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Very Old Saltcoats Swimming Pool

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Hughie
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Very Old Saltcoats Swimming Pool

Postby Hughie » Tue Jun 06, 2006 12:17 pm

When I was a wee fellow we'd go swimming anywhere, the slabs at Saltcoats was a favourite spot, but just along a bit towards the harbour I remember swimming in what was said to be the old Saltcoats swimming pool. Never thought much about it at the time but seeing this aerial view makes me think that perhaps it really was an old swimming pool. It was just through the hole in the wall. Anyone else remember swimming there?
Image

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Jim McCreadie
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Postby Jim McCreadie » Tue Jun 06, 2006 1:43 pm

Aye Hugh, I remember swimming there once as a wee boy. As you say access was gained to it through the "hole in the wall" and down the steps. If memory serves me correctly, it must have been behind the wee house, or near enough. I recall being told was blown out of the rock with dynamite - true or not, I don't know.

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Postby Jimbo » Tue Jun 06, 2006 8:32 pm

Hi Hugh
Do you reckon the site could have been a part of the salt production in the town. I remember reading an old Scotsman many years ago which gave a fascinating history of Salt production in the town. The life was terribly harsh and the pay was pitiful .
A part of their small wage was paid in salt, and their wives had to go round the big houses in the area trying to sell their quota in competition with the other wives.
poverty and hunger was part of the daily life of the salt workers lot.

"The good old days,,, eh?"
Jim.

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Postby Hughie » Wed Jun 07, 2006 1:40 am

Jimbo wrote:Hi Hugh
Do you reckon the site could have been a part of the salt production in the town. I remember reading an old Scotsman many years ago which gave a fascinating history of Salt production in the town.

Hi Jim,
Don't know about that because it wouldn't have worked as an evaporitive pool because of the tides. Evaprotive pools are usually laid out in low lying areas near to the sea where the water flow can be controlled. I believe in Saltcoats for the most part the salt was gained using couldrons fired by Stevenston coal to cause the evaporation.

Jim McCreadie wrote:I recall being told was blown out of the rock with dynamite - true or not, I don't know.

If that's the case then the earliest date you are looking at is early to mid 1870s. That's when Nobel started manufacturing dynamite at Ardeer in Stevenston. There might be a clue and other interesting stuff about the salt production at Saltcoats in the book published on our site Saltcoats Old & New

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Postby Mitchy » Sat Jun 10, 2006 9:04 pm

Interesting Hughie. I know the area you refer to but never until now did I consider it may be an old swimmimg pool.

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Postby dreamer » Tue Jun 13, 2006 6:11 pm

Hi folks, I had a look at the OS map for Saltcoats (dated 1910) and it identifies that area as a "Bathing Pond", so Hughie's right it was some kind of pool at some point. There's no sign of it on the 1860 map so it must have been formed at some point during that 50 year period.

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Postby Hughie » Wed Jun 14, 2006 10:25 am

dreamer wrote:Hi folks, I had a look at the OS map for Saltcoats (dated 1910) and it identifies that area as a "Bathing Pond",

Thanks for that Dreamer I find this all very interesting.

Here's a theory:
According to the Saltcoats Town Trail the Glasgow Mission Coast Home in nearby Nineyard Street a convalescent home for Glasgow people was opened in 1866 - it was greatly enlarged in 1874 and in 1888.

Being nearby could it be that the pool was made for those convalescing at the Mission Coast Home? After all, being a tidal pool it would be ideal for still water bathing. I can't think of another such spot nearby which could be utilised for this - salt water bathing and sea air were the main reasons why these coastal homes were built.

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Al in OZ
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Old Swimming Pool

Postby Al in OZ » Sat Jul 15, 2006 7:49 am

Here's a theory:
According to the Saltcoats Trail the Glasgow Mission Coast Home in nearby Nineyard Street a convalescent home for Glasgow people was opened in 1866 - it was greatly enlarged in 1874 and in 1888.

Being nearby could it be that the pool was made for those convalescing at the Mission Coast Home? After all, being a tidal pool it would be ideal for still water bathing. I can't think of another such spot nearby which could be utilised for this - salt water bathing and sea air were the main reasons why the coastal homes were built.

----

I think you could be right, Hughie, as the pool is not accessed from the hole in the wall, which is actually on the harbour beside the old toilets if I remember rightly, but through a gap in the wall just down from the Mission Coast Home.

There were always big starfish and sea anemones in the pool and we used to prise limpets from the rocks and feed them to the sea anemones just to see them being drawn into a sticky end!

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Postby Hughie » Mon Jul 17, 2006 1:30 am

Hi Al,

Welcome to threetowners :) Tropical Australia? Then your way up further than John Bone who's up near the Sunshine Coast - might get up as far as Cairns next year.

Thanks for your recollections on that old pool at Saltcoats. If there are any other bits and pieces you can add don't hesitate to jump in.

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Re: Old Swimming Pool

Postby harrysteell » Mon Jul 17, 2006 9:41 pm

Hi al if you look at my last post you might get a better Idea where the pool is I was in saltcoats the other week and spoke to mr. Wales and he told me it was at the rear of his propert on the rocks his house being No 10 windmill street Saltcoats see what you think.

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Postby dreamer » Wed Jul 19, 2006 8:00 pm

Not a particular great picture but here's a view of the pool taken yesterday:

Image

I was quite surprised as it looks a lot bigger on the aerial photo than it does actually standing near it.

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Postby hullaw » Wed Jul 19, 2006 10:25 pm

:shock:
I'm mystified! Wherzat exactly? I grew up in Ardrossan and I remember the Saltcoats bathing pond only ever as being the thing next to the swing park, in front of where the Bay Hotel was.

Where is that photie exactly, dreamer? I'm lost.
still, you don't expect to be bright and bon vivant


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