The old Orwell Street Baths, Grimsby

The following article appeared in Baths Service (The Journal of the Institute of Baths Management Incorporated) March 1972 page 89.

There has been a swimming pool in Grimsby for 90 years. The Fisherlads’ Insti­tute, built in 1879 at a cost of £3,500 for the benefit of the 2,000 young fisherlads associated with the old Grismby fishing smacks, contained, amongst other things ` a commodious swimming bath’ (to quote the Grimsby News of that time). By 1922, the need for the Institute had disappeared, and arrangements to transfer the premises to the Corporation (started in 1911, but adjourned due to the First World War) were com­pleted. The renovated Orwell Street Bath was officially opened on 6th April, 1923, by the Mayor, Councillor W. J. Womersley, J.P., who with the Mayoress dived into the new pool and swam two lengths!’

By 1938 it was realised that the Orwell Street Bath was becoming antiquated and overcrowded, and in that year the Council decided to purchase a plot of land on Scartho Road for a new swimming pool. Again plans were delayed due to the Second World War but, as soon as money was available the Council started with enthusiasm to design and build an up-to-date pool of which all Grimbarians can be proud. It was completed in the autumn of 1962 at an estimated cost of £290,000.

NOTE: The Midland branch of the IBM held their annual meeting at Grimsby on Thursday, 16th March, when Malcolm Roddie, M.Inst.B.M., was installed as president.

Photos in the original publication by permission of `Grimsby Evening Telegraph’. Permission to use the photographs on this website has been granted by the Deputy Editor of the Grimsby & Scunthorpe Media Group Limited. 16th November 2011.

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5 Responses to “Grimsby”

  1. Frank hannath says:

    I appreciate what is being said about Eleanor baths, my twin brother and I used to go nearly every week and we came all the way from Bursar street in 1949, 12 years old. We used to catch a bus from issacs hill to riby square and walk down Freeman street and on the way there was a shop selling hot drinks. On the way back we used to buy a a hot drink of black currant, which we loved and then catch the bus back home, Great memories !

  2. Stuart Blades says:

    I learned to swim at the Orwell Street Baths in the late 50s with the Dolphins. My Dad, Art, knew Ron Creese and Norman Solari who ran the club. As I grew, I played water-polo after the club swim. Woe betide any young slowcoach still changing behind the canvas screens downstairs. The ball thundered in at speed. I recall racing my cousin Malcolm Whisken at backstroke in a gala and joining another cousin Michael Clovis in the Grimsby Schools Team there. Not much room for spectators though!
    I remember training with Ted Peckitt there and at Eleanor Street, and later at the new Scartho Pool. I played alongside Mike Davis and John Souter. I went on to captain my University Team in Sheffield, played for UAU (English Universities) in international games, played for RAF Germany and now, at the tender age of 68, referee and play the occasional game for my local village team in SW France. Orwell Street will always have a place in my heart.

  3. Peter Roberts says:

    I lived at the baths for 7 years and they are some of my best memories, my dad was the manager from 1955-1962 we had great times there I remember my dad getting me and my elder brother to hide in the storage cuboard inside floggers changing room to find who was stealing money from the swimmers clothing, On a quiet day he would let some of the families who lived in orwell street come in and have time in the washhouse to have a bath, and you could always tell how grateful they where when there husband landed you always got a parcel of fish, the best part was having the nautical school next door,every day we would fresh bread, cakes, pastry which had been cooked in the catering dept of the school HAPPY DAYS

  4. denis hogan says:

    It is really good to read about the old places I used to go to and enjoy. It is sad however that these places are vanishing from the scene and local history is lost. Like the old houses that were pulled down and people relocated, better houses maybe but the old community spirit was gone. Old memories of days long gone.

  5. denis hogan says:

    happy days in the Grimsby Dolphins swimming club, school swimming with Mr Brooks and togetherness in the Flogging Room.The Flogging Room was a communal change room and your possessions were likely to be stolen ( flogged)The admiision fee to the pool was fourpence. If you wanted a small private cubicleyou had to get lucky. The Grimsby Dolphins had some great swimmers at that time,Jimmy Blastland and Freddie Creese come to mind. Hope my memory serves me well as I am now 75, but still have all my marbles. Cheers

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