Stoke-on-Trent Trentham Open-Air Swimming Pool

Research by Carl Evans

Baths and Bath Engineering No. 13 Vol 2. March 1935 p 60 – 61

New Swimming Pool at Trentham

Work on the construction of an open-air swimming pool, costing £17,000, in Trentham Gardens, was commenced on February 8. It is hoped to finish the work by the middle of May. The bath will be 132 ft. by 62 ft., shelving from a depth at the shallow end of 3 ft. to 8 ft. 3 in. at the deep end, where there will be a 15 ft. high-diving stage, three spring boards, and a water-chute. Another water-chute, for the use of the children, will be provided at the shallow end. The bath is being constructed in Spring Valley, close to a private road from Trentham to Tittensor, and a special car park is to be made for the accommodation of visitors. People entering the gardens by the ordinary entrance will proceed to the baths by the miniature railway which runs through the valley. The bath and buildings will be constructed in concrete. At the shallow end a special clothes room will be erected, with 52 dressing cubicles on each side. Over the clothes room will be a cafe, and the roofs of the dressing cubicles will be laid out as terraces. These buildings will face the lake. The pool will have a concrete floor, but the sides and the pathway around it will be carried out in a green Cullorimix, giving the appearance of green terrazzo. Under the water, all round the pool, will be hidden lights. The feature of the pool will be the supply of water. This will be obtained from the spring at its source. The water will pass through a 20 in pipeline to a boiler-house attached to the pool, where it will be heated before passing on to the pool, so that the temperature will be in the neighbourhood of 70 to 75 deg., dependent upon the atmospheric temperature. The water will pass out at the deep end by an overflow and escape away into the lake.

As the result of this method, there will be no need for chlorination or filtration of the water. The architects for the scheme are Messrs. Wood and Goldstraw, of Tunstall, Stoke-on-Trent. Messrs. Peter Lind and Co., of Westminster, London, are in charge of the general contract work.

Baths and Bath Engineering No. 18 Vol 2. August 1935 p 174 – 175

Trentham Open-air Swimming Pool

On July 9, in the presence of the Duke and Duchess of Sutherland, the open-air swimming pool, which is situated in the picturesque surrounds of Spring Valley in Trentham Gardens, was opened by the Lord Mayor of Stoke-on-Trent (Ald. A. C. Harvey, J.P.). The pool, which lies in a natural valley and is sheltered by trees on three sides, has been con[1]structed to take advantage of the natural springs of pure water issuing from the Bunter gravel beds. The water, after filtration, to exclude any deposits of sand from the bed of the stream, is raised to a temperature of between 65 deg. Fahrenheit. and 70 deg. Fahrenheit. and is constantly flowing through the pool. Heating is carried out by two coke-fired low[1]pressure boilers situated in the basement below the level of the pool. From the pool the water is gravitated into the lake. The swimming pool, which is 132 ft. by 60 ft., shelving from a depth at the shallow end of 3 ft. 3 in. to 8 ft. at the deep end has a continuous scum channel which acts both as an over[1]flow and rail. The pool is equipped with chutes of the latest pattern, spring boards, and a diving stage 15 ft. high. There are double spring boards, 3 m. high, and a metre spring board. The chute at the deep end is of a new type and has a stainless-steel surface. At the shallow end, a small chute is provided for the children. The bathers, before entering the pool, pass through a foot-bath, 9 ft. by 5 ft., adjoining which are showers and foot sprays. Arranged under the level of the water of the pool are 22 lighting pits, containing flood-light reflectors, for night bathing. The surrounds of the pool are adequately flood-lit to provide safe bathing after dark. Spacious terraces are provided for sun-bathing. Teak seating has been installed round the pool for the use of the bathers, and the 12 ft. terraces surrounding the pool are reserved for bathers.

Deck and tub chairs are provided on the terraces for spectators. A wide and imposing staircase gives access to the upper terrace, on which is situated a large cafe, 60 ft. by 21 ft., with the kitchens and other accommodations adjoining. On the ground floor there is an arched colonnade, giving access to the women’s and men’s dressing cubicles. There are 100 cubicles. The bather deposits his clothes with an attendant, and these are kept in an ”Hyg-gard-all” hanger (a rack constructed of galvanised steel), all of which are numbered separately. The attendant gives the bather a correspondingly numbered rubber armlet. The 800 clothes hangers are periodically sprayed. They were installed by Mr. James Sieber, of London. The general building, which is in a futurist style, consists of a central block, with two splayed wings. The pool has been designed to harmonise with the natural surroundings. With this object in view, the modernist character of the building has been carried out in light-cream concrete. For the construction of the pool, reinforced concrete, lined with polished concrete precast blocks, has been used. There is a painted concrete bottom, inlaid with white tiles for the racing lines. Music has been supplied by a special sound system which relays gramophone records, the loudspeakers being concealed in the trees round the pool. This system, made by the Standard Electrical Engineering Co., of London, too, is connected with a microphone installation from which announcements may be made

There is a large parking ground, capable of holding 250 cars. This is screened off from the pool by the intervening shrubbery.

Engineers and Contractors

The following were responsible for the design and construction of the scheme: – Mr. E. P. Turner, M.I.Min.E., engineer; Mr. Harold Goldstraw, A.R.I..A., architect; and Mr. J. Jacobsen, engineer-in-charge. The general contractors were Peter Lind and Co., Ltd., of London. Sub-contractors for the scheme were as follows: Lightwood Concrete Aggregates, Ltd., Longton, Staffs, stone work; Rosser and Russell, Ltd., boilers for heating the pool; and Blackburn, Starling and Co., Ltd, Hanley, under-water flood-lighting, etc.; Messrs. Walter Dix and Co., London, diving stages and chutes. 

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