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I used to have Smethwick Baths to myself

By Black Country Bugle  |  Posted: May 05, 2014

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RE the article in The Bugle (April 10 edition) I joined the swimming club when the Thimblemill Baths opened. We were issued with books of vouchers which allowed us in at a reduced rate.

During school summer holidays I was there nearly every day. Having passed the Entrance Examination at aged 10, no 11+ in those days, to go to Grammar School, we had 6 weeks' summer holiday, whereas the Elementary schools had only 4 weeks. During the extra 2 weeks, I would get there early and for a time had the pool to myself. One day I decided to see how many lengths I could swim and I managed 26. Some years later, when my husband and I took our children, it was all I could do to swim one length! All our three children learnt to swim there.

After the small pool was built with the adjoining large room with a bar, my Bearwood Townswomen's Guild used to hold their monthly meeting there, of which I have many happy memories. Then it was altered and we had to leave and move to Warley Methodist Church, Abbey Road, where we still meet every third Monday in the month in the afternoon. During the war I danced on that lovely springy floor every winter. One band I remember was the Squadronaires. It was a great pity that the dance hall had to be abandoned due to undesirable yobs spoiling things.

Although at the age of 88 years, I no longer use the baths, I would be very sorry if it were to close for any reason. Long may it continue.

I do enjoy my Black Country Bugle every week, keep up the good work.

Mrs N.T. Crosbee,

111 Willow Ave, Edgbaston, Birmingham.

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