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I remember the baths well but few if any exciting incidents like you all have apparently had. Alex MacLeod that was a quick one , sharp as a tack  :015: Hope your neck feels better IHE--mine suffers all the time these days --today they call it repetitive work injury. In your day they probably referred to your condition as repetitive acrobatic erotic contortions.. :002: 

A96 , I can see you took your drowning incident very seriously. One of life's little challenges I suppose. Reminds me of the time on a beach in  Honolulu, Hawaii, where I looked back at the rolling surf and thought I would catch a wave and ride smoothly in  to shore. Until I mistimed my dive and the wave hit me like a ton of bricks on the back instead. What seemed like 5 minutes later , a totally disorientated mind filled with nausea and fear, and a mouthful of bottom sand I realised that i was still alive and was still able to stand up. Another reminder , timely I might add, of the power of water.  : :notworthy01:

The girl I was with said "you handled that well , I wondered if you were going to come up". Staying calm saved my bacon -- I wondered why she was so nonchalant until she told me she was once pulled under and pinned ten feet down by a similar incoming wave against the bottom of a sea wall and thought she would never make it up again-. Suddenly the wave receded  and with the pressure off she was able to surface.-staying calm she said saved her bacon too. 

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Like fire, water is something that shouldn't be messed with!

The old baths were a Sneck institution. The new aquadome is great but will never have the same character as Glebe Street.

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A96 - you are so right !!! The baths themselves had character ... and a few characters as well !!!

My memories of the baths .......

...Getting your 'swim pass' from school - the little paper card that was stamped each time you went

...The smell of chlorine - was that much legal ?

...The wooden changing room doors and the metal baskets

...The staff - I got on well with most because my uncle (Donnie Ross) worked there but still got the whistle treatment and the crinkly hands test

...The chicken soup after a swim

...Walking down the riverside towards the Greig St Bridge with soaking wet hair after the chicken soup - it always seemed to be windy and 'Suzy' almost always seemed to be around and of course we would goad her to chase us while brandishing her umbrella ... by the time we got to Greig St we were ready to goad Willie Bell as well .... always made sure we got home pretty quick  :015:

... Walking down the little street (cant remember name) where the telephone exchange is/was (when we didnt go down the riverside) and stopping to look at the house where the old guy made the Targes and had them in the window ...

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Scotty... "breakpoint chlorination" I think they called it. That, if anything, was the most limiting factor in terms of how long you could stay in. And then when you went outside afterwards it hit you again.

Donnie Ross.... the very man who taught me to swim. Lesson 1 was by numbers sitting on the floor of a store room.

My poison after a swim was Puff Candy, without the chocolate coat... so I'm surprised I have as many teeth left as I do.

Willie Bell baiting was always a wonderful sport.

I think the street you mean might be Friars Street.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Think there was a kiosk upstairs and seats where you could peer over. But we used to stop for chips at Pagliaris on Academy Street on the way back to the bus station. They sold good ice cream too. Their van used to come round Hilton most nights - great nougat wafers. Remember going to the baths on a double decker bus from Hilton School  when we were in P6 or 7 and diving for a black rubber brick. No idea why anyone would dive in for a brick!

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I think it was part of the Lifesaving training.... related possibly to pulling a rescued person up from the bottom. I THINK the Lifesaving technique was called the Holger-Neilsen method when you got behind the person, put one hand to either side of their head and pulled them backwards with a breast stroke kick.

The kiosk was the place that sold the Puff Candies. In later years I think it was taken over by someone called George. We used to go to the Baths from Dalneigh by double decker too.

It was the wee blue Pagliari's van that did the Harry Lime theme.

When I was in Italy (sorry... I sound like Jonathan Watson doing Denis Law!) last week it was SO good to get real Italian ice cream for once.

PS - the Morettis were quite good too, if a bit expesive in some bars. Drink prices ranged from a fiver a pint (OUCH!) to a mere 90p for quarter of a litre of wine... but I digress.....

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Got the Harry Lime theme going round in my head now. Seem to remember it was a detective thing - Michael Rennie or someone rings a bell.

We used to see how long we could stay under the cold shower and then run and jump into the water and it felt really warm!

You could be right about the brick- think it was something about life saving.

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:015: still get the brick! but used for swimming lessons to get the kids to go to the bottom of the pool, so they get used to holding there breath and swimming down!...lifesaving uses an orange dummy thats got holes in it so it fills with water to represent an unconscious casulty then dragging it to the surface.

