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Design and Creation

It’s the late 1920s. Medical advice is that exposure to sea water is a health benefit. People are suddenly able to travel to the coast by train or car. They know little of the danger of the Atlantic Ocean and the numbers of deaths off the coast of Bude increase dramatically.

Local estate owners, the Thynnes decide to invest in a safe environment for the general public to take the waters. Pledging just over half the total budget (around £4000 at that time), they design and create what we now see as Bude Sea Pool. Their only condition is that the amenity be free to everyone, irrespective of their income, so all can come and safely enjoy it.

The simple design uses the natural coastline. A man-made outer wall is sunk into the beach to create a natural foundation of concrete. The cliffs provide shelter behind it. By having the walls lower than the high-water line, no pumps or power are needed to refresh the water or maintain its level.

On 10 July 1930, Bude Sea Pool officially opens to the public to great fanfare and a new era of safe cold-water swimming begins.