~ OPEN AIR SWIMMING BATHS ~
Constructed by the side of the river in 1876
The Whitstable Times and Herne Bay Herald, Saturday, April 12, 1879 - County Intellegence - Suicide by drowning in the swimming bath. The coroner, T. T. Delasaux, Esq. held an inquest on Monday evening at the George and Dragon Inn, Westgate without, on the body of William Wittle Williams, eighteen years of age, who was found in the Simming Bath, Whitehall, on Sunday. Mr. Thomas Blackman said he was the attendant at the Swimming Bath, and between seven and eight o'clock on Saturday evening he had occasion to go there. On looking round he found a boy's felt hat on one of the seats. He subsequently informed the police of the matter, and hearing that a young man was missing, he made further search at the bath early on Sunday morning. He found the body of deceased at the bottom of the bath, and with assistance got it out. Life was quite extinct, and the body had evidently been in the water for some days. Edward Court, labourer, said the deceased was his first cousin, and he was a rope maker. On Sunday week he saw him with his sweetheart. They were both in very despressed spirits in consequence of the young woman's state. Inspector Andrews, who searched the clothing of the deceased, produced a letter which he found in his right-hand trousers pocket. The letter was dated Monday, March 31st, and it was as follows: "Dear Mother, give father my great coat, my kind love to my dear Didy, kind love to Annie, best love to father and to both, my dear mother; God has forgiven me, my love to the boys and the baby." There was a lock of hair in the letter. The jury returned a verdict to the effect that the deceased committed suicide while in a state of temporary insanity.
"Is situated on the Whitehall Road about five minutes walk from Westgate, it is the largest in England; the basin, built of concrete, is 375 feet long, by 75 feet wide, and varies from 7 to 2 feet 6 inches deep. There are several dressing boxes placed round it on the walk, which is 10 feet wide. Water is constantly flowing through, and is taken from the "Silver Hole" Spring, a beautiful stream of fresh water."
Goulden's Guide to Canterbury and the Cathedral c. 1890's
Canterbury Open Air Swimming Baths, from my old Canterbury Book c. 1902
1903 - Albert Henry Pilcher, secretary
1903 Canterbury Swimming Club - Albert H. Pilcher, chairman
1917 Directory - Canterbury Swimming Baths Co. (ltd.) Whitehall Road
© T. Machado 2014