South Bay Pool Scarborough page 3


South Bay Pool Scarborough - The Entertainers

The 1950's was the heyday of entertainment at the pool. Starting in around 1951, Tom Perry's 'Javelins Aquatic Show' was a regular feature. Performing on Mondays and Thursdays, these shows lasted for two hours and featured stunt diving, a contortionist, a clown, slapstick comedy and synchronised swimming. Perry would memorably set himself on fire before jumping off the high board.

In 1954, George Baines's similar show, 'Water Follies' took over, with many of the same performers transitioning to the new show, including the local girls who performed as synchronised swimmers. These shows were a terrific boost to the pool's revenue as they would attract many paying spectators. They also attracted many non paying ones, as you could get a good view from the cliffs above. As the 1950's drew to a close, so did the days of great shows at the pool. By the early 1960's a floating stage had been errected and performances were limited to music, most notably by electronic organist H Robinson Cleaver. By the mid 1960's these too had ceased as the pool began its slow decline.

A 1954 advertisement offers a sense of some of the entertainments on offer at the pool. (D Stuart Collection)
Two of the swimmers from the pool's Aqua Ballet, Dawn Checkley is on the left. (picture courtesy Mandy Harrow)
Members of the water ballet in the South Bay Pool in the early 1950's, with Dawn Checkley again on the left. (picture courtesy Mandy Harrow)
Four members of the water ballet sat on the lower part of the diving platform. In the background can be seen one of the fountains and shallow section, and the secondary diving board. (picture courtesy Mandy Harrow)
A 1950's newspaper picture showing the cast of The Water Follies show, gathered near the diving board. Back row from left, Joe Gridley, Sid Brooks, Rex Reed, Betty Slade (Olympic Diving Champion), Les Jamieson, Dykes Andrews. In front, Peggy Cheshire, Shirley Dundas, Ann Slater, Gladys Long, Dawn Checkley, Maureen Cooper, Rosmary and Kathleen Ellis. Dawn Checkley wrote 'I was dressed as Britannia for the finale, in a boat draped with the Union Jack, and towed across the water to the tune of Rule Britannia. In the last show of the season, someone had pulled the bung out of the boat and I sank slowly to the bottom of the pool, leaving just my trident aloft above the water.' (picture courtesy Mandy Harrow)
Members of the pool's Aqua Ballet with an unknown man, c.1952. They are seated and leaning on the roof of the men's changing rooms. Dawn Checkley is front right. (picture courtesy Mandy Harrow)

South Bay Pool Scarborough - Holidaymakers and Visitors

Throughout the pool's history thousands of pictures were taken in and around the site. These pictures give a poignant glimpse of holidays long past.

Some of the many thousands of post cards featuring, and recalling happy days at, The South Bay Pool. (D Stuart Photography)
Ticket issued to visitor Stephen Parkin in the mid-1980's. (photo courtesy Stephen Parkin)
A group of holiday makers sat outside the beach huts on top of the laundry, c.1932. On the left hand side in the background can be seen one of the cafe's walls, and in the bottom left corner can be see the circular windows of the women's changing rooms. (D Stuart Collection)
Two pictures from an album c.1932. On the left, a swimmer can be seen with one of the pool's attendants. They are stood in the pool near to the tunnel, with the laundry block behind. At right, a couple sit in the spectator stands with the laundry block behind. (D Stuart Collection)
Two pictures showing a lady, gentleman and large soft toy on the pool's outer wall. The right hand picture is captioned 'With Billy Hart at the bathing pool, Scarborough 1923'. The changing room steps up to the cafe can be seen to the man's left. (D Stuart Collection)
Five ladies cavorting on top of the laundry block, from an album c.1932. (D Stuart Collection)
Again from the c.1932 album, holiday makers on top of the laundry block. (D Stuart Collection)
A 1930's group stood by the pool's edge towards the northern end. (D Stuart Collection)
Two unknown ladies in the pool, at left a lady sits near the entrance to the tunnel, c.1923. The Right hand picture, captioned 'Swimming at the pool, Scarborough' dates from the mid to late 1930's. (D Stuart Collection)
Group on the cliff overlooking the pool, c.1937. (D Stuart Collection)
Simon Harrow and his father Jerry in 1973. (picture courtesy Mandy Harrow)
Michael Harrow overlooking the pool, 1973. The group in deckchairs are seated on the kitchen roof. The beach huts on the laundry block can be seen to the left of the boy's head. (picture courtesy Mandy Harrow)

South Bay Pool Scarborough - Professional Photography at the Pool

In the late 1920's-1930's, by agreement with Scarborough Corporation, The Sun Ray Photo Company of Newborough, Scarborough, employed a professional photographer during the busy periods at the pool. For a short period in the mid 1930's, this role was filled by a photographer from North Bay Snaps Ltd, working in The South Bay and outside of their usual patch. These photographers would photograph people in and around the pool, and then display the pictures along the laundry block in the hope of selling prints.

 

The left hand picture shows a lady standing on top of the laundry block, c.1932. At the very bottom of the picture can be seen Sun Ray's photo display board, these extended along the laundry block and were marked with the days of the week. At right is one of Sun Ray's pictures, dating from the late 1920's. Behind the three ladies can be seen the the laundry block with towels drying on the roof, before the beach huts were built on top. (D Stuart Collection)
As well as working in the pool, the photographer would often stand just North of the pool and take 'walking portraits' of people approaching it. These pictures were generally taken by The Sun Ray Company, but prints dating from the mid 1930's are sometimes found with markings of The North Bay Snaps company. Here are two typical Sun Ray examples, left picture dated on the back 1932 and right c.1935. (D Stuart Collection)