Ladies Bathing Place, Portrush, Co. Antrim


Ladies Bathing Place, Portrush
1930s, postmarked 1943
Publisher: Valentine

Google Street View.

The Victorians discovered and extolled the health advantages of sea air and sea-water bathing during the later years of the 19thCentury. Even much later, in 1929, the Portrush Urban District Council was extolling the virtues of the summer Atlantic breezes – “provide a pure and bracing atmosphere which is wonderfully invigorating and far-famed as the best of tonics”. A small sheltered beach on the East side of the Portrush Peninsula became popular with ladies and children and in time became known as “The Ladies Bathing Place”. Victorian sensibilities precluded mixed bathing so gentlemen had to find other locations such as the Blue Pool for their own bathing.
. . .
By the turn of the century the popularity of the Ladies Bathing Place necessitated the provision of better facilities which were provided in due course by Messrs Robert Chalmers, a local businessman, Town Councillor and Mr Campbell joint proprietors of “Campbell & Chalmers, The Corner Shop” Grocers and Provision Merchants on Main Street, Portrush. Their new shop replaced the early wooden kiosks and provided confectionery, refreshments, souvenirs and other beach side requisites. The sign on the shop invited us to purchase genuine Cailler’s Swiss Chocolate which, they claimed, was the best-selling chocolate in the world.

By 1912 the upsurge in business required larger premises and again Messrs Chalmers & Campbell were there to provide for the needs of holidaymakers. A new two storey shop with single storey side extension was provided in which there was a fine café. In good weather customers could partake of their repast on the roof balcony. This was also used for evening tea dances which might feature entertainment such as Madame Levantes’ Ladies Orchestra. A concrete breakwater and sun-deck were also constructed at this time. By 1926 the name “Arcadia” had appeared on the café and shop and the café had acquired a roofed upper storey with the lower storey being remodelled to match. This upper storey contained a small ballroom with a stage at the seaward end and was used for tea dances and other functions for many years. Several kiosks were still provided beside the Arcadia probably providing deckchairs and other beach goods and bathing boxes were still available to the rear with direct access to the beach and the sea.
Discover Portrush

Beach & Bathing Station, Aberdeen


The Beach, Aberdeen
Postmarked 1914
Publisher: Catto & Watt, Aberdeen

Google Street View (as close as it can get).

The Sea Beach at Aberdeen Bay

The beach itself is famous for its golden sand and its long curved length between the harbour and the River Don’s mouth. The beach suffers from significant erosion of the sand so there are distinctive groyne or walls, to help keep the sand in place. The beach is popular with walkers, surfers and windsurfers.
Wikipedia.

The Bathing Station was designed by City Architect John Rust and was opened on the 13th July 1898. Above ground a distinctive red brick chimney dominated the beach skyline. The Bathing Station was an extremely popular venue all year round. The doors of the swimming baths were finally closed to the public on 11th July 1972, the pool itself being finally filled in and demolished.
Lost Aberdeen on Facebook

Cliftonville, Margate, Kent


Newgate Gap, Margate
c.1910
Publisher: Shurey’s Publications (1903-1927)
On back: This beautiful Series of Fine Art Post Cards is supplied free exclusively by Shurey’s Publications, comprising “Smart Novels,” “Yes or No.” and “Dainty Novels.” The finest 1d. Magazine is “Weekly Tale-Teller.”

Google Street View (approximate).

With the advent of the railways and cheap fares, holidays to the seaside became available to all, which meant the resorts of Thanet grew in popularity and size. Visitors came not just for the fresh sea air but entertainment as well. Walking along the promenade was popular and many seaside resorts extended this walk by building
a pier from the end of which you could catch a steamer. On the beach, tourists could enjoy a Punch and Judy show, musical entertainers and donkey rides. Margate was the first resort to popularise donkey rides on the beach in the early 1800s.

Vist Thanet: Holiday History children’s activity (pdf)

There are 32 ‘gaps’ along the ten bays of the North Thanet coast between Minnis Bay and Pegwell Bay, of which the largest is Newgate Gap – it was originally called ‘The Devil’s Gap’ due to its great depth and steepness. The gaps were initially cut by local farmers who wanted to gain access to the beach from the top of the cliffs in order to gather seaweed from the shore for use as manure on their crops, but this practice ceased as more modern chemical fertilizers became available. . . . As the eastern end of Cliftonville developed, bridges were built over some of the gaps, and an iron-girdered, wooden decking bridge was built over Newgate Gap by a local eccentric, Captain Frederick Hodges in 1861. By 1895, however, it became obvious that the numbers of visitors brought in to the area by the new railways had increased to the point where that bridge was too narrow to cope. As is generally the case in such situations, however, it was some time before the local Council decided to commit funds to the resolution of such a ‘minor inconvenience’, and it was not until 1907 that they decided to build a new bridge of concrete and steel to commemorate the Jubilee of Margate, which became a Borough in 1857 by being granted a Charter of Incorporation.
The Pulham Legacy


Palm Bay and Cliffs, Cliftonville
1930s
Publisher: “A. H. & S., Margate”

Google Street View.

Palm Bay is a pleasant sandy beach not too far away from Margate’s town centre, between Walpole and Botany Bay. Despite its appeal, Palm Bay never seems to get as busy as the better known neighbouring beaches.
The Beach Guide

Roman baths, Bath, Somerset, England, UK


Bath. Roman Baths & Abbey
Caption on back:
Bath: Roman Baths and Abbey
Within a distance of a few yards are the Roman Baths, built about A.D. 55; the Abbey, erected in 1499; the King’s Bath of 17th and 18th century constructions, and the modern Bathing establishment containing the latest scientific appliances for the administration of the radioactive waters for the cure and relief of many complaints.

Website has a Walkthrough (photos) and a3D Model (3D walkthrough) under Discover

Before the last century, many people believed there was some special property in the hot springs of Bath which could cure diseases or at least help to restore health. Various constituents of the water’s mineral content were suggested as the curative principle but all were eventually dismissed. Some thought the geothermal heat differed from ordinary heated water and might explain the healing effect. But there was no real evidence to support this claim and by the end of the nineteenth century people were on the point of giving up the search for a curative principle. This all changed in 1903 when Prof. R.J. Strutt detected minute quantities of radium in the hot springs. This led to the discovery that radon, a radioactive gas produced by the nuclear degradation of radium, was also present.

Radioactivity, it was suggested, provided the explanation of the Bath Water’s success in alleviating so many diseases. Pamphlets were produced by the Spa Director, John Hatton extolling the virtues of the radioactive water. Efforts were made to collect and concentrate radon by erecting a large cone-shaped lid over the King’s spring and piping the gas to a room in the spa called the Radium Inhalatorium where patients could inhale it.

Bath Medical Museum


Roman bath before restoration, Bath

The Roman Baths, Bath
The hot springs of Bath are of great antiquity, and baths are said to have been erected as early as BC 860. Tradition tells that St. David and King Arthur visited the springs early in the sixth century, when the springs received the blessing of the church.

Not sure when the “restoration” was. Might be 1890s redevelopment/reopening of the site. The carved statues date from then (1894).


Circular Bath, Bath