Great Yarmouth Open Air Bathing Pool

Postcards of Great Yarmouth bathing pool, c. 1930

By Lauren McCurdy

Photo:View of Great Yarmouth bathing pool, c. 1930

View of Great Yarmouth bathing pool, c. 1930

Great Yarmouth Museums

Photo:View of Great Yarmouth bathing pool from the diving board, c.1930

View of Great Yarmouth bathing pool from the diving board, c.1930

Great Yarmouth Museums

This page was added by Lauren McCurdy on 10/05/2007.
Comments about this page

These pictures brought back memories of when my son got his mile certificate, it was a freezing afternoon in the late 70s and he came out of the pool blue and exhausted. He then enjoyed a cup of hot Bovril to thaw out. Thinking back even earlier to the early 50s I can remember a swiming show, I think it was called The Frollies where a man would dive from a very tall diving platform as part of the show. His name may have been Dave Perry and if anyone can confirm this I would be most grateful.

By jeff hill
On 09/11/2007

This Is On The Site Where The Marina Center Is Today!

By Darren Stride
On 25/02/2008

After showing pictures to my dad I can confirm that the high diver was Perry Blake which also stared water clowns and aqua maids for Mr George Baines from 1954 to 1964.During this time Perry Blake hit the bottom of the pool on first dive of the season and Leo from America took his place for the remainder of the season. I myself had six years with the water follies.

By Mr Edward Cooke (peanuts the clown)
On 29/04/2008

These images bring back powerful memories.
My father John Lake had a strong association with the pool having won numerous medals for swimming in the 1950's. My earliest memories go back to the early 1960s when dad taught me to swim and, later, as he encouraged me to jump off the boards.
Probably the strangest memory however, was of a swarm of ladybirds which infested the area one day in the 1960s and absolutely every surface was covered in red crawling insects.

Oh happy, carefree days!

By Mick Lake
On 11/01/2010

The Yarmouth pool was the best ever. In 1966 it used to be 12 shillings and sixpence for a whole year of swimming. We all met there. Wonderfull memories.

By valerie patterson
On 03/09/2010

The outdoor pool was where I learned to swlm: Not through the swimming lessons we had from school, we would walk down St.Peters Road from the Nelson School, and Miss Bransby would teach us....she was a rather formidable woman only short & quite stout, but she used to scare the crap out of me!!! And never got the hang of swimming....(All that teaching) but during the summer holidays on a rare occasion I was allowed to go to the pool.... I learned how to swim that day!!!! Some boys from school pushed me in the deep-end FULLY CLOTHED.......I only had two choices!!!! Great fond memories of that pool! why was it ever replaced with the DUMP we have now??

By Lorraine Symonds
On 01/10/2010

I too am from YARMOUTH!! Now living in Rotterdam for the 36yrs, I can also remember the outdoor pool, went to Styles school and we used to have our swimming lessons and swimming galas there,this would have been in the 60s. Loved going there and can remember when it was closed down...what a shame..nothing like swimming outdoors...good memories...

By sue taylor
On 05/08/2011

My father was George Baines and he and my mother, Vera brought me as a young baby to live in Gt.Yarmouth as he fell in love with the huge outdoor swimming pool in which he produced the Water Follies for 10 seasons. He always said that it was one of the best pools in the country. They were certainly very happy days for me growing up with all the swimmers and divers in the shows. I had the biggest dressing up box in the world!!

By Jan Baines-Burton
On 13/09/2011

My mother was an Aquabelle in the George Baines Aqua shows back in the mid 50s. Her name was Rita Stone who met my father at one of these shows, Dennis Burnip who was a stunt diver.  They both had many fond memories and made many close friends including Vera Baines Tosh, as they both called one another, they remained close friends throughout there lives.  I look back fondly at my mother's photo albums of the Aqua shows and the great times they had even when the pool was icy cold she always came up smiling.  Great to see Jan Baines comment above I must say.  I tried to contact Jan some years ago as I'm sure she would remember Rita, and who knows maybe exchange some photos.  It would be great to hear from anyone who were in the Aqua shows back then, or if you knew anyone who may have known them.  Please call me at Thanks and Happy New Year to you all. Danny

On 16/01/2012

I spent many hours at the open air pool. I learnt to swim there in the 50s and had a season ticket every year. We always went on the first day open each year it was freezing but we didn't mind. Used to watch the Follies all the time.

