John McCullagh June 4, 2006
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You would scarcely know it from the expressions on the girls’ faces, but that water in Warrenpoint Baths is ice-cold!



That’s Sheila, daughter of Doctor Rafferty out in front.  Just behind her is her friend Carmel Hunter.  Third is Sheila Mallon (of Mallon’s Chemists). 

I’ll leave it to you to identify the others.  And the year.  If I told you, you’d only perform some elementary mathematics and conclude that they are now of ‘a certain age’.   Let’s just say that many of their menfolk were abroad at the time.

But just look at the vitality of all in the photograph!   Natural, relaxed, unposed, busy, happy! 

But wait!   Is that Nora Batty frowning down at the young hussies showing their figures like that?   And that young girl below shouldn’t be standing on the low wall, holding the rail and looking wistfully into the deep end!

And who’s the girl with hair-bow beside ‘Nora’, chatting gaily with a friend astride the upper wall, but fully-clothed and she standing on those slippery steps?  

Get back, you!   You’re not allowed there!  Swimmers only from this point on!

And take that child with you!   He’s a BOY!!  What’s he doing here?   He should be round at the boys’s side!

Another lady is nearing the steps on her way out of the pool. 

And above there is a virtual hive of activity.   See that girl drying her face.  She’s just climbed out of the pool. 

It was unfiltered, unheated sea-water.   But no one complained. 

Indeed it was good for you.   People took home bottles of the stuff for medicinal reasons!


 I might be the last of the old romantics – but such scenes pluck at my heart-strings!

Have we, in the intervening years, thrown out the baby with the Baths water?


I remember we were round the other side, waiting to see the girls in their skimpy swim-suits!

We were never disappointed!

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