Fred Wilkinson

Baths and Bath Engineering The Official Journal of the National Association of Baths Superintendents Editor; Jenkyn Griffiths, BSc., P.A.Inst.W.E. June 1938 No.52 Vol.5 p.125
Who’s Who in the Baths World VIII

F. WILKINSON, Baths Superintendent, Nelson Corporation

Fred Wilkinson Baths Superintendent Nelson Corporation

A Mr. FRED WlLKINSON, whose presidential address to the National Association of Bath Superintendents appears on another page in this issue., is one of the most highly-esteemed officials in the swimming world. His abounding energy and enthusiasm for this healthy recreation have brought him into the public eye for a lengthy period. He has sat on many executive committees regulating the sport, and has rendered yeoman service in regard to life-saving for over a quarter of a century.

Burnley man, he was trained in the Burnley Baths, and, making rapid progress, became instructor of school children there, a position which lie held for seven years. He was appointed first bead of the Nelson Corporation Baths when they were opened in 1913, and the progress which the baths have made since then is a tribute to his organising ability.

Mr. Wilkinson has been a member of the National Association of Bath Superintendents since 1923 and for the last six years has occupied (I seat on the executive committee. For one session he was President of the Northern District. Since 1921 he has served as a member of the Northern Counties Executive of the Amateur Swimming Association, and was one of the original members of the coaching scheme of the Northern Counties.

For many years he was a member of the championship sub-committee, and he still holds office as a member of the educational and coaching schemes committee.

 Baths and Bath Engineering The Official Journal of the National Association of Baths Superintendents Editor; Jenkyn Griffiths, BSc., P.A.Inst.W.E. June 1938 No.52 Vol.5 p.123 – 125

National Association of Bath Superintendents


By FRED WILKINSON, Baths Superintendent, Nelson Corporation

ABOUT 500 delegates from all parts of the country, including representatives of manufac­turing firms and of various local authorities, as well as members of the National Association of Bath Superintendents, visited Bournemouth last month for the annual Conference of the association.

Mr. F. Wilkinson, of Nelson, was elected president, in succession to Mr. C. N. Bond, Bournemouth, at the annual general meeting.

The secretary of the association, Mr. H. R. Austin, was presented with the first Lord South­wood gold medal for the officer doing best work for the public baths service. The award of the medal for 1938 was made to Mr. A. F. Read, of Greenwich.

In course of his presidential address, Mr. F. Wilkinson, said : –

The objects of our association are very well known to most of our members and although the primary purpose is to improve the status of superintendents of bathing establishments and the junior members who will succeed us, it is utterly impossible to attain our goal without at the same time improving the standard of bathing establishments. There can be no doubt that we are responsible for the administration of a very important health service and, as is typical of the times in which we live, that service must be the finest it is possible to attain. For this reason and appreciating as we do the benefits it is possible to achieve from increased knowledge, our examination syllabus is set to incorporate most of the sections of work which one or other of us is faced with every day. In addition the specialised knowledge presented in the papers read at our annual and district meetings is bound to be of great value to all our members, junior and senior alike, but no less so to the authorities we have the privilege to serve.

It is very gratifying to note the continued increase in the numerical strength of the associa­tion. On January 1, 1936, there were 242 members and 14 associates, a total of 256, whereas at January 1, 1938, there were `?65 members, nine associate members and 58 asso­ciates, a total of 335. During two years then our members have increased by 70.

There axe now over 20 holders of the associate’s certificate holding positions as superintendents of establishments and I trust public authorities will more and more recognise the value of our exam­inations and insist in the case of new appoint­ments, on this qualification from all applicants.

In order to meet with the wishes of those members of the association who desire to know more about bacteriology and its application to swimming bath waters, inquiries are. now being made by the association to ascertain if facilities can be provided and classes formed at a number of the Universities in the Provinces. If and when these classes are arranged the syllabus will follow the lines of those courses which have been arranged in the Metropolis.

It is very gratifying to see that the work undertaken by the advisory committee of our association is increasing every year. Public bodies generally are very wisely tending to seek advice from our committee on the many difficulties which arise whenever new establishments, or even alterations to existing establishments are con­templated. As wee all know ” an ounce of practice is worth a ton of theory.” and for this reason our advisory committee is composed of men who have expert theoretical knowledge allied to intensely practical experience of the problems which are likely to be met. Peculiarly local conditions naturally influence the committee in making its recommendations.

In appreciation of the work on behalf of your association, which one of the founders, Mr. Burch, has expended during at least 16 years, it was felt there should be some tangible token of our esteem, particularly so as lie contemplated retiring from the service. Contributions to this end were sought, but a surprise awaited us, for

Mr. I3 arch, in the goodness of his heart, suggested that the bulk of the money should form the nucleus of a benevolent fund and that he be presented with a bound volume of the names of the subscribers to his testimonial. I am confident I am voicing the feelings of all our members in thanking Mr. Bunch most sincerely for his latest act of generosity. Any of our members who at any time may be in distressed circumstances, and who require assistance quickly, will be able to appreciate, better than anyone else, the kindly thought which led to the formation of the asso­ciation’s benevolent fund. A benevolent fund is now established, and I hope it may always be capable of fulfilling the purpose for which it is intended.

I have very much pleasure also in drawing particular attention to another pleasing feature, names, the gracious and munificent gift of Lord Southwood. A sum of money has been invested by your donor so that every year the author, fromamongst our members and associates, of the best paper presented at the annual conference or any district meeting will be the recipient of a prize in the form of a gold medal.

As you will have seen in the annual report of our secretary, the council of the association have under consideration the formation of a library, which will comprise books, papers, etc., dealing with every subject in which any of our members may have difficulty or upon which additional information is required. The council intend to ask every member to co-operate in its establish­ment by contributing suitable publications and literature. You will agree, I am sure, that this is a step in the right direction and when the library is in being, it will be of the utmost value to all our members.

And now, ladies and gentlemen, without spending too much time on the matter, may I briefly refer to a subject which, through the medium of the National Press, is much before the public at the present time, namely, the precau­tions which are necessary against air raids. The suitability of public bathing establishments for use as decontamination centres cannot be denied and the council recently has in your name sent a communication to the Home Office stating our willingness to co-operate in any schemes which may be considered to be advisable. It is suggested by the association that we all maintain close co-operation with our local air raid precautions officer and at the same time review the existing facilities and give consideration to any alterations and additions which may be necessary to provide for this important defence service.

Last update 11 January 2012

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