Dawn Fraser Baths became an outdoor gallery this weekend showing paintings by Ian Chapman, the pool’s artist in residence last winter. Mr Chapman’s paintings captured the colours, characters, architecture and mood of the historic baths that first opened back in the early 1880s. The exhibition was part of Leichhardt Council’s annual LOST (Leichhardt Open Studio Trail) which this year featured nearly 60 galleries, studios and events across Balmain, Rozelle, Lilyfield and Camperdown.
The first time I went to Greenwich Baths I wasn’t very impressed. I was only about 6 or 7 and they seemed makeshift compared to the solid structures at my local tidal pool, Northbridge Baths. The low tide also coloured my view as its never the best time to swim at a harbour pool. When we[…]Read More
With the tide almost reaching the two metre mark, yesterday Bruce and I and my sister and her kids went for a swim at Woolwich Baths. The simple baths on the Lane Cove River used to be known as ‘Mooney’s mud hole’ after the chap who lived behind the ticket booth and shop (no longer there) in a large canvas tent with wooden floor.
In the 1950s and 60s Mr Mooney looked after the pool and taught some of the locals to swim among the jelly blubbers and occasional blue swimmer crabs. For my sister and I, products of Northbridge Baths, another Sydney harbour pool, swimming in the high tide, salt water was bliss, and Bruce, Will, Rosie and Mary thought it was pretty good too!
There’s no swimmers around when I arrive at Parsley Bay, just trim women jogging with their mobiles and doing boxing in the park. But when I walk around the path that leads to the deep end of the bay, I spot a man in blue trunks, or rather he spots me. “If you want a[…]Read More
When I want to remember Northbridge Baths, the pool in Middle Harbour where I spent all my summers as a child, I think of the deep green water connecting to the trees like relatives.Read More
Last Sunday I got a different perspective on the Dawny Swim watching it from Cockatoo Island. In 2011 and 2012 I took part in the 2.4 km swim from Balmain’s Dawn Fraser Baths and around Cockatoo, and I was going to enter again this year. But when I was deliberating about whether my head was in the[…]Read More
Seahorses like hanging out at Watson’s Bay Baths. Their natural home is seagrass but over the years they have taken a liking to the pool’s shark nets. Scuba diver Dave Thomas says they prefer them because it gets them off the ground and away from predators. “And they can’t chase things down, so they rely[…]Read More
A couple of Saturdays ago I ventured back to Northbridge Baths, where I spent a signficant part of my childhood. I arrived around 8am in time to experience the joys of the Saturday morning swimming club. From the late 1960s to the very early 80s I was a member of the swimming club. Every Saturday[…]Read More