by Cathy Jones
The Enfield Olympic Swimming Pool is one of Sydney’s oldest public pools. The pool was built in Henley Park, Enfield by the former Enfield Municipal Council. The pool was first opened in 1933.
The pool project was developed at the height of the Great Depression which created high levels of unemployment. The project was designed to generate local employment and was partly funded by NSW Government loans and grants from the Unemployment Relief Council. The total cost, including improvements to the adjoining park and a children’s playground, was reported at about £15,000.
The pool was designed by architects Rudder and Grout. The firm was also responsible for the design of North Sydney Pool (1936) and the Petersham Town Hall.
The Enfield pool was designed to conform with Olympic standard requirements but also deepened to accommodate diving boards including a 40 foot diving tower. The diving boards have since been removed.
The foundation stone of the Enfield Olympic swimming pool was officially laid by Mrs. S. A. Lloyd, Mayoress of Enfield on 23rd September 1933. The official opening of the Enfield Olympic Pool occurred on 18 November 1933 by the NSW Premier and Colonial Treasurer, Bertram Stevens.
The 1936 Annual Report of Enfield Council reported that the pool retained its popularity, the total attendance for the year being 130,008, comprising 41,480 adults, 54,236 children and 34,292 school children in organised classes.
Annual Report. (1936) Enfield Municipal Council.
Dunlop, E. (1974). Harvest of the Years, Burwood Council.
‘Swimming Pool’. (1933, September 25). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 – 1954), p. 9. Retrieved February 5, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article17009516
Photo of Enfield Olympic Pool, Enfield Council Annual Report 1936
Jones, Cathy (2021), ‘Enfield Olympic Pool, Strathfield Heritage, https://strathfieldheritage.com/recreation-and-shops/enfield-olympic-swimming-pool/
(c) Cathy Jones 2021