Swimming Clubs 1902 and First Members at Kings Meadow Baths

Swimming Clubs 1902 and First Members at Kings Meadow Baths

Swimming Clubs - a fine view of activity venues
A fine view of the swimming venues. Kings Meadow Baths and the Mens Bathing Place outlined. Taken early 1900s

The Original Swimming Clubs

Swimming Clubs - Water Polo at KMInternational Water Polo Match – 1910 GB v. Germany
Swimming Clubs of Reading  and a Lifesaving Club was established in 1885 and had its headquarters at the open air Corporation Baths – Coley Avenue (one of the largest pools ever to be in Reading) and then onto a pool close to King’s Meadow Recreation Ground,  prior to the building of the Swimming Baths.
The Secretary’s were:  Mr Henry Creed and Mr Bruce Jones A.S.A ; L.S.S. (official Handicapper to the A.S.A)
Further reference indicates that the Y.M.C. A. met there. Ref. Reading Mercury 1885

“In connection with notation” we must mention the unique Association of Winter Bathers who daily have their mutinal “dip” in the open river no matter how severe the weather. They number twenty six, ranging in age from the “Commodor” Mr Samuel Hood, who celebrated his ninety second birthday last February and Master Fred Russell aged thirteen!” ref. Reading Illustrated 1899

Winter Bathers

Swimming Clubs - Winter Bathers
Berkshire Record Office +

Reading Swimming Committee – King’s Meadow Baths
Do you recognise your ancestors?Swimming Clubs Committee Members
Top Downwards L to R
Mr S. Earnest Palmer – Director of G.W.R’
Mr N. Creed – Chairman of Reading Swimming Club
Alderman Gynningham Field J.P – Past Local Sportsman,
Mr F.W. Holmes-Walker – Hon. Sec of Reading Elementary Schools Swimming Association.
Dr Jameson Hurry – Historian
Mr. George R Jackson – President of Reading Elementary Schools Swimming Association
Mr Lewis J. Lund – Hon. Sec. of Reading Elementary SchoolsSwimming Association.Mrs.G.R. Jackson – President of the Ladies Section of Reading Swimming Club.Swimming Clubs Members
Alderman W. Poulton J.P. – Mayor of Reading 1900


Swimming Clubs Reading and District Elementary Schools Swimming Association (Affiliated to the Royal Life Saving Society)

This Association was founded in 1904 with the object of encouraging children to swim. It receives the generous support of the Mayor and Corporation of the Borough, the Education Committee, and the Reading Swimming Club.
An Annual Gala is held in July, a general half day holiday being granted to all schools.
The Association holds the following trophies:
The Jackson Shield
R.S.C Shield
J. Milsom Cup
The Teachers Shield
Martin Sutton Cup
and… by courtesy of the R.S.C…
The Albert Palmer Cup swam for at the Schools Gala.
The Officers are:
Chairman Cllr G.R. Jackson J.P. Pretoria Oxford Road
Hon. Treasurer T Hayward, Heathfield , King’s Road
Chairman of the Committee D.G. Thorburn
R.L.S.S. Hon. Secretary F.W. Holmes- Walker 29 Elm Road

King’s Meadow Mens Bathing Place

Swimming Clubs - Mens Swimming Bath ReadingThis was situated on the opposite corner – riverside end in Napier Road – to King’s Meadow Ladies Bath. Apartments now occupy the site. Home to the Winter Bathers

Mens Bathing Place
The charge for a ticket entitling a person to bathe February, March, April is 2s 6d which includes the use of a dressing box when available.
One shilling tickets are available for one month during the winter season.
No charges are made for bathing at either of the Bathing Places or for the use of the unreserved dressing boxes at the Women’s Bathing Place after one o’clock in the afternoons Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays during the months of May, June, July, August, and September.
Borough of Reading – Public Bathing Places in King’s Meadow Regulations:
The Men’s and Women’s Public Bathing Places in the King’s Meadow are opened at 6 o’clock in the forenoon of every day during the months of May, June, July, August and September, and closed at 10 o’ clock. In the afternoon of every week during the month of May – at 9 o’clock, and in the afternoon of every week day during the month of June or July – at 8.30 o’clock, and in the afternoonof every day week during the month of September. Admission by ticket or payment.
Reading Swimming Club and Lifesaving Society established 1885
Headquarters – Corporation Baths.
Colours – Black and White.
Subscriptions 2s 6d per annum.
President – Mr Henry Creed.
Committee – Messrs H.A. Barrs,F.W. Holmes Walker,G.W. Hawkins, E.T. Chapman, C.A. M. Morris, T.T. Thorpe, H.R. Barrs, J. Lund, H.S. Silver, A.W. Tudor, H.J. Isaacs, H.C. Hopping, and J. Wicks.
Hon. Captain – J.B. Messer.
Deputy Captain – A. Knight,
Hon Treasurer – Mr. T.R. Kent
Hon Secretary – Mr H. Bruce-Jones, S.C.A.S.A, L.S.S. The Nook, Wokingham Road.
Assistant Hon. Secretary – A.S. Pyke – New Road, Southern Hill.
The Swimming Meetings of the Club are held every morning at the Corporation Baths from 8am, and Tuesday and Thursday evenings 7pm to 8.30pm. Life Saving Drills, Monthly Handicaps, Water Polo Matches – Members taught free.
Ladies Section Hon Secretary – Mrs E.M. Hounsell 26 Broad Street

Other Swimming Club Places in Reading, now no longer.

Arthur Hill Memorial Baths
Coley Corporation Baths and Tilehurst Baths
Freebody’s Lido and Cawstons Lido
Kings Meadow Open Air Ladies Baths
Scours Lane Bathing Place
Spring Gardens and South Street Baths
To close January 2018
Reading Central Pool