The Bathing Pool Holiday Camp closed 22nd October 1986

Shared from Hastings and Area, Past and Present facebook page –

Hastings Area Past and Present say…It’s 22nd October 1986 and on this day the Bathing Pool Holiday Camp closed. Leaseholder Cllr. Dennis Carrington sold the last two years of his lease back to the council because they said they wanted to build a marina there. But they did not. The pool had struggled since its opening to be financially viable, without success. The site now lay forlorn, quiet and derelict for nearly 7 years with no occupation of any kind. Intruders had eventually forced their way into the site on many occasions, destroying the complete complex beyond any economical repair. Lead, copper, brass and bronze, more or less anything of salvage value was removed and presumably sold on. If this could have been caught on camera it would have given the first impressions that a bomb had dropped on the site. The greater majority of the 2,500 seats had been ripped from their mountings and thrown into the pool area, doors were ripped off, lights and conduits pulled from walls and ceilings, the list is absolutely endless. There was now only one solution for the complex, sadly – to pull it down! It had been left far too long to plough large amounts of money back into an upgrade that probably wouldn’t have worked anyway, in trying to bring the pool complex into the 2Ist century, and to fulfil the requirements of the day would never have happened. The site was now a top priority for the Council, as the complex was now an absolute disgrace in so much as it was a danger to the public, the area was scattered with broken glass and debris that laid all around. Its ultimate demise was decided upon very quickly – it was to be demolished in the May of 1993. Sources: and Hastings – Looking Back To The Future, A Tribute to Sidney Little by Richard Pollard from where I have also scanned the photographs with permission from the author.

Carol Paffett… Enjoyed swimming and sun bathing there

Eric Harmer… It also had squash courts I first started playing

Lucy Pappas… Me too, Eric. It was the only way the High School could get some of us to do any exercise! x

Eric Harmer… It’s a great game Lucy. I don’t know why people don’t play it any more. A lot of us played it back in the day. X

Paul Crimin… My Dad brought my brother and I down from London to spend a week at that holiday camp when I was a youngster. It was a nightmare!

Mick Carlisle Savage… Take it he forgot to take you home

Chris Meachen…  Loved swimming and diving there..

Mick O’Dowd… Spent many an hour in there swimming. I learn’t to swim in the shallow bit.

Mel Hayes… Loved it there. Used to visit Grandparents there on their holidays !

Betty Austin… Me to back in the late fifties with Crowhurst youth club and friends x

Alan Pepper… I too miss this place . Many a good time spent there swimming in the late 60’s early 70’s with friends from school . Never did manage to brave the top diving board ! Wouldn’t mind but the area is a waste of space now and feel a bit sad whenever we walk by it !!

Jan Warren… Yeah, sad ending for this lovely place, my ex-hubby worked there in the early 70s, also ran the disco, happy days!

Stuart Tanner… I worked there, great times, Saturday was best when you carried the luggage up to the chalets and hopefully got a big tip, also started playing squash there!

Alan Esdaile… Remember the diving board!

Pauline Richards… we all used to go there in the 60s!

Stewart Grimes… Remember it well my Dad’s band had a residency for several years, I played bass in his band quite often there! Also played there in a band called the Victors.

Janet Cruttenden… Spent many times down bathing pool and worked there… In my younger days

Gary Benton… During the 70s the leaseholders were Alderman Sid Withers and his wife Fabion. My parents ran the camp shop for a number of years whilst George Miller ran the snack bar (both seen in the picture). Dennis took over the cafe from George and then went on to secure the lease early 80s. I spent my youth growing up there most days after school, every weekend and during school holidays. I did every job imaginable there, from helping in the kitchen, carrying luggage, cleaning toilets, sweeping the terraces, flushing the beer lines in all the bars and at the age of fourteen until sixteen I painted every inch of the place some areas more than once. I was the young apprentice of the full time painter Albert White. Every winter we would drain the pool, clean and repair, then paint with Snowcem which we applied with brooms. As you can hear, I have wonderful memories, I could write a book about the place. Very sad that it should end up as it did. I’m a bit confused about the 2,500 seats mentioned in this post, as there were no such seats unless they were installed after my departure?

Ian Pitt… used to work in the kitchen in my youth

Charlie Sygrave… Great place


1 thought on “The Bathing Pool Holiday Camp closed 22nd October 1986”

  1. I too miss this place . Many a good time spent there swimming in the late 60’s early 70’s with friends from school . Never did manage to brave the top diving board ! Wouldn’t mind but the area is a waste of space now and feel a bit sad whenever we walk by it !!


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