pool. Can,t remember Dad coaching at all, never used to let the parents come and watch as they shouted to much, to my great embarassment. I am also now actively involved in a local swimming club, still compete and coach juniors squads in Orkney, Scotland.

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  46. I have a very old photo of Polo PLAYERS I BELIEVE ITS THE BATHS AT STOCKTON. PROBABLY ABOUT 1925 AND HERBERT OUTHWAITE I THINK IS MY RELATIVE IN IT Also have a picture of him with several cups.!

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  47. I remember the Stockton baths very well and yes the water was so cold,but to go into Pete”s Snack bar and have a bowl of soup afterwards was great. I can well remember sitting on what appeared to be high stools and having our soup and buns from a narrow counter and the snack bar was always packed with customers it was a very popular place and on market days you had to queue and hope to get a seat before you soup became cold happy days

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  48. Hello Mary! Sorry, I still can”t put a name to your face although I certainly remember you with Loll! Do you remember us singing our hearts out to “My Boy Lollipop”? Talking about new babies, do you know, when my parents moved to Acklam Rd. Thornmaby my “Mammy” gave birth to another brother, Stuart, when I was 15! They advertised his birth in the “Gazette” as the goalkeeper of the family, as he was no. 11! My email is j.vanwalsum@ntlworld.com if you would like to chat!

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  49. Peter – I can still remember you throwing me in when I was a scrawny kid! What memories a picture can bring back – the smell mostly, struggling to remember what number your basket was, myopic views of the pool, enough to send a shiver down your spine

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  50. Hello Julie! Yes everyone remembers “Loll”, we were very good friends both at school and out, but I was the quiet 1/2 of the duo.I recall you and your sister and I sitting in the changerooms – bitter cold as well – chatting away. It might jog your memory – my Mammy, as we called her had a baby when I was 13 and I was over the moon about it, forever on about my baby? Best regards Mary

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  51. To Mary Scott – I remember Lorraine Kilvington well and can bring an image straight into my mind! Thin girl, full of life,straight black hair and a great backstroker. I always envied her figure, being stocky, and to my mind, ugly as well with those horrible – pink – NHS glasses! Petrone and I could have looked like twins because although there is a year between us we were much the same height. I favoured front crawl and Individual Medley and Petrone was great at breaststroke. We represented Stockton at many a gala(Janet Randall of Thornaby being my biggest rival)and I certaily remember taking a coach to Consett and Durham around between 65 and 69

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  52. Peter, Rob was never a swimmer, he did play rugby and do cross country, but did and still does avoid the water like the plague!But the years you mentioned sound as if the ages are correct. Please give your sisters my regards, I actually recall them very well and with fondness.

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  53. Mary, Jimmy Chisholm was no relation I am afraid. We”ve all been suckered for the “old false start” routine and then been gasping for breath just at the restart! Coming back to one of your earlier questions posed by your hubby, there was a lad of my age who swam for Grangefield Grammar against me in the Stockton Schools annual galas. I think he also swam for Stockton ASA occasionally but I cannot remember his name. We would have competed in the schools galas of 66, 67, 68 and 69.

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  54. Peter, I also rememeber the galas, in particular one in Consett, Mr Webb gave Lorraine and I a lift, I did a false start, but didn”t realise it and did the whole 100 metres on my own! Did I feel an idiot. There was a lad called Jimmy Chisolm at my school – Richard Hind, any relation?

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  55. Mary, you are absolutely right! Our Mums were Scottish and we called them Mammy which is traditional in Scotland (me Mammy). My sisters were one year (Petrone) and two years (Julie)younger than me. They both live in Leicestershire now near to where our parents moved to. I remember some fantastic times at swimming galas against Thornaby, Billingham, Middelesbrough, etc. Fortunately my Dad had a 12 seater van (we had 10 kids in the family at the time!) so he could always take a lot of kids in it. Cliff Ward, I also remember Stockton Otters having a great water polo team – names as Dave Pickney, Dennis Buckton Dennis also looked after our school baths at St Bede”s), Dave Davies, John Thompson come to mind. I also remember walking behind the shallow end goal once and getting one of the old leather water polo balls in the head! They weighed a ton when wet – didn”t half hurt!

