Pool stories splashed across Cessnock Libraries!

Hot summers are a feature of the Cessnock Local Government Area and residents have always sought relief from the heat by finding swimming spots of various kinds, whether it’s an original open-air pool or a modern aquatic centre when it’s hot, we just like to get wet. 

Hot summers are a feature of the Cessnock Local Government Area and residents have always sought relief from the heat by finding swimming spots of various kinds, whether it’s an original open-air pool or a modern aquatic centre when it’s hot, we just like to get wet.

Splash! Our Pool Stories, a free exhibition that explores our pool stories and histories is running all January in the foyers of Cessnock and Kurri Kurri Libraries.

Library Services Co-ordinator, Rose-marie Walters said we are committed to sharing our wonderful local history collection with the Cessnock community.

“On scorching days our local pools at Cessnock, Kurri Kurri and Branxton beckon local residents to keep cool and have fun. Many locals aren’t aware these pools have their own extraordinary history.”

Our natural waterways were the first ‘pools’, Ellalong lagoon was known for its ultra-deep water, Wollombi Brook hosted swimming races and Greta locals cooled off at Big Rock swimming hole on the Hunter River. Many colliery dams took on an unofficial role after hours and on weekends when local children re-purposed them as swimming pools.

Swimming became more organised in 1935 when Council built the Cessnock Municipal Swimming Pool, the Kurri Kurri Weston Olympic Pool followed in 1951 and the Branxton-Greta War Memorial Baths in 1965.

Our local pools are home to multi-award winning swimmers and divers, competitive swimming clubs and are where countless locals have learnt to swim. They have even hosted a bathing beauty competition – or two.

The exhibition features wonderful pool-related items including programs for the first swimming carnivals ever held at Cessnock pool, the story of Alice Farmer, an amazing teacher at Kurri Kurri Public School who championed the building of Kurri Kurri pool, the true story of our own Bathing Beauty Queen and Australian Olympic swimmer, Janice Fogg.

The community is invited to the exhibition launch and morning tea on Friday January 5, 2018 at 10.30am.

What: Splash! Our Pool Stories Exhibition
When: 3 January to 31 January 2018
Where: Cessnock and Kurri Kurri Library Foyers  

 1/3/2018