By Liz Sawyer
On 16/04/2012

I concur with my sisters comments (Liz Sawer). Although two years younger than my sister the pool was the place for me.  Watching Perry Blake do that eighty foot plus dive was the highlight of the afternoon, and I also remember him hitting the bottom one year, as previously stated. My mother (Gertrude, Gert for short) would pack me up with some sandwiches for the day and a few pence for a hot Bovril, and off I would go.  You could buy Horlicks tablets and in the top and bottom of the wrapper was a small silver disc which could be used in an elephant machine in the amusements opposite the pool, to illegally obtain a gift, as they were the same size as a sixpenny piece !

By Ashley Crisp
On 23/04/2012

Such great memories, both me and my brother and friends used to spend just about everyday at the pool during the school summer holidays. I fondly remember diving from the boards and bombing the boat/stands but cannot remember the depth at the deep end. Does anybody have an old photo with it on it would help to settle a question between friends.

By Dave Partridge
On 31/07/2012

We can both remember swimming here with our schools in the 60's. When the school bus turned up the first thing everyone did was check the temperature on the wall. It was always freezing and the teachers stayed on the side with their coats on telling us to jump in and all hold onto the side in a row. We both went to different schools but the routine was the same.

By Tina Handy(Wilding) and Susan Stiles(Royall)
On 08/08/2012

I have very fond memories of our lovely pool buying my season ticket 12 shillings and sixpence even loved the place when it was 52 degrees, never forget my lovely pool .

By valerie patterson
On 24/05/2013

Remember watching my Dad, Peter Hollis when I was a little girl. He was in the Crazy Gang and apparently was the policeman. I  seem to recall a pram coming off that top board!

By Barbara Oldham
On 29/04/2016

I also learnt to swim in this pool, the water was unheated seawater and you were lucky if the temperature got into the 60's (Fahrenheit) - apart from the glorious summer of '76 when the temperature made it into the high 70's and possibly even low 80's for the whole summer. As for learning to swim the large size of the pool, 25 yards x 100 yards, meant that once you started out there was no racing back to the sanctuary of the side, you were committed and had to at least swim/flounder a few yards before you reached safety. I clearly remember embarking on my first length of the pool (100 yards) and wondering if I would ever get to the other side. I made it though and rewarded myself with a mug of Bovril from the cafeteria to warm up.

The price of a season ticket for 1975 or 1976 was 60p of my hard earned pocket money - worth every penny. Wonderful memories of this place.

By Mark Popay
On 04/02/2018

I remember this pool so well and loved the time there with my family.  My Dad Edward Green use to work in the pool and when it closed just my family was in there while my Dad was cleaning the sides of the pool. My brother Spencer Green was an amazing diver and use to love watching his antics off the top board, such lovely times and memories!  Does anyone know how high the top board was?  Sharon Erskine (nee Green) 23/9/2019

By Sharon
On 25/09/2019

My grandad was the manager here I believe but not sure of dates; Sidney Webb.  I can only remember going once and not spending long in the water at all! 

By Sharon J
On 30/07/2021

Hello David Partridge, my Dad has a picture of my mum standing by the pool in Great Yarmouth, the depth was 7ft 6”. More info. and pictures to follow. 

By Moss
On 11/08/2022

My mother was an Aquabelle, she did a swan dive, and she dived in coupled with another lady one was standing upright the other was upsidedown, holding the other person’s ankles!

By Withnell
On 11/08/2022

My mum was in The George Baines Aqua Follies, as an Aquabelle. She did a swan dive, and a dive with two people coupled together, one upright, and the other upsidedown. My mum’s name was Kathleen Bennett, she performed in 1961.

By Sheppard
On 11/08/2022

I am sending some pictures of my mum and other performers, please could you let me know if you have received them.Regards Susan Sheppard

By Susan Sheppard
On 04/09/2022

My Dad was the Manager of Great Yarmouth swimming pool in the late 1960s John Edward Ellis.
Can any one remember him?


By Julie Aldred
On 18/03/2024

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