The Bathing Place (opened 1898)

Men at work on dam and walls
Building the Bathing Place, 1898

1898: Leighton Buzzard Observer, 12 April
  ... an effort is being made to provide a bathing place for Winslow, with every prospect of success.  Among the donations is a very substantial one from Lord Addington.

1898: Bicester Herald, 20 May
  BATHING FACILITIES.- At a meeting of the Winslow Bathing Society, presided over by the Vicar, a hearty vote of thanks was passed to Sir Edmund Verney for the site, and to Messrs. H. Monk and W. H. Hinton for permission, to erect a dam for bathing purposes.

1898: Bucks Herald, 8 Oct
  I had an opportunity on Monday of inspecting the bathing place which the Winslow Bathing Association have spent about £50 in improving.  About 100 yards below Winslow Road Station two brooks meet, and the result is something like a small island.  By damming the water up at both ends, and widening and deepening the stream, there is obtained a reach of about 20 or 30 yards of beautifully clear water, about six feet deep and nine feet wide; and there is a nice clump of trees on the island shading it from the road, while the Association have provided the needful steps, &c.

Map showing bathing place site in 1878 and 1898
These maps show the changes made in 1898 to create the Bathing Place. The dotted line in the brook near the top is the boundary between East Claydon and Winslow parishes. The road shown by two dotted lines is from East Claydon to Winslow.

Map showing East Claydon and Winslow
The arrow superimposed on the 1905 OS map marks the Bathing Place. The Electricity Sub-Station is now where the words "WINSLOW ROAD STN" are written.

In 1899 the Parish Council considered taking over the Bathing Place jointly with East Claydon Parish Council, but decided against it.

1899: Leighton Buzzard Observer, 6 June
  Winslow bathing place is very popular just now, and would be more so if it was in better order. The decision of the Parish Council to have nothing to do with the bathing place is not a popular one.

1899: Leighton Buzzard Observer, 27 June
  NARROW ESCAPE FROM DROWNING.- On Sunday morning three young men were nearly drowned at the bathing place.  Two of them could swim but the third could not.  The two went into water 18 feet deep, and the third, although cautioned not to go, followed them.  He found himself sinking and caught hold of one of the swimmers the result being that they both went to the bottom whilst the other swimmer either lost his nerve or had an attack of the cramp.  A young man named Bull, son of Mr. Bull at the Rose and Crown, with the assistance of others, rescued all three, and, but for their timely aid, they would probably been drowned.

1899: Buckingham Advertiser, 24 June
  The public of Winslow have generously and with the most laudable intention subscribed for a bathing place for the young men, but unless some means can be provided of placing it under control it is likely to prove a death trap.  It would most certainly have been so for three of our most promising young men last Sunday morning, had there not fortunately been others there who could swim and were courageous enough to rescue them.  We understand that this was not a solitary instance, and everything points to the fact that unless some authority takes charge of it, sooner or later a fatal accident will happen, in which case it had much better have been done away with.

1899: Bucks Herald, 18 Nov
  SMOKING CONCERT.- A successful smoker on behalf of the funds of the bathing place was held at the Bell Hotel, on Thursday evening, Nov. 9, and was well patronised.  The Rev. W. F. Armstrong presided, and Mr. G. H. Thompson officiated at the piano.

1901: Buckingham Advertiser, 27 April
  On Monday and Tuesday evenings an enjoyable entertainment was given in the Bell Room on behalf of the funds of the Bathing Place.  The programme consisted of two parts, the first one an entertainment by the Sheep Street Minstrels, and Part II, a laughable little farce, entitled “Browne the Martyr.”  The Sheep Street Minstrels, we believe, made their first appearance on Monday evening…  Mr. Barnett rendered yeoman service not only as conductor, but his excellent cornet imitation was alone well worth going to hear, and his “Alphabetical sermon” was undoubtedly the best hit of the evening.

