This was very popular with children. The lake was dredged in 1948 after falling into disrepair and was replaced by a paddling pool in 1949 which has also now gone
Alan Ball, one of the heroes of England's World Cup Victory in 1966 was born in Farnworth on 12 May 1945, where he spent his early youth. He attended Farnworth Grammar School and the photograph shows him second from the right on the front row in the school team of 1958/9. He played for Farnworth Boys on many occasions but on leaving school suffered the severe disappointment of being rejected by Bolton Wanderers for whom he had already signed amateur forms. Wanderers missed out and he signed as a full time professional with Blackpool on his seventeenth birthday. Three months later he made his first team debut against Liverpool at Anfield. One of the sports halls at the Harper Green sports centre is named in his honour.
The Journal of 17 September 1898 recorded that 'the Market Ground in Brackley Street has been extended a little during the summer by pulling down some of the cottages on the Albert Road side of the baths, and the extra space is made use of by Mr Farnworth, the market inspector who has let it to the proprietors of a small circus. The only other show is an exhibition of animated photographs and the rest of the paraphernalia in the market is much as in past years, a set of gondolas replacing a razzle dazzle, and a set of ostriches, the old fashioned bicycles. Plenty of room has been left for sightseers and with the absence of the objectionable swing boats, there is little fear of accidents occurring. With the object of keeping children away from the fairground there are attractions at the various Sunday schools.' Afterwards it was reported that there were no accidents and the rent received from the show people totalled £193 14s 7d.
Market Street 1930
Looking towards Kearsley with the Co-op dominating the skyline. On the right is the shop of Jack Morris, prize winning black pudding maker and organiser of Britain's first Black Pudding competition, held at Farnworth Cricket Club in 1970.
Opening of Farnworth Baths 1893
There is a painting of the baths at Paintings by Ernie Holden with some notes. The baths were opened on 29 April 1893 and this photograph shows the finish of a walking match which was part of the opening day celebrations.The walkers were usually miners and the walking matches usually started at the Bowling Green Inn. This one began in Church Street outside the Conservative Club and was possibly followed by a swimming contest.
There was a swimming gala, walking match, and a display of ornamental swimming by Theresa Johnson, lady champion of the world. Charges were 6d for a slipper bath, first class with two towels and 3d for a plunge bath, including towel. Loan of drawers was a halfpenny per pair and 450 pairs of bathing drawers were ordered from Cunninghams of Dunfermline. The plunge bath was reserved for ladies only on Mondays but on the first Monday only three ladies used the baths. One of the bath's managers in the 1930's, Mr. Albert Cunliffe, invented a scum remover,the first to be used in England, guaranteeing clean water.
Farnworth Baths 1962
The baths consisted of a plunge bath, 75 feet by 30 feet, a wash bath and shower and twelve slipper baths. The baths had a very good viewing gallery,which made it ideal for spectators.