In the past we have brought you collections of old photographs of memorable buildings in and around the town which were the work of Derelict in the UK .
Today we have pictures from one of the town’s most iconic underground sites which have been provided by Modernity Mark and you can find more of his work at the link below…
These photographs of the White Rock Baths were taken around 2013/2014, Mark says: “Originally one of the largest underground pools in the country, later an aquarium and skate rink and now a skate park, these very old images were taken on an early digital camera.”
We hope you enjoy them and they bring back some happy memories.
The foundation stone for the baths was laid on June 27th 1876 by Thomas Brassey, later Earl Brassey, one time MP for the town, he was also the man who built the Brassey Institute that now houses the main library. A team of architects, Cross, Wells, Jeffrey and Skiller drew up the plans and it was estimated they would cost £60,000 to build in the underground space beneath the promenade.
There were to be three baths and in May 1878 the ‘gentleman’s bath’ was opened followed by the main bath just days later on May 31st. The ladies bath opened in July 1879.
The baths were multi-purpose throughout their life and operated as a cinema for a period in the early years of the 20th century. But the baths slowly became almost derelict during the 1920s before being taken over by Hastings council.
Money was poured into a restorative project and the Baths were given a new lease of life re-opening in June 1932 following major reconstruction. By 1970 there had been need for further major repairs. According to the Hastings Observer in November 1974 Hastings White Rock Baths were to have a new look and were to be opened as an ice rink. There was also a proposed new roof in 1985.
The building survived as an ice rink until 1997 then it slowly started to decay before being reborn again as the award winning Source Skate Park just a few years ago.