1901: Buckingham Advertiser, 24 Aug
  The first annual competition in connection with the Swimming Club and Bathing Place, took place on Tuesday at the Bathing Place, Claydon Road, and was well attended by the townspeople.  Although Winslow is not by any means an aquatic place the competition proved quite successful and must have been very encouraging to the committee of whom Mr. Stanley Midgley was the secretary.  There were 14 entries for the adults race, 9 of whom entered the water.  Mr. E. J. Bull won the final easily, and so took the Challenge Cup and medal presented by Mr. McCorquodale.  In the semi-final he won his heat in two minutes, but was a trifle longer (2min. 11sec.) in the final as he was never pressed.  In the boys’ event five started, and the race was won by H. Armstrong (1½ sec. start) by a foot from W. Armstrong (scratch),  while A. Walker (scratch) was only six inches behind.  In the fancy competition each competitor had to stand on the plank holding a football, then dive into the water, swim 25 yards, and place the ball over the cross pole.  At the conclusion the prizes were distributed by Mr. McCorquodale, for whom three hearty cheers were given.  In acknowledging this he expressed a hope that one result of the competition would be an increase in the number of members, and that many more would learn to swim.  The following are the results:-
  100 Yards (adults) Challenge Cup Handicap- 1st heat: B. Garrett (swam over).  2nd heat: 1 B. Sanderson; 2, R. Gregory; 3, H. Wise (10 sec.).  3rd heat: E. J. Bull (swam over)  4th heat; 1, W. Turnham, 2, H. C. Brazier (25 sec.); 3, W. H. Shackel.  5th heat: T. Evans (swam over).  Semi-final: 1st heat- 1, E. J. Bull; 2, T. Evans; 3, B. Sanderson; 2nd heat- 1, W. Turnham; 2, B. Garrett.  Final: 1, E. J. Bull; 2, W. Turnham, 3, T. Evans.  Time 2min. 11 sec.
  Twenty-five Yards (boys under 15) Handicap- 1st heat: 1, W. Armstrong; 2, M. Midgley (½sec.); 3, H. Hancock.  2nd heat: 1, H. Armstrong (1½ sec.); 2, A. Walker.  Final heat: 1, H. Armstrong (1½ sec.); 2, W. Armstrong; 3, A. Walker.  Time 36 sec.
  Fancy Competition- 1, B. Garrett; 2, H. C. Brazier.  Won by 1 sec.  Two others entered, but lost the ball when diving in, so were disqualified.

1902: Buckingham Advertiser, 16 Aug
  The second of these annual contests was held at Winslow on Thursday, August 7th, and in each of the finals there was a close fight for first place.
  100 Yards Challenge Cup Handicap (open) - Three prizes- Heat 1:1, W. Armstrong (55sec.); 2, W. Turnham (20sec.)- won by 8 yds.  Heat 2: 1, A. Evans (35sec.); 2, E. Bull (scratch) – won by 2yds.  Final: 1, W. Armstrong; 2, A. Evans; 3, W. Turnham.  Won by two yards.  Time, 2min. 29 ½ sec.  The Silver Challenge Cup, presented by N. McCorquodale, Esq., is held by the winner of the first prize.  If won three times by the same competitor (not necessarily in succession) it will become his absolute property.
  50 Yards Handicap (under 18).- 2sec. for each year, three prizes.- 1, H. C. Brazier (2sec.); 2, H. Armstrong (12sec.); 3, C. Vaisey (2sec.)  Won by a foot, same distance between second and third.  W. Armstrong (4sec.) did not start.
  25 Yards Handicap (under 15) – ½ sec for each year, three prizes, first prize presented by N. McCorquodale, Esq. – 1, W. Foster ( ½ sec); 2, H. Armstrong (1sec.); 3, M. Midgley (scratch).  Won by 2ft.  H. Hancock (scratch) did not start.  The prizes were presented by Mrs. Bullock.  The committee decide that in the open event the fastest second in the heats should swim in the final, and that the time of each heat should be reckoned from the time of the limit man in the contest.  To this ruling there were some objections raised; otherwiase the contest went off well, and should encourage others to practice the very useful art of swimming.  The winner of the Cup this year is only 15 years and 14 days old.  Mr. Stanley N. Midgley was the hon. secretary.

1903: Bucks Herald, 22 Aug
  I am sorry to hear that, owing to the unsettled state of the weather, the Committee of the Winslow bathing place, have decided to postpone the annual races for members until another year.

1904: Buckingham Advertiser, 13 Feb: East Claydon Parish Council
  With regard to the bathing place at Winslow Brook, the Clerk reported that the bathing place had become a very interesting place, and that it was being more appreciated every season, and several of the inhabitants had asked him to bring the question of making the surrounding ground more private.  The Council were pleased that the bathing place had become popular, and thought the two landlords – Sir E. Verney, Bart., and H. S. Leon, Esq.- would like to be acquainted, and ordered letters to be sent to that effect.

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Copyright 12 August, 2023