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Olympic Pool, Shark proof fence and pavilion - Clontarf 1938-1960s

Updated: Jan 20, 2023

The Shark proof fence, promenade deck, diving boards and a bathing pavilion were constructed in Clontarf in 1938 by Manuel Hornibrook.

After the new bridge was finished 3 years earlier, in 1935, the idea was to bring Brisbane tourists over on the Hornibrook buses and an underground walkway was built so the bathers didn't have to cross the road to get to the pavilion.

The Courier-Mail

Wednesday 15 Jun 1938 Page 4:


Shark-proof Fence, New Pavilion

REDCLIFFE, Tuesday. Plans for extensive bathing attractions to be constructed immediately at Clontarf were explained by the Mayor (Alderman A. H. Langdon) at the meeting of the Redcliffe Town Council today.

The council approved plans and specifications submitted by Hornibrook Highway, Ltd., through its architect Mr. C. E. Plant), for a modern cafe, caretaker's residence, and a bathing pavilion at Clontarf. fitted with showers, septic system, and water supply. The cost was estimated at £2800. The Mayor (Alderman A. H. Langdon) said this represented one section only of the proposed expenditure at Clontarf. The shark-proof swimming pool adjacent to these buildings would begin immediately. The contractor was M. R. Hornibrook. OLYMPIC STANDARD The swimming pool and the adjacent bathing pavilion and cafe, he continued, would be opposite Angus Street, not far from the bridge. The pool, which would be lighted with electricity at night, would be steel netted, constructed to Olympic specifications, and would extend 1000ft into Bramble Bay and be 400ft wide. There would be ample water for deep diving at high or low tide. A promenade deck, 1000ft long, and 3ft wide, with handrails, would be constructed on top of the shark-proof fence. In the centre would be a resting pontoon, covered with dry sand, for sun-baking. A diving tower, diving boards, water wheels, and the latest aquatic attractions in vogue in Australia to-day, would be provided. The whole structure would be completed by October 14, and would cost £2500, exclusive of the cost of the cafe, bathing pavilion, and residence.

REDCLIFFE POOL RENTAL A letter from Mr. J. H. Grice's solicitors, asked that the rental for the whole period of the 21 years' lease of the site for the proposed shark-proof pool at Redcliffe should be fixed. The original proposal was that the company should pay 10/ a week for the first five years, the rental for the balance of the period to be decided later by arbitration. The council to-day fixed the rental at 10/ a week for the first five years, £1 a week for the next eight years, ana £2 a week for the last eight years. The company proposes to construct the sharf-proof enclosure and provide aquatic amusements adjacent to and on the southern side of the Redcliffe pier."

Photo from the Moreton Bay Library Collection: RMPC-100\100098

Photo from the Moreton Bay Library Collection: RMPC-100\100950

1938 Shark proof enclosure at Clontarf opposite Angus Street.

Photo by Alan Whitehouse, from the Moreton Bay Library Collection: RMPC-100\100653

Courier Mail December 16th 1938:

"Reaching out 1000ft into the bay, the new shark-proof bathing pool at Clontarf has been completed, and is open to the public. Top picture shows the new bathing pavilion, which faces the pool. Spring boards are provided (bottom centre), and numerous ladders give access to the pool (right). The shark proof netting also is shown in this picture."

The Courier-Mail Tue 27 December 1938 Page 3:

"POOL OPENED AT CLONTARF, Benefit People, Says Mr. Cooper

ENTERPRISE was the soul of the community, and the spirit of enterprise had certainly been shown by Homibrook Highway, Ltd., said the State Treasurer (Mr. Cooper) yesterday, when he opened the new Clontarf swimming pool. Several hundred people were present at the ceremony, including Sir William Glasgow, Government officials; and leading business and professional men. The pool, which has been constructed by the company, is a shark proof enclosure of modern design, covering about nine acres of water. Features include a footway along the top of the shark-proof fence, modern dressing rooms, a kiosk, and a long copper-faced slide. There is a raised platform in the centre of the pool, and two large life buoys in the deep water. Mr. Cooper congratulated the firm and Mr. M. R. Hornibrook on the fine workmanship shown in the construction of the pool, which,, he said, would not only prove of great benefit to Clontarf, but also to the people of Brisbane."

"Subway To Be Built The chairman of the company (Sir Edward Macartney) said that, like the Highway bridge, the construction of the pool had been an enterprise to assist employment. It had been intended originally to construct the pool in the centre of Redcliffe. Although this had not been practicable, one of the most favoured sites on the foreshore had been chosen. He added that, as early as possible, a subway would be built to remove any risk to bathers crossing the road from the dressing rooms. The Mayor of Redcliffe (Aid. A. H. Langdon) moved a vote of thanks to Mr. Cooper. After the ceremony, Mr Cooper and members of the official party were, taken for a tour of the Peninsula. They were later entertained at luncheon at the Palace Hotel, Woody Point."

"Joy For Clontarf Bathers: Clontarf shark-proof enclosure, which was officially opened yesterday, provided a new thrill for bathers, the undulating slippery-slide."

Photo from the Moreton Bay Library Collection: RLPC-000\000240

Clontarf Beach swimming enclosure looking from the north.

Photo from the Moreton Bay Library Collection: RMPC-100\100383

Photo from the Moreton Bay Library Collection: RMPC-100\100385

Clontarf Beach Post Office 1947 . This building was the Clontarf Bathing Pavilion before becoming the Post Office. Photo from the Moreton Bay Library Collection: RMPC-100\100126

1951 Refidex:

Aerial showing the location of the Clontarf shark proof fence and pavilion in1956 and 2019:

It was open for over 20 years but the exact date of closing is not known - It was no longer there in 1967.

Framed 1935 and 1937 Hornibrook Highway maps showing Ewart St, Angus St and Roland St, a year before the bathing pavilion was completed in 1938.

Available to view and purchase at the following link

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