April 8 2013
We have taken delivery of a new diving dale after our original one lasted an incredible 135 years!
Known by its original and historic name, the diving ‘dale’ was replaced thanks to the generosity of one of our members.
John Watson OBE provided the funds to replace the original cast-iron one installed in 1878.
The option of replacing it with a modern one was rejected in favour of commissioning an EXACT replica in keeping with the Baths’ renowned Victorian surroundings.
The dale was unveiled by John Watson who is one of the country’s leading industrialists.
It was made by ornamental ironwork manufacturer Walter MacFarlane and Co whose Saracen Foundry in the north of the city also produced the ironwork in the Kibble Palace in Glasgow’s Botanic Gardens.
Like The Baths Club, Walter MacFarlane and Co can trace its history back to the mid 19th century and was the ideal choice to create the new dale.
John Watson who is Chairman and Chief Executive of printers John Watson and Co said: “I am delighted that we have been able to create the new diving dale which will be of great benefit to the many members of the Baths.
“The original was typical of Victorian design and manufacture when things were built to last. The fact that the previous one lasted for over a century and a quarter is testament to that. I’m confident this one will give at least another 135 years of service to the Club.”
Fraser Makeham, General Manager, added: “The original diving dale was corroding and clearly past its useful life. Everyone would agree that it has served the Club well and after 135 years was due its retirement.
“We are very grateful to the generosity of John Watson and the Watson family for our new dale. Choosing a replica rather than a more modern one allows us to preserve the original appearance of the Baths.”
John Watson has a long-standing connection with the Western Baths Club. His late mother Mrs Jean Watson was a member for over 50 years. Jean generously left a bequest to the Club which funded state-of-the-art televisions in the gym.
John has been a member for nearly 60 years and his four sons – Sandy, Angus, Findlay and Fergus have also all been members.