Portobello Open Air Bathing Pool

Diving Boards


Portobello Outdoor Bathing Pool  -  Diving, 1957-58

   Reproduced with acknowledgement to Danny Callaghan, Falkirk, Stirlingshire, Scotland


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    Portobello Outdoor Bathing Pool  -  Diving, 1957-58


Portobello Open Air Bathing Pool

Thank you to Danny Callaghan for sending me this photo taken by his Dad in 1957 or 1958.

Danny wrote:

The Waves

"Unlike the guy in this picture I never dived off the high dive, but I did jump many a time.   The high dive was a bit of an anomaly as the pool was imperial measurements ie 50 yards wide but the top high dive was 10 metre and you dived or jumped into 16 feet of water.  I did, one day, work my way up to diving off the 2nd-top level, but did not make the top.

It's good to see the males in sensible trunks as opposed to the down-to-the-knees things many wear today."

Heated Salt Water

The big thing about the Pool at this time was it was heated and salt water.   The water was from the boiler-cooling of the next door Portobello Power Station, which drew the water from the Forth.

However some officials decided that the water in the Forth was polluted and the power station water could not be used, although they never provided any evidence of anyone suffering from the water over its many year of being heated salt water.

So the death knell for the Pool was signed.   Cold fresh water just does not have an appeal to many people, and numbers declined."

Now only at Gourock

"To my knowledge, the only surviving heated salt water outdoor pool in Scotland is Gourock, now over 101 years old.

Currently the bulldozers are on site and it is being upgraded in a 2 million project.   Their midnight swims are usually a sell-out.   It is a pity the Edinburgh fathers did not have that foresight."

The Raft

"Here is another photo taken by Danny's Dad.  It is of the raft at Portobello Open Air Bathing Pool in 1957-58."

Portobello Outdoor Bathing Pool  -  Diving, 1957-58

Danny Callaghan, Falkirk, Stirlingshire, Scotland:  February 19, 2011


Portobello Open Air Bathing Pool

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