Sherwood Baths

A brief history

By Liz Weston

Soon be to be re-named The Rebecca Adlington Swimming Centre

Sherwood Colliery Pit Head Baths were officially opened in June 1934, by Mr F.N. Ellis, J.P. then Chairman of the Sherwood Colliery Co. Ltd. At this time they were the most modern and up-to-date pithead baths scheme in the country.

The scheme, costing approximately £32,000, was carried out under the Miners Welfare Fund and commenced on 20 February 1933.  It was unusual in that it included a swimming bath and was the only one in the country to do so. It addition to the swimming pool and the pithead baths, the scheme included a large canteen.

In the mid 1960s the pool was purchased for £22,000 by the then Borough Council from the former owners, the Trustees of the Sherwood Colliery Miners Welfare.

Photo:1970s refurbishment

1970s refurbishment

Mansfield Chad

In 1975 it became necessary to carry out extensive modernisation of the by then out dated baths.  An investment of £350,000 saw the main pool lengthened to 25m and the addition of a teaching pool with ramped access.

Somewhat prophetically the Chronicle Advertiser of 10 April 1975 stated :

'Sherwood baths has come from pithead venture to the status of a championship sized pool in just over 40 years, an ideal setting in which local Olympic stars of the future can try out their paces.'

This page was added on 01/05/2009.
Comments about this page

I can remember as a lad in the 1950's when I stayed at my Nan's on Kitchener Drive in Mansfield, on a Sunday we would walk to the baths to go swimming. My Grandad Fred Wright worked at Sherwood Pit all his life. As we went early on a Sunday you had to walk as there were no bus's. Great memories of those days

By BARRY WRIGHT
On 09/05/2012

I lived on Sherwood Rise ((1960's to early 70's) opposite the pit, my step father was a winder. I walked past the baths every day going to Yorke Street School and also swam there a lot. The diving boards were very popular. After a swim we would go next door to the pit canteen for a penny slice of white bread and dripping with jelly. If you were lucky you got a crust. Lovely.

By Glenn Sutcliffe
On 15/06/2012

I used to swim here every week as a kid in the 80's, I went with my mum and her friend. We even kept going during the miners strike in '84. Very happy memories, and very nice to see it is still in use today. Well done the people of Mansfield.

By Mike Fletcher
On 25/07/2012

While a Cub Scout in Rainworth in the late 1950s I used to be picked up on Southwell Road East by a coach. I think this was organised by 1st Southwell Scouts that took me and other Rainworth cubs each week for swimming club at Sherwood Baths. Two things I remember well: dripping on bread with a packet of crisps afterwards while waiting for the bus home, and the fact that it was male only, nude swimming. I have no idea what the no swimming costumes thing was all about - it was more German than British. Nudism and Mansfield still don't mix in my mind, certainly not over 50 years ago. No-one ever questioned the nude swimming at the time, and I have never heard anyone mention it since. But I can still taste the dripping. When I went to school in Southwell in the 60s we still went swimming in Mansfield each week, only this time in the learning pool at Mansfield Baths. I can still recall the mix of chlorine and the brewery. So swimming today is a strange array of tastes and smells!

By Steve Mills
On 01/11/2012

Learnt to swim here, we used to go from Northfield Park Schools on "Rainworth Travel" buses,  laterRedferns. It used to be quite a sight to be going by the pit yard when the miners had come up and were crossing the road to the baths in their pit muck, and pit wheels turning. The chlorine always used to give me a headache. I seem to remember the big pool freezing cold, the little pool warm, and all your stuff was laced in a wire basket and handed to an attendant in the baths, - no lockers back then. Used to go at weekends too, with change from a pound. Never agreed with the name change to Rebecca Adlington, whilst a proficient sportswoman and ambassador for the area, that said-the bath's was Sherwood Colliery, and should have remained that way.

By John.
On 24/02/2013

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