The end of Cafe Marina and the pools 1938


For those that don’t know Café marina and the Penzance indoor swimming baths were situated on the promenade. A demolition order was placed on the premises in 1938 (after the fire). The baths were tiles and highly decorated with blue and white ceramics, and such tiles are highly sort after these days. It is rumoured that the baths remain on the promenade and were simply filled in with the rubble from the café and then slabbed over.

The somewhat sensational announcement was made at the meeting of Penzance Town Council on Monday 12th September 1938, by Aid, Jackson, chairman of the finance Committee, that at the termination of the present tenancy of the Cafe Marina premises which expires in few weeks’ time, it is the intention of the Committee to sweep away the whole of the Cafe Marina premises, which also include the swimming baths and several cottages in Wherrytown adjoining the Cafe Marina, and thus extend the Promenade. Coun. Johnson said the property as it now stood was disgrace to the town.

That the Council intended extending the Penzance Promenade as far as their property goes was intimation given by Ald. Jackson during a discussion on a clause in the Finance and Rating Committee's report. The clause stated that a letter was read from Mr. J. Hartley stating that he considered that the complete use of the swimming baths was condition of his tenancy, and that, through his inability, to use the same, he has been deprived of a source of revenue which had been depending. It was resolved that the Council adhere to their previous decision not to carry out any repairs to the swimming baths, and that Mr. Hartley be again reminded that his tenancy is purely of a temporary nature and expires the 25th October next. Coun. Vere said the tenant should have facilities for getting revenue from the baths, which had not been able to use, and this had meant a considerable loss of revenue. Owing to the in clemency of the weather, schools had applied for the use of the baths, but they had not been able to use them because of their condition. Ald. Opie said he understood that the cubicles of the baths had been used by those using the beach. Coun. Vere said they had tried to use the cubicles, but it was impossible because of the smell from the pool in the baths. Coun. Johnson I hope the Finance Committee will give this their due consideration at the proper time. This group of properties, as they now stand, constitute disgrace the town, and the proper improvement would be to sweep the whole lot away. Ald. Jackson When the sub-committee met on the ground, the present tenant was given to understand very distinctly that the property would be let as it was, because we intended at the end of the season to sweep it away as far as our property extends. The tenant is under no delusion on the matter, and he agreed, to the terms there and then, and consented to it by letter subsequently. As soon as it is vacant we intend to have a price for demolition, and clear everything of the way.
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