LOOKING Back readers have fond memories of spending time at High Street Baths in Bolton.

The swimming pool has long since gone — High Street Library now stands in its place — but 79-year-old Frank Hayman can still recall the baths he spent a great deal of time in.

His wife, 73-year-old Margaret, spent even more time at High Street Baths than Frank did because she lived "just round the corner".

Frank explains what the inside of the building contained.

"There were baths that you could get yourself clean in before you got to the pool. Following this you had a cold — very cold — shower," explains Frank.

The pool itself was extremely cold, says Frank, who describes it as a "plunge pool" which was 4ft deep at one end and 6ft deep at the other.

Upstairs there were several baths where people could have a "proper bath" says Frank, who admits to never being a very competent swimmer, unlike his wife.

"I think it cost a shilling for the bath," he says, explaining that at that time very few people had their own bathrooms so would go to the pool to get clean in one of the baths.

"You either got in the tin bath in front of the fire or you went to the baths," says Frank.

He also recalled renowned local swimming teacher Jim Grimshaw once rescuing Frank's son, Neil, who had got his foot stuck in the pool ladder. Jim was having to go under water to try to release the little boy.

"I remember Neil was only little and when Jim said he'd have to remove it Neil thought he meant his foot and not the ladder," he laughs.

Thankfully Neil was removed, uninjured, from the pool thanks to Jim's heroic efforts including having to go underwater to help him escape.

Jim was a very popular swimming teacher, but also a long distance swimmer, who was well known to many Bolton people.

He taught many youngsters to swim and was a familiar face at High Street Baths as well as other swimming pools in the Bolton area.

Frank also remembered walking the mile from Whitebank School, once a week, for swimming lessons at High Street Baths.

There were once many different swimming pools in Bolton, including Farnworth Baths and Halliwell Baths.

Do you have swimming pool memories you would like to share with us?

Perhaps you were taught by Jim Grimshaw and have stories to tell.

If so do get in touch with Gayle McBain on 01204 537269 or email gayle.mcbain@nqnw.co.uk