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Saltcoats Tidal Pool (Feb 2001)



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Saltcoats Tidal Pool (Feb 2001)

Post by Archivist » Fri Apr 11, 2014 11:36 pm

From: <hewmac@xx.com.au>
To: <threetowners@topica.com>
Sent: Friday, February 23, 2001 9

Topic Of The Week: February 23, 2001
"Saltcoats Swimming Pool"

Topic of the Week (TOTW) is simply a tool to promote conversation and bring up subjects which have not necessarily been covered before or very often.

Hugh McCallum


From: "Margaret Lyons" <lyons@xx.com>
To: <threetowners@topica.com>
Sent: Saturday, February 24, 2001

Hugh,
The temp. here has reached the forecast high of minus 5C but I was feeling quite comfortably warm until I saw the TOTW. The very thought of lessons at the pool gives me shivers!

We would be marched along the prom from the Central School, change in cold wet cubicles,then have to get into the icy water on the rocky, crab-infested side of the pool near the boating pond.

I think the pool opened each year on the15th May but I do not remember the sun shining during our lessons, it always seemed to be cold or raining. Brrrr!
Margaret.


From: "mildred grant" <mildredgrant16@xx.com>
To: <threetowners@topica.com>
Sent: Saturday, February 24, 2001

I can remember leaving St. Marys and walking to the pool, crying inwardly because it was freezing cold and the pool was always full of those little hermit crabs. A girl in my class had a father who taught us how to swim, his method involved getting a large curtain pole and poking you in the water, i honestly think that if that was still going on today the social services would be down on them like a ton of bricks, it was nothing short of cruelty.I lived by the shore in the bungalows and my summers spent in the water so I wasnt feart to go in the water i just knew that it was too early
in the season for standing around in a swimsuit while each of 32 kids demonstrated the skills being taught.i wonder why the swimming teacher stood by with a 12foot curtain pole poking us in while wearing a shirt and an arran sweater. do you think he maybe knew it was cold?


From: "morag black" <bramble2@xx.net>
To: <threetowners@topica.com>
Sent: Saturday, February 24, 2001

St John's had a 'special offer' one year for swimming lessons...I'm not sure how it came about. All I can remember is the instructor having us lie on the concrete and practice swimming moves first, before we were allowed in the water...not very comfortable! When we were finally allowed in, we noticed lots of funny wee things bobbing about in the water. It turned out there'd been a sewage pipe leak and we all scrambled out ASAP! That was it for the swimming lessons!
Morag Black


From: "marie & john maunton" <maunton@xx.net.au>
To: <threetowners@topica.com>
Sent: Saturday, February 24, 2001

I remember Saltcoats swimming pool well, we used to go for swimming lessons with the school, one time we were there we saw two swimmers from the USA demonstate the butterfly stroke, it was great to see as we were only learning at that time and it was hard enough just to stay afloat, Marie Maunton nee McClure


From: "Betty Woodland" <bettywood@xx.net.au>
To: <threetowners@topica.com>
Sent: Saturday, February 24, 2001

I remember feeling like a galah never mind gala when I did a belly flop instead of a dive when we had swimmong races at the pool. I always loved the pool and was always there in the summer. Remember the "chitterin' bites" upstairs on the roof which was tar? regards Betty


From: "Alison Farrer" <alifarrer@xx.com>
To: <threetowners@topica.com>
Sent: Sunday, February 25, 2001

Mr Hamilton was the name of the gentleman who gave me swimming instruction in similar conditions already described by other subscribers! I stayed across from the bathing station and it was always my ambition to have the first season ticket which usually involved an overnight camp-out to be at the top of the queue. My mother wasn't as keen and relented one year allowing me an early rise...I got season ticket no. 3 - no. 1 was never to be. Despite the horrendous lessons, I remember great fun with galas, the tea-room/tuck shop, midnight swims and of course, the annual swim to the Inches!

