Stokes Bay : pleasure facilities




Bathing Station and Tea House


The Bathing Station 1951 (The D-Day Command Centre is to the west of the bathing station)
The Bathing Station and Tea House 1951. The D-Day Command Centre is to the west of the bathing station. The workshops for the miniature railway are behind.



In 1922 the Government Unemployment Grants Committee of Gosport Council considered a scheme for concrete bathing huts and refreshment rooms at Stokes Bay and in 1923 the Finance and Parliamentary Committee authorised the borrowing of £1,750 to construct them. That same year one hundred and fifty deck chairs at 7s 6d each were purchased, fifty with canopies at 12s 2d each for hire at 2d or 3d (with a canopy) in the morning, afternoon or evening sessions. Twenty Four concrete seats were for the promenade were purchased at £2 1s 3d each. Mr Kite was approved as warden for the season at 50s per week plus 5% of all sums collected from deck chairs.


On 30th July 1923 the Council Minutes reported that the the Bathing Station would be opened from 4th August at a charge of 4d per person for use of a cubicle. Male and female attendants were to be employed. It was reported that by September 23rd. £1,600 of the allocated £1,750 had been spent on the Bathing Station.


In 1924 the construction of the new promenade was approved. Also this year eighteen tables and seventy two chairs were purchased for the restaurant/tea rooms at the Bathing Station. Tenders were invited annually for the operation of the two restaurants at the Bay. Mr Hodgson offered £60 for the one at the Bathing Station. One hundred and four bathing hut owners were to have their private huts repainted (at their expense) in order to keep the painters occupied!


In 1926 fifteen more bathing hut sites were allocated from the esplanade to the coastguard station. In 1927 it was decided to erect twelve more day huts at the Bay. In 1928 it was agreed that a waterproof clock would be erected in front of the bathing station at a cost of £25. Gas for the geyser, stove and lights at the Bathing Station leased to Mr Davis was approved. In 1929 another twelve day huts were approved due to increasing demand.


In 1930 the Open Spaces and Watch Committee agreed to erect twenty four extra day huts in front of Col. Sloane Stanley's land. Col. Sloane-Stanley objected to them ruining the view from his house and it was agreed to move six of them. The Colonel objected to the huts in full view of his lawn and literally a stone's throw away. The Committee minuted to ignore him! He invited councillors to view the twenty four day huts.


In 1940 the War Office required the removal of the twenty four huts. (Victory for Colonel Sloane-Stanley!)


In 1942 the Admiralty requisitioned the bathing station, tea house and lavatories adjacent to No.2 Battery. A D-Day Command Centre was constructed at the west end of the bathing station in 1943 (now the Stokes Bay Sailing Club H.Q.) They were de-requisitioned in March 1947 and the whole of the bay was re-opened to the public, with the exception of the west end which was still to be used by the Special Armament Development Establishment based at Fort Gomer.


The bathing station was demolished as part of the 1975 Stokes Bay Development Scheme and a new building, the current Pebble Beach Bistro and Cafe was erected to the west of the site. (note1)



Stokes Bay Bathing Station. The Bathing Station circa 1939 (The D-Day Command Centre is not there!) The bathing station. No. D-Day Centre behind.
Stokes Bay Bathing Station. The Bathing Station circa 1939 prior to the construction of the D-Day Command Centre to the west.

The bathing station.

No D-Day Centre behind.

Stokes Bay Bathing Station. Stokes Bay Bathing Station circa 1950. Stokes Bay Bathing Station circa 1950. D-Day Centre behind.
Stokes Bay bathing station. The Promenade circa 1950.

The bathing station.

D-Day Centre behind.

The bathing station The bathing station 1969 The bathing station
The bathing station (Refreshment House) The bathing station looking east along the promenade. The bathing station viewed from the east promenade.


Acknowledgement: Once again, I am indebted to Gosport historian Philip Eley for providing me with information after he painstakingly read through the Gosport Council minutes. This proved invaluable for connecting dates with events.




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