Pontycymer Swimming Baths. 

By Mr Will Trigg.

“It was built in 1908, just behind the Council yard in Pantygog. The dimensions were three feet deep at the shallow end and six feet deep at the other, about 50 feet long, and 18 feet wide. A walking space of 4 feet wide on either side and at the deep-end was a 3 tier diving stage about 6 feet high, The whole place was surrounded by a high brick wall.
With a small cabin structure for the ‘baths attendant’ at the top corner by the entrance. It was divided into cubicles on one side just big enough to change in, with a wooden plank seat and a hook to hang your clothes, the ‘door’ was a strip of canvas sailcloth. The other side was just alcoves with bench seats. Two steps outside and you were in the pool. Then you nearly died because of the freezing cold water, this came straight from the mountain stream which ran alongside the baths. It had been trapped further up and channelled directly into the pool. There was also a Council refuse tip just I50 feet above the baths.

Click to enlarge

I also remember in the 70s and the sadness when the baths were closed and eventually pulled down and just a pile of rubble left in their place.”


On the opening day the Town clerk stated that there were 150 bathers enjoying the new amenity.
Opening times for the Pontycymmer Baths were from June 1st to September 1st.
From the very beginning the Council frequently debated whether to have a form of heating unit installed, along with a roof, but no decision was ever made.
A Bath attendant/lifeguard wages were 35 shillings a week in 1917.

Written and abridged by Gerald Jarvis pp G.V.H.S.

4 comments Add yours
  1. I remember in the mid 60 , an older boy called Trevor , who impressed us all by diving off the wall straight into the pool .

  2. Tub Lewis always dived off the wall , not the board , when the attendant was not looking.

  3. I remember Mr Vaulters looking after the pool. I spent most of the summer there as I lived near the bottom of Oxford street

  4. During the 1940’s a police officer called Wally Dunne taught gymnastics to some local boys. A number of them were in the habit of diving off the pool wall. Some of the youth were from High Street (Ron and Stan Iles) and John Birtles from Alexandra Road. They were exceptional athletes and impressed me for life.

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