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Author Topic: Toddlers Cove in the Westgate Gardens Canterbury  (Read 7486 times)

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Offline JohnWalker

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Re: Toddlers Cove in the Westgate Gardens Canterbury
« Reply #10 on: November 09, 2014, 13:58:11 »
There's a Facebook Group dedicated to the Original Toddlers Cove of the 40s, 50s and 60s.  Lots of photos, memories and history.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/originaltoddlerscove/

Offline conan

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Re: Toddlers Cove in the Westgate Gardens Canterbury
« Reply #9 on: December 13, 2012, 13:02:00 »
To remain ignorant of what happened before you were born is to remain a child......Cicero

swissaussie

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Re: Toddlers Cove in the Westgate Gardens Canterbury
« Reply #8 on: December 13, 2012, 10:28:40 »
hi JohnWalker,

would you believe it, all I did was google "toddlers cove" and there it was! I had been searching for ages too everywhere else. I got real goosebumps when I first looked at this yesterday too..... I always remembered it so clearly, all these years :)
I really can't remember the dividing bank and tunnel though... I'm a 1954 "girl", so maybe this was before my playing time? :)

barbara

Offline JohnWalker

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Re: Toddlers Cove in the Westgate Gardens Canterbury
« Reply #7 on: December 13, 2012, 10:13:59 »
Welcome swissaussie

You have made my day.  :)    I've been searching for a clear photo of Toddlers Cove for years.  This one was probably taken towards the last years of Toddlers Cove.  The newer Gas Holder is in the background and the bank between the stream area and the boating pool has gone.  Not many people seem to remember this but there was a dividing bank with a tunnel connecting the two areas.  I believe it was made from the soil dug out from what used to be Canterbury Swimming Baths.  If you come across any more photos of the area I would be pleased to see them - it's where I spent hours of my early childhood.

JW

swissaussie

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Re: Toddlers Cove in the Westgate Gardens Canterbury
« Reply #6 on: December 13, 2012, 08:33:09 »
.....don't know why there are 2 posts? Don't know how to edit (yet) either.

My brother got polio in 1957, probably from the toddlers cove!!

swissaussie

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Re: Toddlers Cove in the Westgate Gardens Canterbury
« Reply #5 on: December 13, 2012, 06:58:01 »
hi guys, I had to join this forum after seeing your pics of toddlers cove! I was playing there too in the 50's :))
after being away from canterbury for such a long time, I was dismayed at my return. so many things had changed in the highstreet, the wall around the clocktower had gone (used to go there to smoke and show off), the big blue clock had gone and the Longmarket was all built up..... :( but worst of all, my toddlers cove had gone....
I've come across a really good old picture.....

swissaussie

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Re: Toddlers Cove in the Westgate Gardens Canterbury
« Reply #4 on: December 13, 2012, 06:42:36 »
Hi guys, I had to join this forum after seeing your pics of toddlers cove! I was playing there too in the 50's :))
After being away from Canterbury for such a long time, I was dismayed at my return. so many things had changed in the High Street, the wall around the clocktower had gone (used to go there to smoke and show off), the big blue clock had gone and the Longmarket was all built up..... :( but worst of all, my toddlers cove had gone....
I've come across a really good old picture.....

Offline JohnWalker

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Re: Toddlers Cove in the Westgate Gardens Canterbury
« Reply #3 on: March 25, 2012, 22:57:13 »
Thank you so much LenP - just as I remembered it.  A big part of my childhood where I spent many happy Summer days.  

Tried to see if I was in the photo - wet hand knitted trunks hanging down below my knees......

I've carried out a very quick colour job to help anyone who never went there get a feel of what it was like.  The stream went from left to right and flowed into the River Stour through a pair of large concrete pipes.  The island was where you and your gang had power!!  :)

The lady bending down on the right in the long dress could easily be my late Mum - thats the spot we always made for and had out picnics.  Just in front of her you can see a slight dark area.  That was a boat shaped concrete moulding set in the sand.

John


Offline LenP

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Re: Toddlers Cove in the Westgate Gardens Canterbury
« Reply #2 on: March 25, 2012, 22:30:36 »
Found one!
Poor quality - comes from a 1950 tourist guide to the city...



Excuse the angle, it's part of a centre spread montage.

Offline JohnWalker

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Toddlers Cove in the Westgate Gardens Canterbury
« Reply #1 on: August 27, 2011, 19:46:12 »
Has anyone any photos of Toddlers Cove from the 50s.  I spent many summers days there as a toddler but can't find any good photos of it as it was then.

Would also like to hear from others who spent happy childhood days there.

For those who don't know what Toddlers Cove was -

Toddlers Cove was on the side of the River Stour at the far end of the Westgate Gardens.  A stream had been diverted to run through a 'beach' area.  There was an island in the middle and sandy beaches all round the outside.  The stream ran through concrete channels which had a layer of sand in.  Kids could run through the shallow water quite safely or make sand castles etc on the beach areas.  There was a bank alongside it with a tunnel going through to a deeper swimming/paddling pool.  This was shared with a boating area which had paddle boats and row boats.  The boats were sixpence for 20 minutes.  The guy in charge would hang the number of your boat on a large clock indicating when your time was up - shouting "come in No. 5" etc.  The trick was to watch the clock and when it was close on your number, row/paddle your boat to the far end.  This gave you an extra few minutes while you headed back.

The toilets were of a chemical type were just non-flushing bins with a wooden lid.  On busy days they would overflow and kids would go walking in it with bare feet.  They would then do their business and then jump straight back in the pool.  I don't remember any of us being ill after days at the pool.

There were also donkey rides which were also sixpence.

Near the larger swimming pool was a circular model boating pool.

John

 

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