DCSIMG

Diving into a pool of memories

This picture was taken shortly after the construction of the swimming pool and shows the position of the pool in relationship to the river and the magnificent railway viaduct. The mill in the centre of the picture had burnt down (for the second time) in 1904, but remained until 1984. The mill had originally burnt down in 1854 but was rebuilt shortly after. The railway viaduct, although no longer used, remains to the present day.

This picture was taken shortly after the construction of the swimming pool and shows the position of the pool in relationship to the river and the magnificent railway viaduct. The mill in the centre of the picture had burnt down (for the second time) in 1904, but remained until 1984. The mill had originally burnt down in 1854 but was rebuilt shortly after. The railway viaduct, although no longer used, remains to the present day.

Back in 1933, a meeting was held by interested parties with the intention of building an lido (outdoor swimming pool) in Ingleton.

The prime intention of the meeting was to agree a suitable site, and it was proposed to locate the pool at White Bridge, near the Cat Leaps.

A subsequent vote settled on the current site, next to the river, as it was more conveniently placed, being closer to the village.

At this time, JLE Construction & Co were building the Iron Bridge on the edge of the village on the Kirkby Lonsdale side of the A65. One of their engineers took an interest in the project and offered his professional advice on the construction side.

In June 1933, the first sods were dug by Jim Howson, Arnie Robinson, Stan Tomlinson and Tommy Redhead.

The task was boosted shortly after, when the miners from the local colliery went on strike and the majority helped dig out the pool.

The pool was originally of concrete construction and about 30m x 9m and was only 0.5m deep at the shallow end, dropping to almost 3m at the deep end.

Two buildings were constructed for male and female changing, and a three level diving board was place on the corner of the deep end.

The pool was filled using a 3ins bore pipe, which was gravity fed from the river.

Swimming began immediately and a Mr Wilson looked after the pool as caretaker. Fundraising began, with a donation of £50 from Mr Worthington.

The official opening of Ingleton Swimming Pool took place in August 1934 and was conducted by Harry Eustace Vant, a solicitor from Settle.

A swimming gala was held in celebration with prizes presented to all participants by Mrs Worthington.

Bob Pollard became the first 100yds champion, having borrowed the money to enter the race!

Jim Wilkinson won the first ‘fastest swimmer’ event.

The first secretary of the pool was J.S. Howson, who was succeeded by Jim Howson.

The pool had been built on manor land, without permission, but the owners kindly donated the land to the parish council, and the site is still rented from them for a peppercorn rent (one shilling or five pence per annum).

In 1974, the pool had a major facelift, being virtually rebuilt.

As the pool was now to be heated and chlorinated, the cost of the equipment to do this was prohibitive and this resulted in the pool being reduced in size to 20m x 8m.

The modernisation was undertaken as part of a package of improvements to the village, such as the construction of the community centre on the site of the old railway station, and was funded by the government.

To enable the pool to take advantage of the grants available, the control of the pool came under the umbrella of the Ingleton Rural Community Association, where it remains today.

Recent improvements have seen the filtration system upgraded in 2005. Ironically, the current equipment could now service the pool at its original size.

A new changing block was officially opened in July 2005, boasting showing facilities, private changing booths and under floor heating. Some improvements to accessibility for disabled people have also taken place, with the introduction of a ramp to the entrance, and disabled changing/toilets.

The pool now employs a supervisor, caretaker and lifeguards as part of its operational requirements, but without the help of unpaid volunteers, who organise fundraising, man swimming club sessions, some public sessions and maintain and clean the pool each season, the pool could not operate today or have survived over the years.

Support is currently being sought towards providing a Splash Zone at the pool site, with plans on display at both the swimming pool and Ingleton Community Centre for all to view and comment on.

 

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