Saturday, 1 February 2014

Pool battles: Fitzroy Baths

Photo 2010 by John Pratt

"There is nothing more democratic than the public swimming pool."
- Annette Kellerman, Australian swimmer whose life was immortalised by Esther Williams in the film Million Dollar Mermaid.

Under the Kennett government in Victoria, many public facilities wrre closed as cost-saving measures. Fitzroy Baths, which featured in a reasonably iconic Australian novel, Monkey Grip, by Helen Garner, was one thing which was saved from closure by a determined community campaign.

There was an ABC Background Briefing radio program about it. You can read the transcript here.

The opening of Fitzroy Baths, 1908, from Pictures Australia

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