Monday, 12 June 2017

1974: The end of the Manly Harbour Pool

Manly's famous Harbour Pool had served the people of Sydney well since 1931, but in May 1974 it fell victim to the 'Sygna' Storm.

The bathing closure was located to the west of Manly Wharf and its walkway allowed a person to walk directly from the wharf to Marineland (Oceanworld). It even had a popular diving board and floating platforms for swimmers.

On the Weekend of May 25 and 26 1974, the harbour pool was battered by strong swells as the 'Sygna' Storm pummelled the NSW coast. The swells had surged through the heads causing chaos in harbourside suburbs.

The damage occurred during the evening of May 25 when the worst of the storm unleashed its fury. It was not until daylight that the magnitude of the damage became apparent. Page 1 of The Manly Daily on May 28 1974, summarises the carnage.

Much of the walkway had completely collapsed into Manly Cove and had washed up onto the beach. Whatever was left had buckled. Within weeks, the remnants had been demolished. Page 16 from the same edition of the paper published the famous photo of the buckled remains of the walkway.

 A netted swimming enclosure replaced the harbour pool which remains to this day.

There have been calls to rebuild the harbour pool such as in 1984 but was deemed to be "cost prohibitive". However in 2012, a group lodged their case for the rebuilding of the harbour pool, but with an eco-friendly twist that preserved the aquatic environment yet encouraged tourism.

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