Why Include Icebergs in A Post About Architecture?
When it comes to great buildings and constructions in Sydney Australia, Icebergs may not, at first, appear to be a natural fit for this category. However, I have been window cleaning Maroubra, which is only a mile or two away for many years, and over this time my appreciation for this iconic pool have grown.
The important thing to remember about Bondi Icebergs is that it is not your traditional open air pool, and that is exactly how it was designed...to be naturally amazing!
A Brief Guide To It's History
The area had a natural rock pool at it's southern end that became popular with swimmers. Amazingly, this started to gain popularity in the early 1800's!
However, in 1880 Waverley Council requested the building of public 'baths'. This idea, whilst not universally popular, became the forerunner for what we have today.
In 1886, the NSW government gave permission to a certain Mr A Williams to begin construction of the baths. The baths were not only to be constructed at Bondi, but also at nearby Bronte beach.
The following year, the NSW Department of Lands gave permission for the baths to be built. The cost, which was to leased to the local council at the rate of 25 pounds per year, also included money set aside by the council totalling 297 pounds.
In 1889, Waverley Council added to the usability of the baths by paying for dressing-sheds at the baths and introduced By-Law 145 which penalised anyone who bathed in the area, with the exception of the baths et al, between 8am and 8pm. Whilst this may well sound harsh, the times were very conservative, and exposure of any kind was opposed by most authorities around the World.
Now that the baths had been born, the Bondi Icebergs Club began in 1929, considerably later than the baths were founded. But how did the Club begin?
The Birth of Bondi Icebergs
Now that Bondi had baths and a swimmer friendly ocean adjacent to it, swimmers looked to use the area to maintain their fitness. However, during the winter months fitness would generally be cast aside. So, a group of local swimmers, looking for ways to maintain their fitness formed a club with the intent of maintaining said fitness during the colder months...hence the name Icebergs!
It is not a given that if you are a local swimmer, that you will become an Iceberg, you must observe the 15B rule. What is that?
The 15B rule was introduced during the 1940's and really showed the determination of the applicant to become an 'Iceberg'. How so? Well, the rule stipulates that to be an Iceberg, you must swim on at least 3 Sundays out of 4 for a massive period of 5 years!!!! Truly Icebergs are only those who have committed great devotion to the cause. I don't think I'll qualify soon!
During the 1960's further progress was made. Prior to this, the Club had been meeting in a shed. Obviously this wasn't ideal, so starting in the 1960's and being completed in entirety during the 1970's, the club moved from the tin shed to more comfortable licenced facilities with poker machines. Now the club had a place that was as solid as the Icebergs devotion to their athletic endeavours!
Contacting Bondi Icebergs Club
You can find Icebergs in almost any local business directory, either in print or online. However, here are more details for your reference:
Address: 1 Notts Avenue, Bondi Beach, NSW 2026
Phone: (02)9130 3120