Swimming at Seaton Baths and a mini pork pie at the Woodpecker Cafe

Seaton Baths being demolished in 1978.
Seaton Baths being demolished in 1978.

Mini pork pies, swimming lessons and getting your bronze certificate.

They were among the memories which came flooding back when we asked you to cast your minds back to Seaton Baths. We unearthed an old archive photograph of the baths being demolished in 1978 and asked if you remember happier times when they were in full swing.

The bridge which took you to Seaton Baths.

The bridge which took you to Seaton Baths.

More than 16,000 of you spotted the post, 250 of you liked the photo and more than 80 of you reminisced on times gone by.

And just as interestingly, many of you remembered the ‘little hut’ outside which served up piping hot mini pork pies after splashing about in the pool.

Among them was Theresa Thomas, who said: “Hot orange juice n a warm mini pork pie. Happy days.”

Lynne Smithson was another who said: “Remember the pork pies when we came out!”

Went there every Sunday morning first session, then popped over to the Woodpecker cafe for hot pork pie and oxo drink. My friends and I used to walk over the steel bridge and into Hartlepool to the old bus station to catch the 45 bus home to Peterlee

Sheila Hall

Christine Verrall said she went to the baths “every chance I got. Loved coming out in winter and going to cafe for cup of oxo or bovril.”

Shirley Howe asked: “Who made those pork pies. My son’s loved them.” Has anyone got the answer? We’d love to know more.

Plenty of people offered the name of the little hut in question. Sheila Hall said: “Went there every Sunday morning first session, then popped over to the Woodpecker cafe for hot pork pie and Oxo drink. My friends and I used to walk over the steel bridge and into Hartlepool to the old bus station to catch the 45 bus home to Peterlee.”

Similar memories came from Colin Barker, who said: “Learnt to swim there myself. Stayed at my aunties in Bramley Street. Used to cross the bridge every day to go to the baths then in the Woodpecker cafe for the pies. Good old days.”

And John Tetlow offered: “Went there every day after school then straight over the road and into the Woodpecker cafe.”

Steve Swinbourne told us: “I seem to remember the café opposite as the ‘Beachcomber’ cafe.”

But whatever the name, plenty of you had memories of the baths as well.

Sandra Hall said: “We used to go there for our swimming lessons at Seaton primary school many many years ago”, while Anne Scott told us: “I went there many a time in the fifties, then walked back home to Owton Manor!”

David Wheelhouse did his lifesaving certificates in Seaton Baths and added: “Also swam my one mile there.”

John Bradshaw recalled: “A penny for a blob of Brylcream to rub into your wet hair.”

Bob Snowdon went there every Saturday on a route which took him down Oxford Road, “through wagga over the most exciting bridge in the world.”

He added: “We were given the bus fare but if you walked you could spend the money in the little outside shop or do an extra session.”

Thanks to everyone who offered comments and if there’s more you would like to add, email chris.cordner@jpress.co.uk