Newport Baths (Stow Hill Baths) 1937

Photo reference number: 28

(Text and Image from Newport Encyclopaedia 1937)


THE Newport Corporation Baths opened in 1890 were built on the site of an old waterworks. They consisted, at that date, of two Swimming ponds, Slipper Baths and a Turkish Baths suite. The ponds were filled and emptied each week. Since that time practically the whole premises have been re-modelled and modernised, and to-day the establishment is one of which the town can be proud, as it is considered to be one of the best equipped in the country.
For the winter season following the opening, the two ponds were converted into a gymnasium and Dance Hall by means of movable floors and this innovation proved more profitable than winter swimming and has been adopted each year then converted back to Swimming Ponds for the summer season.
In 1923 the Slipper Baths were rebuilt, the Turkish Baths remodelled and the whole of the front part of the binding enlarged. A new filtration plant was installed in 1926 by the Turnover Filtration Co. The Swimming Baths have a capacity of 110,000 gallons of water which is filtered every four hours, aerated and chemically treated. This system was the start of popularising swimming throughout the district, and with some national press propaganda, the users of the ponds increased from 64,650 per annum in 1925 to 79,540 per annum in 1928. At about the same time, the dividing wall between the two ponds was taken away, thus enabling one large Dance Hall to be constructed for the winter seasons, and a removable gala stand and collapsible boxes to be erected for the Swimming seasons.
Some time later two new Cochran Steam Boilers were installed to take the place of an old Cornish type boiler, and the whole of the mechanical installations was remodelled, including a new Turkish heating system and a low pressure steam heating system was installed in the Assembly Rooms.
Further alterations were carried out in 1935 to form a modern remedial department, consisting of Zotofoam Baths, shampooing rooms and ultra violet ray treatment suites. These services have proved exceedingly beneficial and popular. The apparatus used for the artificial sun-treatment and ultra violet ray remedies are of the latest designs and are recommended for tonic purposes and rheumatic ailments.
A new Vichy Douche apparatus has now been added to the Turkish massage and shampooing rooms, giving further facilities to the public to obtain the best and latest remedial treatment. Every type of tonic baths is now available. Medicated Slipper Baths have been started and special massage treatment by qualified and experienced masseurs and masseuses.
Owing to the ever increasing popularity of the Swimming Baths it was decided to install additional filtration plant to cope with the increase of bathers and a new filter of the latest pattern together with new chemical apparatus, aerator and chlorinating treatment were added to the existing plant by Messrs. Pulsometer Engineering Co.
Since 1928 the Bathers for all classes attending the Baths have gone up to 145,420 for the year ended 3ist March, 1937.
During the Summer Season a Refreshment Buffet is in operation and refreshments of all kinds can be supplied to Bathers.
Brochures and Swimming Time Tables can be had at the Baths Ticket Office and enquiries are promptly dealt with.