Councillors and VIPs attend the Opening of the Kings Meadow Baths

Councillors and VIPs attend the Opening of the Kings Meadow Baths

Saturday May 30th 1903 The Herald, Mercury.

restoration - crest pre 1952

The Opening of the King’s Meadow Open Air Baths was carried out by the Mayoress Mrs Holland Bull
After many delays, the long desired swimming bath for Ladies at Reading is an accomplished fact; and the highly successful completion of a scheme which presented many difficulties in its carrying out, reflects the greatest credit on the persistant efforts of the Parks and Pleasure Grounds Committee of the Corporation, and particularly on their energetic Chairman Mr Councillor Joseph Milsom, and on the Borough Engineer and Surveyor Mr John Bowen M. Inst. C.E. who designed a most complete and handsome bath, and overcame considerable engineering difficulties.
The new bath is a handsome structure, replete with every convenience.
The water area area measures 120 feet by 45 feet. The depth at the western extremity is 6 feet, and the depth at the opposite end being three feet.

Councillors were entertained by a fine Swimming Gala
The entertainmnet consisted of interesting drill, showing the four methods of saving persons from drowning, “release” drill and methods of resuscitation of the apparently drowned and demonstrations both on land and water were very smartly carried out by the following team under the direction of Mr Bruce Jones.
H.G. Haynes – H.R. Barrs – F.E. Gillier – H.S. Silver – A.H. Cane Jnr.
Demonstrations of a Handicap Swimming Race for the “Keyser Challenge Vase” took place with the following results:
1st Heat 1 Silver (5 secs) 2 Knight (scratch) 3 A.H. Cane (4 secs)
2nd Heat 1 L.O. Cane (5 secs) 2 C. Morris (6 secs) 3 H.R Barr (1 sec)
Final Heat 1st Silver 2nd Barrs 3rd Knight 4th L.O. Cane
At the close Mr Stanley Hayward proposed a toast of thanks to the members of the Reading and Y.M.C.A. Swimming Clubs, which was heartily accorded and acknowledged by Mr Henry Creed (President R.S.C.) and the host, hostess then entertained their guests to tea and coffee.

Councillors and eminent  citizens of the town

  • Alderman Monck
  • Alderman Field
  • Alderman and Mrs Eurby
  • Cllr and Mrs Ridley
  • Cllr and Miss Cox
  • Cllr and Mrs Philbrick
  • Cllr EH and Miss Simmonds
  • Cllr and Mrs G.W Webb
  • Cllr and Mrs Jackson
  • Cllr and Miss Mosdel
  • Cllr and Miss Waite
  • Cllr and Misses Eighteen
  • Cllrs Brinn, Clark, J.H. Walters, Pidler and Connolly
  • Rev. R.P. Newhouse
  • Dr J Hurry
  • Captain Henderson
  • Mr and Mrs Creed
  • Mr W. M. Ferguson
  • Misses Ferguson and Bird
  • Mr R Bird
  • Mr H.P. Milsom
  • Mrs Radcliffe
  • Mr Henry Day
  • Mrs C.S. Smith
  • Mr John
  • Mr and Mrs Bowen
  • Mr and Mrs Lund
  • Miss White
  • Misses Esser
  • Miss Mausson
  • Miss Reudal
  • Misses Lacey
  • Mr Barnard Messer
  • Mr C.H. Keyner
  • Mr and Mrs Slade
  • Mr and Mrs Clutterbuck
  • Mr and Mrs Cooper
  • Mr John Eccrington
  • Messrs Charles Slaughter
  • Mr and Mrs Bradley
  • Mr John Powell
  • D. Haslam jnr
  • Henry Read.

Councillors Presided over the Ceremony 1903

Mr Milsom began the proceedings by making a short introductory statement in which he outlined the the Bath.
The Corporation and Parks Committee were proud of their Engineer and Surveyor who designed the bath and saw it carried through so successfully.
Very great credit was due to Mr Bowen for the magnificent bath which he maintained was second to none in the country.Mr MIlsom expessed the hope that someone would kindly provide a clock for the tower and concluded by asking the Mayoress to declare the Bath open, and in congratulating the Corporation on having provided it for the use of the women and children of Reading.

“I think such a bath has been a long felt want and I hope they will all appreciate it, and also that it may be the means of developing the useful and healthy recreation of swimming. I trust it will be fully appreciated by all who use it”(Cheers)

The Mayor who was greeted by cheers said on behalf of his wife he had to thank the company very sincerely for the welcome they had given her that day.
“During the past two and half years it had been a great pleasure to take part in a great many functions in the town but none, could he assure them would she remember better than that. ” (Applause)
It was his duty to congratulate the Parks and Pleasure Grounds Committee on having at least finished the baths, and in doing so, must say that they owed a great deal to the Chairman of that Committee, not only the trouble he had in connection with those baths but also for the work he put in for the Recreation Grounds throughout the town.
Fortunately, through a recent Act of Parliament, the Corporate body were able to spend from the rates for providing swimming baths, cycle tracks, and other forms of useful and healthy recreation for people, and for the money spent in that way they got ample and good return.
“Nothing was more important than the present generation, who should have healthy and good recreation which would enable them, combined with good to take part in the battle of life in future years, and the Corporation of Reading had not been behind handling and studying the requirements of the people in that direction”  (Hear hear)
He hoped that day was not far distant – and he was glad to see the Chairman of the late School Board, Cllr Collier there because he knew he agreed on the point – when swimming would be part of National education. (Hear hear) He assured them that his wife had great pleasure in being present.(Applause)

Councillors and other attendees
Mayor Albert Holland Bull
Cllr Thomas Waite (Business at 5 Duke Street, residence “Park View” 25 Alexander Road, Reading – Elected Church Ward – 1887) – Retires in 1903 – Highways Lighting, Sanitary Committee, Library Sub-Committee, Estates Survey Committee (Waite and Pugh) 
Cllr Henry Thomas Pugh (81 London Road, 1902 University College, Reading.) – Governor Reading School Board, Waite and Pugh , Drainage Building Committee.
The 1902 Park’s and Leisure Ground Committee:
Messrs Chairman Milsom, Palmer, Clarke, Collier, Connolly,Frame, Eighteen, Hayward, Jackson, Mosdel, Simmonds, Philbrick


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Anne Green Jessel

Love my family, (all water babies), my maltese dog. I like writing about my passions including lost lidos, sport of diving, heritage, learning to play boogie, and now having a go at some fiction writing.