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  56. Many happy memories from the comments and photographs. I joined the club in 1947 and am still a member and still competing in Masters events. I can rememember when we had a Canadian log rolling champion in one of our Galas. My main memories are of the water polo matches in the old pool when we had a fantastic team and the pool was always crowded with spectators hanging from the balcony. In those days we were a very succesful club both in Swimming and water polo getting to the all England semi final in polo and in the early 1950″s I believe we held most of the mens County swimming champioships. Happy Days and swimming is still my main interest.

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  57. Peter, then I do recall your sisters, I thought tney were twins, and if I remember correctly we felt a kindred spirit as our Moms were both Scottish, and we used to call them “Mammy”

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  58. Mary – yes we all did! Although like most kids we hated wearing them and tried to only wear them for school work, etc. I can”t recall your hubby. I went to St Mary”s Primary and most of my secondary education was at St Bede”s at Fairfield.

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  59. Tony Jackson- Yes you are correct the changing rooms in 1937 period were all round the pool, they had swing wooden doors like the old cowboy films. Yes the water always felt cold and I remember being pulled across the baths on the lifeline by Cocky Salmon of Trinity.

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  60. We lived in Bowser St. close to the baths and the family both used the slipper baths in the 1940″s and learned to swim in the pool. Later, when at Richard Hind, the school galas were swum there. Alan Wilson, (son of W.C. Wilson), was also at Richard Hind and a very good swimmer and was often “persuaded” to do well by his father. Bill Greenwood, still a close friend from Richard Hind, is from the same Greenwood family that Joyce Wright (nee Webster) remembers, he was also an excellent swimmer. We used to compete for the Greenwood Shield in the 1950″s

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  61. Peter – did your sisters wear glasses? Yes Lorraine was a fantastic back crawler,my hubby says your name is very familiar, Rob Scott??

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  62. Mary, I can remember Lorraine – black hair and a great backstroke swimmer as I recall. I have to admit I can”t remember many other names at all! My two younger sisters (Petrone and Julie) also swam at the club so you may remember them too?

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  63. Peter, my brother and I also trained under Mr Webb, bro”s name is Hugh. Do you recall Lorraine Kilvington, great swimmer.Also the twin girls, who”s name escapes me. Graham Stirman as well.

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  64. I too have great memories of the Stockton Swimming Club in the mid-60s. Names I remember from then were the Webb family. Mr Webb coached and his two sons Colin and Andrew, and Ray Mallon were lads in the club with me. I always remember the changing rooms being really cold! The public baths were used in the 50s and 60s when I was a lad by quite a few people. Basically they did not have a bath in their house and this was the only way to get one. Price to get in was 2d.

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  65. To Colin Clark – yes the staff car was parked in the TA garage near the baths for some time in 1946, its windows were pockmarked where bullets had been fired at them to see if they were bulletproof, there were no holes in them!! To Tony Jackson – yes there were cubicles on the pool side, with heavy canvas curtains, also a balcony, we had to jump off, (to enter the 6ft water as though sitting in an armchair) for our lifesaving bronze.

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  66. Does my memory fail me? I thought there used to be changing cubicles on the pool side around 1950 when I was learning to swim. On one occasion I remember ripping open my knee on the tin steps getting out of the pool. The pool attendant wasn”t too pleased when the water started to turn red. Am I right in thinking that the water didn”t circulate in the early days and was changed periodically by emptying and refilling?

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  67. Can anyone remember seeing Goerings staff-car on show in Bath Lane about 1946? I saw it while queueing for a double-decker bus to Ayresome Park to watch Boro play.

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    • Think the dolphin’s were in Billingham old bath’s just before they were closed – does anyone have a photo of them?
      My dad was in the water polo team – Maurice (Mick) Pearson with Norman Alderson and his brother Eddy. Also Rex Martin and John Willis. I trained at Stockton with Sam Foggin in later years.

