Thursday, 2 November 2006

Andrew (Boy) Charlton pool, Woolloomooloo Bay

Sydney is blessed with lots of swimming pools. This one, on part of the Harbour called Woolloomooloo* Bay, with a redeveloped Finger Wharf behind, is beautifully located.

Andrew 'Boy' Charlton (the nickname comes from the fact that he was only 14 when he came to prominence, in 1921) won a gold medal at the 1924 Olympics in Paris, swimming 1500 metres in 20 mins 6.6 seconds. He swam in 1928 in 1932 Olympics, won a further 3 silver and 1 bronze medal, and broke 5 world records.

Pool website

*Woolloomooloo: The first wharves were built in the 1860s. It used to be a rough and tough wharves area, then a public housing area. These days, like everywhere, the millionaires have moved in (eg Russell Crowe owns an apartment in the wharf development), as, world-wide, poorer people are pushed out to allow the wealthy to own the best views and most convenient locations.

Woolloomooloo gets its name from a house of that name built by the first NSW Commissary General in 1801. There is debate about its derivation. From Wikipedia: "Anthropologist J.D. McCarthy wrote in NSW Aboriginal Places Names, in 1946, that Woolloomooloo could be derived from either Wallamullah, meaning 'place of plenty' or Wallabahmullah, meaning a 'young black kangaroo'.
In 1852, the traveller Col. G.C. Mundy wrote that the name came from Wala-mala, meaning an Aboriginal burial ground. It has also been suggested that the name means 'field of blood', due to the alleged Aboriginal tribal fights that took place in the area, or that it is from the pronunciation by Aboriginals of windmill, from the one that existed on Darlinghurst ridge until the 1850's."


  1. From what you write, it's interesting that the pool's website takes quite a stand with their sharp comment about the social status of those who live around the wharf area. Good on them!
    I've taken a couple of shots of this pool at sunrise, quite nice. Still in the vault at this stage...I think of you every time I see a swimming pool now, you know!

  2. In Feb this year, when Gail & I got married, we did the open bus tour & we stopped off at Woolloomooloo & had a walk around the area. We didn't see the swimming pool, but I did notice (but didn't photograph) a little diner called I think Alfie's.

  3. Thanks for your comments - oh, Nathalie that's lovely! We should meet at the cafe there one day for lunch or something.

    Gail's man - gald you had a good time. I don't know that cafe.