Bathing Place

Newport Pagnell Amateur Swimming Club dates back to the1890's. Children used to swim in the Ouse by the Mill, but the owner of the mill put glass on the river bed to stop them. Mr Orson Bull, the local headteacher, collected it up and put it by the old town pump to draw it to everyone's attention. The town did take notice, and it was decided to form a bathing place on the River Lovat, just off the Willen road. A temporary bridge was erected, together with a diving board and wooden changing huts.
Mr O.H. Bull (pictured to the left) used to give the boys a sixpence when they could swim across the river, as well as a signed certificate.
In the period before the First World War, the Club was very successful. They held galas and won lots of trophies. It was disbanded in 1914, but various people kept it going after the war. Many children learnt to swim there between the wars, under the direction of Mr Clarke - he only had one arm, but he used to stand on the bridge and shout instructions.
By 1950, the river was so polluted, that the swimming had to stop. Harry Middleton, a former member of the Club, was responsible for the new facilities at Tickford Street. In 1957 he left the Council £1000 together with shares and extra money, specifically to build and maintain the new swimming pool.