Looking through the time when Maindee Baths were a No 1 swimming baths. In 1944 I became a swimming bath attendant at Maindee Baths until I was called up for National Service in August 1946.
During my time at Maindee Baths I met a lot of people in various forms, for example: John Brockway – who went on to win the Olympic Backstroke title, Bernice Hooper, who swam the River Usk race and later became President of the Welsh Swimming Association, I remember Bernice teaching in her daughter in Maindee Jocelyn, who at the age of 18 months was taught how to swim by her mother.
The Baths Superintendent was Mr. Hurst, who also kept a shop next or nearby Harry Stevens (Cycles). Mr. Hurst was only temporary until his son-in-law Mr. Forsyth was released from the RAF and resumed his job as Maindee Baths Superintendent and live back in the house attached to the main doors of the Baths. Mr. Phil Shutt was in charge of the boilers and filtration plant, although there were shifts.
I worked when they were short in the boiler house shovelling coal from the rear of the coal bunker to fill the chute of coal to heat the boilers. This bunker was in front of the learner pool situated off Albert Avenue. Occasionally I had to work at Stow Hill Baths, but always preferred Maindee. Maindee water polo team were arch rivals of Stow Hill.
I hardly ever missed a swimming gala as swimmers like Phil Woods always took part. Often a demonstration would take place during the swimming gala interval. I can clearly remember a Canadian Log Roller giving a fantastic display. I used to take my turn to supervise the learner pool. Another name that springs to mind is a diver by the name of Ralph Diaper who always entered diving galas.
When you see Maindee Baths as it is today from the outside, it is like a piece of you has been ripped away never to return. I am now 80 next birthday born in 1928 in Newport but moved to Dorset in 1980. Sent in on 7th November 2007.