Sutton workers must have been introduced to the pleasures and benefits of an open air swimming baths when pools were sited aside I&R Morley's hosiery factory. Abandoned works attracted 1935 consideration, when a Mr Marriott wished to rent those premises with a view to reopening those old baths for public use. Refusal by Health and Sanitation must have forced the Sutton authority into deciding to make their property safer, by duly filling in those old pools to then provide a children's play sandpit plus small paddling pool.
Year 1924 actually saw opening of indoor public baths sited upon Brookside. Sutton Urban District Council took initial responsibility for this swimming pool through their appointed sub-committee of representatives.
Upper floor of the officially addressed Brook Street Public Baths went on hosting a wide variety and long list of functions. Not least of those followed January 1932 agreement which firstly allowed unemployed folk from Sutton-in-Ashfield casual use of the central room for recreational purposes. At same time, they agreed to extend a maple flooring which could further accommodate another popular pastime of roller skating.
Necessity arose in 1932 for fitting a new filtration plant. This offered the Baths sub-committee an enjoyable days excursion, visiting Leicester and Leamington Spa to inspect systems already in operation. Result was, they accepted a tender from United Filtration Company of London, costing £951. That July agenda did include request from New Hucknall Miners Welfare, and readily granted their pit workers half price entry. Not sure how far July 1935 attendances reported at 8,659 would compare with any modern facilities found today, but prices will surely recognise a big difference from the £111 7s. taken in those monthly receipts.
Many will keep some memory of what became termed the small pool at the old baths, because shallow depth maintained use as a starter pool for several schools through our Huthwaite Secondary education. One end presented learners with an intimidating 6½ feet, although it seems more frightening now to see it originally fitted with a diving stand before realising the barely sufficient depth posed far greater dangers.
Brook Street public baths later incorporated a spring board and two diving stands. They however, towered above a newer 12½ foot depth. Opening a 1976 extension afforded a new full sized indoor swimming pool. A central entrance into locker changing rooms led onto a connecting corridor joining both heated facilities.
2004 comparisons cannot reveal any great change for these familiar looking Brook Street buildings under charge of Ashfield District Council. Banners promoted their current scheme to generally encourage regular exercise, although spiralling costs of maintaining these aging amenities hinted at a future replacement. It must be admitted that even the newer baths outlived the past model of cars of the time identified fronting.
Building a new sports baths complex controversially sited upon the Sutton Lammas led towards closure of the Brook Street Sutton Pools Complex in November 2008. Most of these photos were found shared on or through the joint interests of a Sutton-in-Ashfield Facebook group, giving specific credit to Darron Ellis for also wishing to preserve the historic old baths for good purpose. But my camera records date of demolition seen here through April 2013, which included the adjacent, similarly closed Brook Street Community Hall.
Written 02 Sep 13 Revised 06 Sep 13 © by Gary Elliott