It first opened as an Olympic-sized seawater baths in July 1939, at the hefty cost of £270,000.
The outbreak of the war, however, meant that Lord Derby was unable to perform the official opening in 1940 as planned. It wasn’t until 1965 when the neighboring sauna center opened that his grandson was able to do the honors.
The baths was frequently referred to as the Wembley of Swimming. The National Centralised Swimming and Diving Championships were held there from 1953 through the 1950’s and 1960’s and many events were televised. Swimming Galas for all the local schools were also held in July and November.
The pool was 50 metres in length with one, three, five and ten metre diving stages. In old money I remember the access steps to the pool being located at depths of 3ft 6ins”, 5ft, 7ft and 16ft. On the south elevation of the building there was a large sun bathing terrace adjacent to the roof which was the length of the pool. There was also a large cafe at the east end of the seating area.
Sadly the baths were demolished amid much controversy in 1990. The site is now vacant and grassed over.