On another note, I have been reading your contributions regularly as I work with the Authority alongside the Local History Librarian and it is very interesting some of the contributions!
Regards
Alison Farrer


From: "bobnet" <bobnet@xx.com.au>
To: <threetowners@topica.com>
Sent: Sunday, February 25, 2001

Yes, Betty, I remember the chittering bites well. But swimming works up an appetite and we usually spent our bus money on chips or "crispy bits" as well. We certainly got plenty exercise in those days - how far was it from Saltcoats to Ardrossan - and we walked that regularly. Netta


From: "Jim Gordon" <jim.gordon@xx.net.nz>
To: <threetowners@topica.com>
Sent: Sunday, February 25, 2001

Gosh this brought back a few memories. I remember Mr Hamilton also ''Adam''a swimming instructor. [ who had such a wee head, he was such a kind and gentle man] I am of the opinion ''they'' found some way of keeping the water temperature just above freezing, even during a hot summer, and for those who went midnight swimming, were they aware of all those eyes watching them from ''below the surface!'',,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, Does anybody [from Ardrossan] remember ''Wee Pal'' who kept our streets nice and clean with his two buckets on a barrow.and a big ''yard brush'' which was bigger than him. [another threetowners character.]


From: "Hugh McCallum" <hewmac@xx.com.au>
To: <threetowners@topica.com>
Sent: Sunday, February 25, 2001

My brother and I were swimming club members at Saltcoats around 1955. I remember the Wardrope twins demonstrating the new American tumble turn at a gala - think they were from Manchester. Mr Hamilton the Bathing Master was an imposing figure dressed all in white. I recall him with the big pole giving swimming lessons at the shallow end of the pool. I got such a fright diving in once and coming across one of those big eels - must have been two feet long and as thick as a boys arm. Can't remember any lifeguards in those days but I do recall one drowning to the seaward side of the big shute - alongside the springboard. The older boys from the swimming club applied artificial respiration as it was in those days before mouth to mouth, but to no avail.

On a lighter note it was joy when the sun shone and the tar macadam on the roof retained the heat giving us some warmth for sun bathing. What a lovely area that seemed to be in my youth, the old men playing giant draughts on the promenade opposite the bandstand at Melbourne Park too. My uncle Willie Lynch from Miller Road had one of his ice cream vans sitting about there - it was great getting a free ice-cream on the way home. We'd also try to get some empty ginger bottles on the way hoping to getting enough deposit return for a bag of hot chips.

Jim, your right "Wee Pal" was another character with his big brush sweeping the streets and pushing his 2 x bin barra. A nice wee man! Dae you mind his name?

Hugh McCallum


From: "james james" <jamesbarr50@xx.com>
To: <threetowners@topica.com>
Sent: Sunday, February 25, 2001

hi all
ah the bathing pool or the swimming pool as we called it i also remember the swimming lesson's (wonder if any1 from that time doesn't) yes and i also felt the end of that big pole we would come from the huts in the old public school oh it would be a nice day, or so we thought till we got down to the shore and you seen the pool then you started to freeze and along to the pool the discussion would start oh they wont let us in today its to cold but that was never right cos they always let you in or should i say made damn sure you went in and then they were the forged notes please excuse so and so from swimming today as he has a cold signed MR's whoever that never worked either it was one in all in then when the holidays came and you didn't have money to get into the pool you spent every day skipping in when you went with the school you never wanted to be there. you didn't have to come from Ardrossan to remember wee pal don't know about Stevenston but he was certainly known in Saltcoats and when i was married and stayed in castle road (No 29) he stayed directly opposite me indeed i stayed there when he died which was sudden and very sad think he had only retired 6months or so cant reemember his right name though. jim barr (blakjak50)


From: "mildred grant" <mildredgrant16@xx.com>
To: <threetowners@topica.com>
Sent: Sunday, February 25, 2001

One of my favourite memories of the bathing pond is the beautiful displays of Livingston daisies just outside the pool entrance, I also remember getting money for chittery bites when I came out of the water, my favourite then was the hot chocolate. But as you all know we each had our own ways and with me being from 'the bungalows' i was a rogue. I would walk along until I found a candy floss stick and then I would double back into the amusement arcade and poke that stick up that machine as far as I could get it to knock the pennies down the chute into my waiting hands. I also became very clumsy when I was in the amusement arcade i was always failing over and banging into the machines, sometimes to my advantage. would you believe all this for a wee bag of chips to eat on the way home, for me those certainly were happy, happy days, and i have stories to tell that my own kids will never have.
cheers all, mildred


From: "Margaret Lyons" <lyons@xx.com>
To: <threetowners@topica.com>
Sent: Monday, February 26, 2001