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Michael Rennie was the actor who played Harry Lime in the Third Man TV series. To digress, other TV memories from that era included Maigret (striking the match against the wall and lighting the fag) starring Rupert Davies, Hiram Holliday, Fireball XL5, Robin Hood starring Richard Greene, William Tell starring Conrad Phillips, good old Bilko who is still with us of course, Sunday Night at the London Palladium (I still tell the corny joke to Chemistry classes about the catalyst for hydrogenation of alkenes being Nickel except on Sunday nights when it's Palladium... they haven't got it for years!), Take Your Pick with Michael Miles, Double Your Money with Hughie Green.....which for a different reason makes me think of Jess Yates (The Bishop) in a later era, Tonight with Cliff Michelmore and featuring Fife Robertson, Grampian presenters June Imrie and Jimmy Spankie (who these days would probably be obliged to sign the sex offenders' register), Laramie, Wells Fargo, The Lone Ranger (see William Tell above), Crackerjack (HOORAY!) with Leslie Crowther, Eamonn Andsrews and Peter Glaze (does anyone remember Eamonn Andrews as a boxing commentator), Sportsview with the ancient TV cameras in the days when you used to have all these invalid cars parked round the pitch (apologies to the PC brigade but I can't think of anyhting to call them other than "invalid cars").

Wow! What a digression!

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  • 4 months later...

Gosh this thread brings back so many memories, I too remember the wee white card, and the wire baskets and the doors on the changing room where you could practice Limbo peering to your hearts content.

I remember the finger test as well. I too nearly drowned in that pool and was pulled out by an attendant who lived in Hill Street. One day in a hurry I raced home with a towel from the baths and went round to his house and asked if he could take it back for me. He said , do you want to save your life twice??

Does anyone remember the Bovril served in the kiosk upstairs, can't remember the mans name but he had a moustache and I think english.

Didn't we have a diving champion from Inverness? Brian ??

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Latviaman ... the diving champion.... do you not mean Barry Wilson?! Seriously, though, you're maybe thinking of Brian Phelps who I don't think came from Inverness. There was a guy from Inverness in the early 60s called Maurice Campbell who was a pretty good diver. I remember him giving demonstrations off the 3 metre board at Glebe Street. On one occasions he did a dive with his younger cousin... Maggie ?Reid? (used to scare the **** out of us anyway) from Dalneigh on his back.

Remember the hit or miss nature of the wee cubicles.. whether or not you would get one with the whiff of the last occupant's foot odour. The pong of cheesy feet mixed with chlorine is a very subtle one... despite the wee sinks at the shallow end in which to wash your feet.

These must also have been days of limitless cheap energy because around four very hot showers ran all the time in the men's alone. There was also the cold one on the opposite wall and it was something of a trial to go from ages in the hot one straight into the cold.

My main memory of the shop was the Puff Candies and the Cow Toffee which must have done untold damage to so many teeth.

There were also the "baths" (hence the popular name of the premises) in an era where many people still didn't have a proper one at home and could come there.

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I have just bought the latest Courier picture book of pics of old Inverness, there are a few pics of the old baths in Glebe street, what was interesting was that when they opened the baths to the public, water was pumped in from the river ness to fill it!!! think it was in the thirties and two fire brigade pumps were used to pump 1/4 of a million gallons to fill it, no doubt some fish and flotsam entered too!

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  • 2 weeks later...

The noise is my most vivid memory.... and the plaques as you came in the door with all the swimming Champions going back to the 1950's ... then the huge boards... I remember three before two were removed at some point, and summoning up the bottle to climb up to the top one.. was it when they reduced the size of the pool they were removed...! also your clothes were always slightly soggy at the edges after being in the old baskets... virtually impossible to keep your socks dry whilst changing either...

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The swimming champions mentioned were Brian and Alan Davidson from Friar Street

I think one of them represented Scotland in the Australia Commonwealth games in the 1950's.

There was also the diver Morris Campbell fron St Valery Avenue

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  • 3 weeks later...
Guest Jock Watt

Sunday Night at the London Palladium.

Does anyone know the name of the guy who used to stroll on from "stage left" in evening dress with a half-broken fag hanging from his mouth and singing "Sugar in the Morning, Sugar in the Evening" while crossing the stage to exit "stage right"?

The audience used to go "wild" !!!!!!!!!!!  Don't know why, because that was ALL he did !!!!!!

Maybe this should start a new "Movies and Theatre" thread !!!!

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