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mickjj

Longley Park Swimming Pool

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I was taken there a few days after it opened and shivered within seconds of getting in the water!! It rarely improved over the years in spite of the large numbers who helped to warm up the water. Here's a photo I took in 1969:-

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Hope to jog a few memories with this extract from the November 1952 OS survey before extensive landfill in the SE corner of the park (the land fronting Longley Lane/Crowder Road) to form the 'Golf' course. The paddling pool and sandpit, together with Bagley Dike adjacent, were also well patronized.

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Just a note on what was on the site of the pool in earlier years.  

Grace Wilkinson was the daughter of William Wilkinson and Ann Booth of Crowder House. She was baptized on 8th May 1734. When her sister Hannah (Parkin, Lady of the Manor of Darley) died in 1790 Grace was a beneficiary, receiving land, which possibly allowed her the resources to purchase further land nearer home under the Ecclesfield Enclosure Act of 1795, along with her brother John.  Grace bought land at the southern edge of the Crowder estate and had a cottage called Longley Bottom built on the land (at the spot to become Longley Park Open Air Swimming Pool).  Grace never married, and was buried on 3rd May 1801. In 1851 it was occupied by her great niece Francis Mason (nee Wilkinson) and her husband Thomas. When the Wilkinson family were ejected from Crowder House, in May 1855, they moved into the cottage, and Mary Ann Wilkinson was taken to court by Bernard Wake in 1857 accused of stealing apples from the orchard on the boundary of Longley Bottom and Crowder, due to the boundary being unclear, mainly due to Mary Ann's father William having straightened the zig-zagging boundary stream.

The cottage was built on the boundary between Brightside and Ecclesfield, and depending on which bedroom the occupants used the night before a census, they appeared in either the Brightside or Ecclesfield census. Here is the 1892 map, showing the lane to the cottage that was later used as the path to the swimming pool.

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I was born and lived in the area 'till I was in my forties. Longley Park and the Brushes playing fields were my backyard but I never knew the dike was called "Bagley". Thanks for an interesting  piece...sadly, I haven't returned for over 30 years.

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Thank you Edmund for the interesting information and old map,perhaps more attention should have been given to the detail given by that 1892 map before the Authorities constructed the Ambulance Station on Crowder Road  (on the site of that pond between the old Longley Farm and Longley Hall) ! There was a small stream feeding that pond from 'The Hollow', that band of trees to the west, allegedly from a spring but it seemed to be intermittent flow at times. Allotment gardens were developed there,where it was possible, during WW2 though not adjacent to Crowder Road. Some minor changes have been made to boundaries though the course of Bagley Dike,largely underground, still traces the old 'Ecclesfield/Sheffield' demarcation back to its source near Moonshine Lane.

Does anyone remember a member of the staff being found drowned one morning in the pool, probably in the 40's?

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4 hours ago, Voldy said:

Thank you Edmund for the interesting information and old map,perhaps more attention should have been given to the detail given by that 1892 map before the Authorities constructed the Ambulance Station on Crowder Road  (on the site of that pond between the old Longley Farm and Longley Hall) ! There was a small stream feeding that pond froBack to Inboxm 'The Hollow', that band of trees to the west, allegedly from a spring but it seemed to be intermittent flow at times. Allotment gardens were developed there,where it was possible, during WW2 though not adjacent to Crowder Road. Some minor changes have been made to boundaries though the course of Bagley Dike,largely underground, still traces the old 'Ecclesfield/Sheffield' demarcation back to its source near Moonshine Lane.

Does anyone remember a member of the staff being found drowned one morning in the pool, probably in the 40's?

Rex Elliott of 107 Popple Street, aged 35, was found drowned in the pool on Sunday 2nd April 1939 at 11:15am.  He was married (to Doris nee Gears) with two children, and had been missing from home since Saturday 1st.  He had been in poor health, depressed and worried prior to the tragedy. The inquest found that it was suicide, and he had climbed the 6 foot fence with no toeholds to get in. He had worked at English Steel Corporation as a furnaceman but had been off work for some time.

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So the pool had only been open some seven months when this sad event occurred and  five months before WW2. Many thanks Edmund for confirming the date and details of this tragedy.  

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I remember it well. I went to Firth Park Grammar school. The Eastern end of Longley was used for our playing fields. Occasionally,in Summer, we would go through the fence and have Art lessons at the pool.

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