Empire Pool

Cardiff then and now!

We all know that Cardiff is probably the greatest Edwardian city in the UK, built on the back of coal from the Welsh valleys and the docks built by the Marquis of Bute. This country and this city powered the industrial revolution throughout the British Empire and the rest of the world.

Even Professor Alice Roberts had to concede this in one episode of her series about great cities of the United Kingdom. We have some superb architecture and much of it remains today, whilst the city continues to evolve into a modern hub for finance, technology, media and the arts.

Nostalgia is everywhere and in this shot I saw a building (on the left) from my childhood, that is no longer there. The Wales Empire Pool – Wikipedia

Built for the Empire and Commonwealth games in 1958, it stood until it was demolished in 1998 to make way for the Millennium / Principality Stadium, but Cardiff didn’t get a new major pool in Cardiff Bay until 2008.

Born just outside Cardiff, the Empire Pool was a regular Saturday morning visit for me and my mates. I can still smell the chlorine and the changing rooms to this day, and remember those odd wrought iron clothes basket / hangars we were given when we went to the changing rooms.

Swimming the full 50 metre length was a chore, but jumping of the platforms up to 60 feet (18 metres) was a right of passage.

We always went to the café on the ground floor of the old bus terminal building, for Bovril and a cake, before walking into town, eventually going home on the train.

Happy days and happy memories