Bournemouth History: Waterfront
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This is my town. I live here. I love it.
This cache was originally one of 11 in a second series highlighting Bournemouth's Past. Today, only this cache and a few of the other most popular caches in the "Bournemouth History" series remain.
The original "Bournemouth’s Past" series followed the same format of 11 caches. The most popular in the series is still active and is only a short walk from this cache, which can be viewed at the following link, Jon Egging.
The Pier Approach Swimming baths was much loved by locals and holidaymakers as a public swimming pool, but with it's exceptionally high diving boards and platforms made it also somewhere where you could go as a spectator. In the summer season there was the spectacular "Aquashow" where spectators would be entertained by professional divers, synchronised swimming and diveboard clown antics by the Aquagoons, supported by international diving stars and an orchestra.
It opened on Tuesday 23rd March 1937, after the announcement of the Government's plans for improved physical fitness. The Minister of Health, Sir Kingsley Wood, M.P. stated: “Apart from the pleasure of swimming and bathing, especially at a place enjoying such an equable climate as Bournemouth, the exercise is thoroughly good for the bather's health and physique. We have learned the value to the human body of adequate, but not excessive, exposure to fresh air and sunlight, and I am, therefore, specially interested to learn that the new baths include provision for a solarium and a sun terrace. I am confident that the new baths will be a material addition to the many attractions of Bournemouth, and I congratulate everyone concerned on the planning and effort which will have contributed to this result.”
But this was not the first swimming baths to be present at this location. The original scheme for the planning of the town, as shown in the records, was prepared by Benjamin Ferrey, Architect, and this scheme definitely incorporated the 1840 Baths premises. In 1864, part of the old Pier Approach Baths buildings were erected, and in 1887 the swimming pool was added. The premises, as then constructed, remained in use until they were demolished in 1935, and the new Baths were built on the old site which was enlarged by the demolition of adjoining property.
Bournemouth Baths Syndicate was the corporation that ran the establishment. Figures showing the volume of people using the pool indicated a growing town. In 1924, 24,862 bathers used the venue. 10 years later in 1934, this number rose to a staggering 92,035 bathers. The Corporation decided, in 1928, that to meet the requirements of a rapidly developing Borough, additional facilities were required, and a new Public Baths Scheme comprising swimming pool, slipper baths, etc., was promoted, and in 1930, a second suite of Baths was erected at Stoke Wood Road, some two miles from the old baths, in a northerly direction. These baths immediately became very popular, and in 1933 were used by 72,000 persons. The growing population however, meant that the Pier Approach Baths were no longer suitable, which led the way for the baths to be rebuilt, bigger and better, in 1937.
The new baths boasted of amphitheatre seating to the Swimming Bath, for the accommodation of approximately 600 spectators, which was on the mezzanine floor level. Each spectator had a clear and uninterrupted view of the swimming bath. A unique feature of the scheme was the provision of a Bathers' Terrace, approximately 98ft in length, on the south side of the swimming pool, which was accessible to both bathers and spectators.
The swimming baths closed in 1986. The building was demolished and the Pier Approach view from the road became unobstructed for many years, until a new complex was built, which would prove to later become one of the worst building decisions in the history of Bournemouth.
The Waterfront Complex, comprising of a 3D cinema, opened in 2002, two years and eight months later than expected. The 3D cinema took its first blow as it shut at Easter in 2005 in preparation for a revamp. It did however remain closed. By February 2009, only one business was still open in the building. The local council bought the complex for £7,500,000 in January 2010.
The 19M (62 ft) high, concrete and smoked glass building featured a wavy roof design but was despised by residents and visitors alike because it blocked views of the bay and the Isle of Purbeck. In 2005 it was voted the most hated building in England in a 10,000 people poll conducted by the Channel 4 programme, 'Demolition', and was pulled down in spring 2013. The site is to be used as an outdoors event arena, the council still plan on a larger redevelopment of the site and adjoining council land in the long term.
The location of this cache I have had in mind for several years. When a cache in a similar location got archived, I knew of an ideal placement, but like many of my caches, I waited for a purpose for a cache to be placed. This Bournemouth History series provided me with that purpose.
Once you have found the cache you will need tweezers to help extract the log sheet. Please ensure the cache is re-positioned out of sight of any passing muggles.
Bournemouth History series:
GC4NTAM: Boscombe Railway Station (M)
GC41YWV: Pier Bandstand (M)
GC4NTAN: Tucktonia (N)
GC4NTAP: The Shell House (P)
GC4NTAQ: Moordown Halifax Memorial (Q)
GC4NTAR: Racecourse (R)
GC4NTAT: Moordown Tram Depot (T)
GC4NTAV: Waterfront (V)
GC4NTAW: Winter Gardens (W)
GC4NTAX: Typhoid Epidemic (X)
GC4NTAY: Great Train Robbery (Y)
GC4NTAZ: A338 Wessex Way [BONUS] - N50 MN.PQR W001. TV.694
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