In the 1970s, the view from Stebondale St. over Millwall Park and the Mudchute looked like this.
30 years previously the view looked like this (photo by Mrs. Smith and the Island History Trust Collection), taken from the upstairs rear window of a house in Stebondale Street. The large construction in the foreground is Millwall Park open-air swimming pool. Just visible between it and the Mudchute is the roof of the rope-walk.
This 1950 map shows clearly the location of the swimming pool. The houses along Stebondale St. were destroyed by WWII bombing and replaced with prefabs.
The pool was built by Poplar Borough Council, and opened in 1925, having cost £10,495. It was 150ft by 60ft and it stood within a walled enclosure 200ft long and 90ft wide, which also contained forty dressing boxes, nine dressing shelters and a number of ancillary buildings.
On completion the pool was handed over to the LCC, which was responsible for its administration and finance, the costs being shared equally by the two Councils. A filtration plant was installed in 1930 and charges for bathers were subsequently introduced; until then admission had been free.
The following three photos are courtesy of the Sale Family – the late Frank Herbert Sale is standing on the diving board in the first photo.
In the following photo, the Builder’s Arms is visible in the background. The pub, at 99 Stebondale St. was damaged beyond repair during WWII.
During the first night of the Blitz, the bombing which destroyed most houses in Stebondale St. also damaged the swimming pool.
The shored up swimming pool would remain in place until the 1960s, when it was demolished to make room for a One O’Clock club and a short-lived adventure playground.