By Kit Duddy.
I remember the baths of
old you queued outside
to pay your your fee, maybe to swim or wash your knees.
In through the turnstile left for a bath, straight
on for a swim and plenty of laughs.
The changing stalls had stable doors you could look over the top or underneath for drawers.
When they were full we had little choice especially when you were boys. Up on the balcony up the stairs trying to get changed with everyone there.
Worst was still yet to come when even the balcony was done, they took you through the wash house doors into the stalls through the wash house floors.
The women there were drying their washing
and dirty comments
they didn’t mind tossing. “Dinnae be shy we’ve seen it all before you’re
no in the changing rooms noo son there isnae any doors”.
It’s then you suddenly realise you hired some swimming pants they were medium size. Not like the speedos you might have now just a nappy tied any old how.
The whistles followed you through the door as you walked with a swagger
( or not very sure). Into a noisy swimming baths while all of your mates pointed and laughed.
You knew what was coming it was now your turn, dared to dive and show your bum. Those nappies they hired I am sure it is true were a test of your manhood-
Up on the dails tying it tight you stood there knees knocking and
dying with fright. Two steps to the edge diving right in everyone laughing it’s a bloody sin.
Those nappies triangles of cloth now in two were left on the dails and nothing is covering you. A swim to the side with danger was fraught God help any wee man if you were caught.