The opening of Warrenpoint baths June 1908

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Brian
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The opening of Warrenpoint baths June 1908

#1 Post by Brian » Wed Nov 26, 2008 1:54 pm

This article was taken from a typed manuscript found in Warrenpoint Library itself taken from the Newry Reporter of the 9th of June 1908


"The final stage in the provision of a long-felt want in Warrenpoint came yesterday when the splendid new baths and promenade pier were declared open by the lord of the soil Capt. Roger Hall, D.L, J.P. of Narrow-water Castle".

The baths were an attempt by the Warrenpoint Urban District Council to compete with other "watering places" which were gradually leaving the Carlingford Lough district behind as an attraction.

The idea of the baths took definite shape in 1905 when, despite the financial liability, the Council decided to go ahead in the sound belief that any money spent in the improvement of the town would mean greater prosperity. Plans were prepared and a contract entered into with Messrs.H.& J. Martin Ltd. Belfast. The foundation stone was laid in August 1906 and work then began. There were some delays, but in less than two years the work was completed, and the finest sea bathing station in Ireland was thrown open to the public on Whit Mon.8th June 1908.

Captain Hall as landlord and owner of the foreshore was very helpful towards the Council. The Great Northern Railway Company also lent their support; they agreed to make good half the deficit on the baths, up to a maximum of £75 each year, for the next fifteen years.

The members of the Council are also to be highly praised for their efforts. The Chairman, Mr. James Savage J.P. unfortunately did not live to see the completion of his work, to which he had devoted so much time and effort. Mr. Savage was also instrumental in providing Warrenpoint with its fine park (or pleasure gardens) and the bandstand therein. Capt. Hall also deserves mention as he generously gave the ground at a nominal rent.

Mr Savages successor, Mr. James Wilson, took up the reins of office worthily and under his guidance the work was completed. Mr. William Johnson, an official of the Council, has done more than his official part in connection with the baths. For months - it might be said, for years - he worked day and night for the success of the project, and in addition to sound legal advice, he has given freely all the services which a clever brain can give to a project which its owner ha3 at heart. Reference might also be made to the good work done by others - by Mr. Joseph Carroll, Mr .J .Edgar Connor ,J.P., Mr .R.A.Sims, Dr. Mayne, Dr .Bell, Mr P. Keenan, Mr. W. J ,McCanish ,J.P. Mr. M. Hourican, Mr. B. McKernan, and many others.

The opening ceremony took place at half-past Twelve when Captain Roger Hall, who was accompanied by Mrs. Hall and party, declared the baths open.

After the opening ceremony, Captain Hall, Mrs. Hall and party and the press were entertained to lunch in the pavilion of the Great Northern Hotel.

An excellent cold lunch was served under the supervision of the Hotel's manager, Mr. Morgan, J.P.

The menu was salmon and cucumber, lobster and mayonnaise sauce, roast beef, pressed beef, chicken and ham, gelatine of chicken, brawn and tongue, chicken and ham pie, veal and ham pie, rice pudding, rhubarb tart, blancmange, jelly, pastry and cheese.

The idea in designing these baths was to enable sea bathing in all states of the tide for both ladies and gentlemen, also to provide hot and cold salt and fresh water baths for both sexes and for all classes.

The Urban Council also adopted a suggestion made to them by the architects to include a short promenade pier to accommodate a large number of spectators on the occasion of an aquatic festival, and to arrange this pier or upper deck so that it can readily be extended for boating, and possibly (at a later date) to include a landing stage for excursion steamers.

The design is entirely original and unique. The gentlemen's swimming bath is 120 ft long by 40ft.wide, so that it will suffice for all kinds of swimming contests. The ladies' bath is 80 ft long by 40 ft wide.

Hot baths are provided with shallow slips for non-swimmers. The bathing boxes are arranged on the lower deck, under the promenade pier with the double object of obtaining a certain amount of privacy and also very considerable shelter.

Both baths will be completely emptied and refilled with fresh sea water each day. The slipper baths are also arranged on the lower deck, and include first and second class baths, with separate approaches for both sexes.

The establishment includes a fully equipped laundry with wash-house, ironing and drying room, and drying yard. The rooms are all heated by hot water storage cylinders, and are so arranged as to ensure ample provision for supply of towels, sheets, and other bathing requisites.

A moveable screen is fixed down the centre of the promenade deck so that the ladies' and the gentlemen's baths can be completely separated during bathing hours.

The entrance to the baths is from the Marine Road, and is embellished with ornamental gates and kiosks, the latter will be used as stalls for the sale of newspapers and confectionery.

The plan and designs were prepared by Messrs. Kaye, Parry and Ross, Architects and Civil Engineers of Dublin and Westminster. The resident Engineer during construction was Mr. Wilbond.


these are some of the photographs we have of that day:

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Image

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northbrook
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Re: The opening of Warrenpoint baths June 1908

#2 Post by northbrook » Wed Nov 26, 2008 2:04 pm

Excellent Brian ........................................

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Re: The opening of Warrenpoint baths June 1908

#3 Post by Dee 2 » Wed Nov 26, 2008 3:03 pm

Another great piece of history and a great read....excellent Brian

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Re: The opening of Warrenpoint baths June 1908

#4 Post by StLouisGuy » Thu Nov 27, 2008 3:30 am

Well done there. Brian! A wonderful and thorough account of the baths.

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Re: The opening of Warrenpoint baths June 1908

#5 Post by xpaddy » Thu Nov 27, 2008 3:49 pm

Brian - enjoyed reading this. It looks like the Kiosks that were
built then were meant to sell candies and newspapers.
That must have stopped in the 50's because I don't remember that. ~x(
Also where the entrance to the baths is that was called Marine Rd.
When did that change?

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Re: The opening of Warrenpoint baths June 1908

#6 Post by Eugene » Thu Nov 27, 2008 4:10 pm

Where in the pics are Captain & Mrs Hall?

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Re: The opening of Warrenpoint baths June 1908

#7 Post by northbrook » Thu Nov 27, 2008 4:22 pm

Eugene I was going to say the man with the moustache,but then that would be too obvious,.....seriously though I think it`s the gent with the cane and holding the ceremonial key, very like the late Roger I think...........I would imagine the lady on his right would be Mrs. Hall .........................................................

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Re: The opening of Warrenpoint baths June 1908

#8 Post by Brian » Thu Nov 27, 2008 4:53 pm

Yes, Captain Hall is the chap holding the key.

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Re: The opening of Warrenpoint baths June 1908

#9 Post by GREENGRASS » Sun Nov 30, 2008 12:28 pm

Excellent reading Brian. Very well done.
God knows what you find in the old newspapers.

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Re: The opening of Warrenpoint baths June 1908

#10 Post by Brian » Mon Aug 06, 2012 7:56 am

I've been looking through some old newspaper clippings supplied to me by Robert Linden, and have discovered that the key seen in the pictures above was given to the museum in Warrenpoint by Roger Hall back in the 1970's - I wonder where it is now ~x(

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Re: The opening of Warrenpoint baths June 1908

#11 Post by the gap » Mon Aug 06, 2012 11:54 am

Museum? where and when? never heard of this before now.

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Re: The opening of Warrenpoint baths June 1908

#12 Post by Brian » Mon Aug 06, 2012 10:49 pm

the gap wrote:Museum? where and when? never heard of this before now.
There was a museum in the town hall - I'll post a newspaper article on it that I found soon.

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