Swimming and boating

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THIS WEEK IN 1974: Aims to ‘keep Jack and Jill together’

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This is the model boating lake at Gosport in 1939. It was built on the site of the old Horsefields and opened on August bank holiday 1921.

At four-and-a-half acres it was reputed to be the largest artificial lake in the UK.

More than 3,000 people gathered for the opening ceremony which ended with tub races and a procession of illuminated craft.

The lake was used by the Gosport Model Yacht Club which became famous for its competition successes. This led to the lake being used as a venue for various international events.

Gosport’s open air swimming pool (seen here in 1930) was built on the site of the town’s ramparts and opened on May 30, 1924.

Costumes could be hired but with ‘B of G’ (Baths of Gosport) emblazoned on the front they were not popular.

The pool was improved in 1936 with a new filtration plant and extra changing rooms.

Floodlights were installed for evening swimming and the baths were often the venue for regattas and water pageants.

Enjoying a dip in the briny in 1913 are members of the women’s branch of Portsmouth Swimming Club.

Sea bathing became popular off Quebec House, Old Portsmouth, during the middle of the 19th century.

Popularity remained consistent and a club was founded by Harry William Fisk in 1875. It became the largest of its kind in the country boasting nearly 1,500 members.

Summer visitors were allowed to use the facilities for a nominal charge and the club’s large wooden bathing stages – separate ones for men and women – could be found near Clarence Pier.