Cold water, short summers and the lingering smell of chlorine on the skin were less important than fun and friendship while swimming outdoors in all weather down at the baths in Ashley Street.
‘Thank heavens they never went ahead with the roof,’ one swimmer said.
The Palmerston North Municipal Baths opened in 1917 and served the community for nearly fifty years. Four custodians and their families called it home and so did the Palmerston North Swimming Club. It was a place for local people to swim and socialise.
Val Mills regarded the Municipal Baths as her second home during the 1960s and believed the story of this local landmark should be recorded before it was forgotten. Her thorough account tells how the baths served the local community, from the perspectives of the swimming public and the Council making the decisions.
Now, one hundred years since opening, it is time for the story to be told.