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      • Hi, do you have any memory of Blanche O’Neill, Billingham baths attendant, son Jack swam for county, daughter Kathleen? Grateful for any info xx

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  68. I lived in Bath Lane, as anyone got any photos of Bath Lane round about 1956? I also went to Bailey Street School if any one has any photos of they would be nice to see

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  69. What memories these pictures bring back. I too learned to swim in The Stockton Ladies Amateur Swimming Club, held every monday night between April and October. Had very happy memories of all the swimming galas, I was lucky enough to be both junior and senior swimming champion and represented the club in local galas with a few successes and County Championship, although never good enough to win anything at the higher level. I also represented my School, Richard Hind. I remember Mrs Joan Greenwood who was the Secretary and Vera Milne who was our coach and George Cook who coached the mens team. I left Stockton in 1964 when I joined The Police Service and now I am a swimming teacher in Sunderland. One big circle with lots of happy memories.

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  70. I lived just down the street from the old Stockton Baths, from 1943 to 1945, at Number 10, Bath Lane. It was a little shop, in what was, I guess, the front parlour converted over! Later on I can also remember going to the Baths for swimming every week with the old SGS in Garbutt Street. (We used to do a lot of walking in those days didn”t we? We used to have to walk to school dinners every day down near the old Stockton Gas Works , cos the school didn”t have a large enough room to be a dining area.)

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  71. Cliff. There must have been another son as Peter Wilson. He was in the same class as me and was known as W.C.Wilson”s son. As with his father he was a very good swimmer and took most prizes at the School Galas. I don”t know what happened with the family but he left the School suddenly and was never seen again. It was believed that he may have gone to the Barnard Castle Boarding School.

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  72. Brian – the man that you mention at Stockton Swimming Club was a Mr Wilson. Yes his day-job was in charge of Stockton buses and he had his name in small letters on the side of each bus “W.C.Wilson”. Partly as the family were well off and party because of his dad”s initials his son (Adrian) got the nickname “Flush” Wilson!

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  73. The pictures of the old Stockton baths certainly brought back a lot of memories for me. I also learnt to swim there in the 1950″s at the swimming club on a Thursday night. One of the men in charge was (I think) manager of the corporation buses. A bit of a big head, I can remember him walking on all fours around the edge of the baths. He also used to throw us kids in the water, I don”t think he cared if you coud swim or not! When I attended Newham Grange from 1956 -1960 we used to go to these baths by double decker bus with our gym teacher Mr “Jock” Grant. There was always somebody who would not be going in the water that week for whatever reason and Jock would get on the bus and shout, “Alright, who are the sick, lame and lazy this week?” I took part in many a swimming gala in these baths, swimming for the school and Stockton.

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  74. I learnt to swim at these baths in the fifties and yes the water was often cold! After the baths we would run to Pete”s Snack Bar on the High Street across from the North Eastern and buy penny dip buns, delicious! (bread buns dipped in the hot fat of the frying pans)

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  75. There was indeed a “Turkish” bath as well as a laundry and “slipper bath” all under the same roof. Arabic characters are phonetic and the letters are read from right to left. Thus we have “Har” “Waw” “Ra” and “Ta” pronounced as Haw-rat or in English spelling Horat. In other words a hot room or Turkish bath.

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  76. The sign is probably indicating the entrance to the ladies changing rooms. The writing is in arabic and translates to KRRT and I think is pronounced as HORAT as on the sign.Horat loosely translated means hot air bath which gets us back the Turkish Bath.

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  77. I don”t know what the sign says but I do remember that my grandmother used to call them the Turkish Baths. I learned to swim there too – the Girls Grammar School and the later on I used to march the Mill Lane Girls there. Usually on a Wenesday – through the market.

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  78. I am wondering if these are the same baths I used to attend when I went to Stockton Grammar School in Garbutt St off Norton Road. Every Monday morning without fail we would line up military fashion and march to the baths. This went on for a number of years. All I can remember is the baskets they would give us for our clothes and and we would kind of hang them up. Also the temperature was freezing. Was I glad to get out. Then we would march back to school.

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  79. Great site. The pictures show of the swimming pool in bath st bring back many a memory. I learnt to swim there, also for 3p old money you could have a hot bath,this was known as the slipper baths.Next to the boiler room was the wash house. The women would do the laundry there rather that at home with the tub and mangle. Regards Mick T

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