• Val Tilbrook

Clare for a Swim?

This photo is of our first swimming pool or swimming baths as it was known.

The pool was on the site of the present Rural Building Supplies on the bank of the Hutt River. 

When built it was the largest indoor swimming bath in South Australia.

  • Two men with a rope stretched across the pool hauled boys up and down the length of the tank to teach them how to swim.

  • Dr Bain had the pool built in 1882 and in winter it had planks placed over it and was used as a skating rink.

  • The Pryor family band entertained the swimmers or skaters.

  • In 1887 the Baptist Church used the baths for baptismal immersions.

In depressed times in 1894 Dr Bain turned the building into a butter factory . After the factory closed the building was used as a dried fruits packing shed.

Pictured Above:

The H.R.Sanders building was rebuilt in 3 stages during the 1980s when I worked there.

A small Atco office was used in front of the building until the new office section was built.

H.R. (Tod) Sanders opened his business in December 1931. He celebrated over 60 years of service in his business with the help of his wife, Dorothy and their many employees over the years, including me.


Our second swimming pool was built by Frank Phillips in 1939 and was on the site of Pioneer Park opposite the bowling green.  It had a large pool and a toddlers wading pool.  

The next swimming pool was and still is in the Valleys Sporting Complex on the Clare Oval.


- Val Tilbrook

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