I AM reading about the closure of Elland Baths again. What a shame. I taught myself to swim at those baths in 1959-1960.
I was born a poorly child and was never allowed to do PE or swimming all through my school years, but I was forced to sit in PE classes and also go to swimming lessons with my school, Haugh Shaw, to Crossley and Porter School baths and sit and watch while my class had their lessons.
It was like torture to me, I wanted to jump in and be like the other kids, instead of being called “death warmed up,” because I was not able to join in.
Hence when I left school I joined the Girl Guides at Copley, and they went swimming to Elland Baths on a Tuesday night. One week I told my mum I was going to the baths with the Guides and needed a swimming costume.
On my first attempt at swimming I was a flop, but by my third time at Elland it proved lucky for me, I could swim and I used those baths right in to my Thirties and taught my only son Brian to swim in those baths.
Please don’t close those baths. All those children in Elland, West Vale and Stainland need them.