Westbury Swimming Pool

Post Card Westbury Swimming Pool 1900

Work for the building of Westbury Swimming Baths began in 1887 and finalised with its opening on Thursday 24th May 1888 to coincide with the year of Queen Victoria’s jubilee. The work was requested and overseen by the ‘Angel Wool Mill’ owner William H Laverton with his wife laying the foundation stone, which is still in its glory to this day.

Originally it consisted of a bathing pool and ten individual baths with water supplied by Bitham spring. Mr Laverton broke the mould of workhouse masters and Victorian working conditions supplying his employees a place to socialise, wash and have fun. Swims were supplied for a penny at the beginning of the week which reduced as the week wore on as the water became less and less welcoming. The pool was then emptied on a Friday and cleaned and filled over the weekend ready for a new week of workers. The pool was taken over by the Urban Council in 1900 and opened to the local community.

Westbury Swimming Pool Foundation Stone

During the winter months, with no pool heating, a suspended floor covered the pool and the building was opened for tea dances for the local community. This suspended floor also allowed the building to be used as an enlisting station in the beginning years of World War 1 from 1914-15.

The 20metre x 6metre pool was closed for renovations in 1984 and reopening in January 1985 with a new pool heating system, operating plant and an extension on the building to allow a reception area, toilets and larger gender specific changing facilities. All historic features of the existing building were maintained to ensure the legacy of Mr Laverton’s generosity were not lost in modernisation.

Soldiers outside Westbury Swimming Pool 1915

The Pool hall is decorated with Victorian era design with large iron roof joists each carrying a coat of arms either of the Laverton shield or the Westbury Town Council shield. The buildings initial entrances consist of beautifully carved stone doors on the Grade 2 listed building.

 

 

Places Leisure Ltd is now the maintaining sport leisure operator of Westbury Swimming Pool; ensuring its continuity for the surrounding community to benefit from its mark on local history and provide healthy living benefits as was the meaning of its build and ethos of its maker.

Westbury Swimming Pool

The establishment celebrated its 125th Anniversary in 2013 White Horse News 27th February 2013

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