Castleton Health & Leisure Centre


We are looking for GOOD NEWS stories or your own memories and experiences of the former Castleton Baths. See below.

Special Visitor

Castleton Health and Leisure Centre had a special visitor recently, all the way from America!

Dan Beech, said he was determined to pay a visit to ‘the old Castleton Baths’ as his father had always spoken fondly of it. Dan was born and brought up in America after his Dad moved there in 1960 and settled to have a family. He explained that his Dad Bert talked extensively about learning to swim at Castleton Baths when he was a boy and from then became somewhat of a swimming addict, he swam across Hollingworth Lake and Loch Ness amongst lots of other open waters which as Dan says ‘were so cold they put car grease on the boys back in 1925 for swims’ They didn’t have the luxury of wetsuits back then.

Bert was born 12th December 1918 and lived to the ripe old age of 97, Dan said the secret to his longevity was down to swimming and beer.

Bert, whose specialist stroke was the Backstroke won many trophies and had the potential to be in the Olympics had he not been conscribed for the 2nd World War.

It was when The Lancastria ship was bombed in 1940 that Bert’s swimming skills were really put to the test. He removed his heavy uniform and kept two other men afloat until they were all rescued. A real heart-warming story when considering the tragic event saw the largest single loss of life in WW2. It’s said 6000 - 7000 people lost their lives. Bert was mentioned in dispatches for saving the two men.

It seems Bert was a real character and was recognised by the ladies in the swimming pool on his last visit to the UK in 2003.

I had the pleasure of meeting and chatting to his extremely proud son Dan when he came to visit his relatives and swim in Castleton Baths.

He said, ‘I felt compelled to visit the Castleton Baths and swim in the same pool where my dad learned -seeing the same walls and ceiling he did as a boy was very nostalgic for me, almost a rite of passage and made me think of him’

Jo Potts – Facility Manager, Castleton Health and Leisure Centre


Happy Memories from Valerie McKenna

I am now in my 70's and learnt to swim in Castleton Baths. My mother, used to swimming in the sea in South Wales, insisted we went swimming regularly and I was always embarrassed then, as she 'power' swam lengths in a black woollen bathing costume. I soon got used to it and have enjoyed swimming ever since.


I can share my own fond memories of spending all day in this pool when my Mum Emily worked here in the 80s.

She put a good word in at Middleton Pool in 1986 when they were looking for extra staff for the Summer holidays and I started my first Lifeguarding job 3 days after my 16th birthday!

I can also remember coming for a BATH with my sister Emma when we were young because our Dad was renovating our house on Hanover St and we didn't have a bathroom for a couple weeks.

It's lovely to see St Edwards are still coming on a Friday morning as I came with them in the 70s and my daughter Kaia followed later in the 00s.

It's really good to see this little pool being well used again!

Contact Information

Castleton Health & Leisure Centre

Manchester Road
OL11 3AF

Tel: 01706 353663

Meeting times

Swimming Pool Opening Times

See our 'Timetable' Page

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