FOR decades, the approach of Easter got families looking for their costumes ready for a first swim of the year in the cold water of the outdoor pool at Biggar Bank, Walney.

The lido-style venue was opened in a downpour during June 1931 and was one of many building projects promoted by the council to find work for men in the iron, steel and shipbuilding industries who had been laid off during a national recession.

At the end of the Second World War it hosted a contest to find Miss Barrow.

In June 1952 a 21st birthday gala was held with money being raised for the Infield Convalescent Home, off Abbey Road, Barrow.

Among those at the event was Infield carnival queen Doris Raybould .

In April 1957 the builders were busy creating a children’s pool with a water depth ranging from six inches to three feet.

The normal pool depth ranged from three feet to eight feet.

In July 1967 the Mail was pondering what might happen next to a pool which had stood empty for two years.

Paint was flaking off the changing room doors and grass was growing between the concrete slabs of the pool floor.

Rust was spreading across the diving platform.

The only part of the complex still in use during 1967 was the children’s section.

The main pool had been closed after Barrow’s medical officer of health, Dr D.J Roberts, found harmful bacteria in the water.

It needed 50,000 gallons to fill the children’s pool and this was still in use as it could be filled with chlorinated fresh water.

The main pool was filled directly from the sea and needed 750,000 gallons. It measured 82 yards by 27 yards.

It was too large to be filled with fresh water and a large filtration system would have been needed to continue using sea water.

A suitable filtration system would have cost £12,000.

The pool was generally open from Whitsun to mid-September.

Around 1950, swimmers paid sixpence (now 3p) and children had to pay three old pennies (1p now).

Gala attractions at the pool in August 1950 included the Javelins performing acrobatic diving and stunts, the Dandy Troupe with comedy and Olympic dives and the Tom Perry production of Crazy Lagoon.

You could also see the Aqua Ballerinas, direct from their successful tour of India and water shows at Scarborough.

You could also go to the Walney pool to learn to swim.

In 1950, a course of a dozen lessons with a trainer cost one guinea (£1.05) — or you could pay two shillings (10p) for a single lesson.