Barnstaple, The Swimming Pool, Rock Park c.1960
Memories of Barnstaple, the Swimming Pool, Rock Park c1960
I was an apprentice in Mr Richard's tailor's shop, Barnstable, horse in window with a man in riding gear. Mr Diamond instructed me, a nice gent. I had to go back to Bradford before my apprenticeship was completed. I have happy memories, go for holidays now. I would like to have a photo of the shop.
As my fourteenth birthday hove into view and we entered the summer of 1939 it became clear that we could soon be at war with Germany. Bushey Heath was just fifteen miles north-west of central London. My parents felt I should be out of the way of the expected bombing raids, so they sent me, not to friends but to friends of a friend, Mr and Mrs Ovey. Mr Ovey was Pastor of the Barnstaple Mission, just by their house in Rackfield, which eventually I attended every Sunday morning and evening. One of my first thoughts about the move concerned the delightful possibility that girls might be there. In the train I stood at the corridor window as we halted at the Barnstaple platform. There was a ...Read full memory
My aunt was the Manager of the Imperial Hotel which once stood on the bank of a river (whose name escapes me), in the 1940s. I spent several holidays with her which were great experiences for a young boy from a relatively sheltered existence in a schoolhouse in rural Scotland. My Aunt May (Mrs Strongman), known to the staff in the hotel as "MADAM", was my mother's older sister. I had never stayed in a Hotel. I had a marvellous time, going round the shops with my aunt when she bought for the hotel, having dinner when I had to wear my suit and not sports coat and flannels. I recall that the Hunt Dinner was held there once when I was staying at the hotel, and it was such a grand affair. ...Read full memory
I attended the North Devon Technical School in the late 50's having passed the 13+ from Barnstaple Secondary Modern ( I've yet to meet anyone that took the 13+ in recent years) I must have been about 14 -15 when the school sent us to have swimming lessons in the Rock Park swimming Pool. I lived nereby in Newport Road and often went to the open pool that was a social centre for young people. In the summer there was a weekly 'gala' that was well attended. -Happy days. John Cole
I remember well going to the swimming baths once a week during the summer for swimming lessons. We used to walk from Pilton School to Rock Park, or those of us with bikes were allowed to cycle and wait at the park for the others. I cannot imagine that being allowed today. By the time we gained access to the pool it was about 9.30 a.m. and it would be like a mill pond, but being so early it had not had time for the sun to work its magic, so it was also very cold. Many a weekend was also spent here when it would be packed with people who were unable to get to nearby beaches.