Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Maroubra Mahon Pool

Had never been to Mahon Pool before this, and I absolutely loved it. I think it has become one of my favourite Sydney rock pools. It's totally unpretentious, with a really mixed crowd, and there's those stunning views along to the beach at Maroubra.

Above: Searching for rock crabs, and Below: One I saw

Photos taken 24 Jan 2009

From NSW Ocean Baths website:
The pool was constructed by Randwick Council as an Unemployment Relief project.
The Maroubra Seals winter swimming club formed.
Pool improvements were sought to enable the weaker members of the community and children to use the pool. When seas were a little rougher than usual, young children and older folk were frequently swept against the rocks and at times even experienced swimmers found swimming in the pool was impossible.

There were proposals to extend the pool to a full 100 metres, creating a more sheltered swimming area and making it easier for social swimmers to continue to use part of the pool, while competitive club swimming events were held in the rest of the pool.
After requests from residents and the Maroubra Seals Club, the Mayor of Randwick, John Ford, and the Council engineer inspected the pool and agreed the needed repairs included repairing the safety chain and drainage outlet, repairing the sea wall, paving and handrail, diverting fresh water seepage from the pool surrounds. They estimated the repairs to minimise injury to bathers would take two weeks.
Residents were writing to newspapers complaining about the neglected Mahon Pool in a distressing state of disrepair, virtually empty and unswimmable at its 'worst in the last 18 years'. The neglected state of the pool was seen as depriving adults and children of healthy exercise and enjoyment.
Randwick Council decided earlier suggestions for extending the size of the pool were too costly, but people who had been swimming at Mahon pool for around 50 years thought it had never been in such poor condition. They feared that Randwick Council intended to leave the recently levelled car park unpaved and felt better access was needed so older people 'who felt the salt water was beneficial to them could use the pool in calmer weather' and so ambulance officers could reach the pool easily in case of an emergency.
The Mahon Pool was considered in deplorable condition and Randwick Council was confronted with two separate petitions with a combined total of 313 signatures urging attention to the pool and its surrounds. Alderman Charles Mathews noted that the pool was in use all year and very popular with older and young people who wanted to swim in sea water, but were concerned about the danger of the surf. Extensive repairs to the pool's concrete wall approved by Council in 1987 had been delayed for a year by rough seas.

The Maroubra Seals proposed additions and alterations to the Mahon Pool change-rooms to the Randwick City Council. Council accept the Seals' generous offer to undertake the work on the conditions that the work was not detrimental to the environment, complemented the attractive foreshore environment would not impose additional maintenance costs on Council.
The National Trust classified the Mahon Pool and listed it on its heritage register.
The novel Get Rich Quick by Peter Doyle featured a body floating in the Mahon Pool. In real life, a fisherman at Mahon Pool had a heart attack and nearly drowned after a wave washed him off the rocks. His fishing partner and two other men kept him above water, while lifesavers were alerted. He was brought to the beach in a rescue patrol boat and flown to hospital in the Westpac lifesaver helicopter.
As part of its State of the Environment (SOE) report, Randwick City Council reported on water monitoring in the Mahon Pool.
Letters to Sydney's Daily Telegraph complained that steps leading to the Mahon Pool were 'covered in thick moss' which caused swimmers to slip and cut themselves on the rocks and demanded that Randwick Council act to keep it a 'safe and enjoyable area'.
Real estate pages, newsletters and advertisements for apartments and houses at Maroubra feature images of the Mahon Pool.


Pam said...

Thanks for the great info! I've just bought a place in Maroubra and loved all these pics.

Christopher Krazmus said...

What a wonderful blog this is! I come back to it again and again and always find something fun and informative. Thanks and keep up the good work;-)

Anonymous said...

Mahon Pool - under the guise of "Mahoney Pool" is heavily featured in the novel Down The Bay And Up The Junction - A novel of the Australian Baby Boomer Generation, by Adrian Simpson. His love and intimacy of the place, and the way he describes it is wonderful. I highly recommend this book!

Sally said...

Interesting to know, thanks Anon

Unknown said...

The place looks amazing. I really like the natural pool setting. I've been meaning to ask our AZ Pool Care to help us conceptualize a natural pool in our backyard if it's possible. Anyway, I really love reading your blog; I look forward to reading more of your future posts.