South London Memories : Bellingham Swimming Pool in the 1920s

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Judging by the costumes, and knowing the history of the Bellingham Council Estate in South London, Anthony J Sargeant thinks this photograph was probably taken in the 1920-30s. Surprisingly the pool was still much the same as shown here when Tony worked as a lifeguard at the pool in the early 1960’s, but it has long since been closed. In the British climate it was only open from May to September and the upkeep must have been astronomical. In the British Summer there were many days when only one or two people would swim but still the pool was staffed with a minimum of 12 people (two 6 hour shifts of six people 8 am to 2 pm then 2 pm to 8 pm).

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