We didn't go to the pool much, just ran down to the shore in our bare feet and bathing suits. We always had to take a 'piece' to eat when we got out of the cold water. It was supposed to keep your teeth from chattering. On the way home, up the "back lane", if it was a sunny day we would pop the bubbles that came up in the hot tar. Always got in trouble for that because it meant mama had to use the precious margarine to get the tar off our feet. Margaret


From: "David Young" <david@xx.co.uk>
To: <threetowners@topica.com>
Sent: Monday, February 26, 2001

I have read all the memories about the Pool and they all took me back to when I was 12 and 13. I remember sitting at the shallow end one cold day and there were waves on the water. Mr Hamilton splashed the water from the waves over us shivering boys in the hope that we might jump in. On one occasion he missed the wave and the pole hit me across the face. From that moment on I got excused from
those swimming lessons. Then I started going every day in the summer holidays come rain or shine, and learned to swim myself. I also tried to get a low number season ticket. I think I got number 11 once. I also remember the big red jelly fish towards the end of the season. Portuguese Men of war I think they were called. I got stung once with the tentacles which seemed to spread all over the pool.

About 1950/52 my cousins the Brodies, three girls, who lived in Sharphill Road came back to Saltcoats from Abadan where my Uncle had been working and they took all the swimming trophies. In Abadan they had very little schooling but lots of swimming. I also remember old Tom who used to look after the boys clothes in the
dressing rooms. Many years later when in my 20's I met him again in Saltcoats and he recognised me. Remember the small pool adjoining the Swimming Pool? I got hold of a rubber dingy from Ardrossan Harbour, fixed it with bicycle patches, made two paddles at woodwork at school and spent many happy hours paddling about the
pool in my wee boat. Does anybody remember that?
David Young.


From: Sandra Haley
To: threetowners@topica.com
Sent: Monday, February 26, 2001

My brother Allan and i were season ticket holders from '51 to approximately '61 from when i was 6 to 16. the cost in '61 was about 4/-.

first day of the season Allan and his pals would start queuing up outside the pool really early in the morning in the hope of getting season ticket no.1. he never did achieve this but his no. 5 looked pretty wonderful to my best no. 58. i was never in a rush to get out of my warm bed.
we lived in Seabank street when i was wee. outside toilets and an unheated concrete scullery! the only thing between our house and the howling gales coming from the Stevenston shore was the 'bungalows' and the railway line to Glasgow. when the fire went out through the night it was not rekindled until we came home from the public school, usually soaking and frozen stiff in the winter. did any of you get red rings around your legs from your wellies rubbing your bare. wet, cold skin? in the summer we practically lived at the bathing pool.

Someone mentioned Adam. Adam Nichol, a cousin to Jim Cameron of the art shop in Hamilton street, never was formally employed at the pool. I believe Mr Hamilton gave him a number of 'duties' to do regularly which allowed Adam to be at the pool 'officially' . he was a nice man and he loved the water, eels or not. remember the jelly fish coming towards you face when you did the breast-stroke, and some of the other stuff which floated over the wall at high tide??

My mother, Annie Martin ( it's funny how married women were called by their maiden name for ever) was so keen on the water that when the pool closed for the season was given the keys to the pool so that she could continue to swim there throughout the winter.
I was wiser than that - gulf stream or no gulf stream it was still too cccccold for me. even at the height of summer i can still see all those wee blue mottled bodies, one of which was mine, trying to get their clothes back on their shivering, sticky wet bodies. frozen fingers wouldn't work so nothing got buttoned properly and dripping hair ensured collars remained soaking till the shaking children got home for their tea. i think it is now referred to as hypothermia. good thing nobody told us. we might have missed all that fun.

Sandra Haley (nee Mair)


From: Betty Woodland
To: threetowners@topica.com
Sent: Thursday, March 01, 2001

Ah yes I remember the red rings around the legs from the wellies. In fact have you heard the big yins song about the red rings around the legs? "If it wisnae fur yer wellies where wid ye be!" Are some of the words. I remember pleading with my mum to get swimming at the slabs, she made us wait 'til the snow melted! I also remember the blis of when we actually had a penny left in our pockets to put in the heater in the cubicle to thaw us out , sad really that it took so long for the to heat up that the penny ran out before you got the least bit warm.
regards Betty

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