In the shadow of Samson and Goliath sits one of East Belfast's gems of Victorian architecture.
Templemore Avenue Public Baths and Swimming Pools were built as one of four public baths in the City during the late 1800s.
In the highly industrialised area of East Belfast the baths were primarily intended to meet hygiene and public sanitary needs of the community where occupants of surrounding small terraced houses did not necessarily have the benefit of personal washing and bathing facilities.
Opened in 1893 the baths and pools have served over five generations representing thousands of people in the community. Many famous East Belfast men and women have passed through its doors.
Men from the shipyard who worked on the Titanic, along with men and women from the Sirocco and Mills came for their Friday evening bath before going to the dance halls. Both actor James Ellis and soccer star George Best also used the pools.
It would not be inaccurate to say that almost everyone born and raised in East Belfast during the latter half of the twentieth century knew of and likely used Templemore.
Now known as Templemore Swim & Fitness Centre the building was saved from closure in the early 1980s by a voluntary committee.
One of the 25 yard pools is still in operation. In addition the Centre also has a fully equipped gym and sauna.
In partnership with Belfast City Council and one of its major users, Templemore Aquatics Sports Club, the Committee has ambitions plans for the Centre.
These plans require a significant injection of funding. If successful the Centre will renovate into one of the most important buildings in terms of heritage, leisure & community in the whole of Belfast.
If you would like to be kept up to date on developments, become involved or would like more details on our facilities for your own leisure use please either email email@example.com or telephone the Centre on 90457540.