Superseded by the Port Kembla Olympic pool.
(Image taken on 3 May 2003.)
Port Kembla, NSW, 2505, Australia
(Latitude South 34 degrees 29 minutes 02 seconds, Longitude East 150 degrees 54 minutes 54 seconds)
Extensive deposits of Aboriginal shell middens in the dunes at MM beach testify to extended use of the area.
Known by the settlers as Illawarra Farm, the Five Islands or Red Point.
A military garrison and stockade relocated from Red Point in Port Kembla to the boat harbour at Wollongong in 1829.
In 1897, the NSW Public Works Department selected Port Kembla as the most suitable deep-water port for shipping coal from the Illawarra coal mines.
The Electrolytic Refining and Smelting Company of Australia Ltd (ER&S) copper refinery and smelter set up at Port Kembla in 1907 to process the ores from Mt Lyell in Tasmania.
Metal Manufacturers Pty Ltd (a manufacturing company established by Australia copper producer Mt Morgan and Mt Lyell and its English partners British Insulated and Helsby Cables) set up in Port Kembla. MM activities included a wire factory, a telephone cable factory and tube factory. MM became a major consumer of the ER&S refined copper. MM also gave its name to the beach in front of its workshop and next door to the Port Kembla steelworks.
The site of the Fishermen’s Rock Pool may have been in use as a bathing place.
Camps for the unemployed were established behind Port Kembla’s Fishermen’s beach and Perkins Beach. The pool was the main feature on the popular beach, a gathering place for the Depression-era community at nearby Boiler Point.
The Fishermen’s Rock Pool seems to have been built by local residents. The main concrete wall is 16.6 metres north to south then continues 24.5 metres east to west towards the beach. Some large boulders were set in the outer side of the walls. The pool was later extended with two additional lower concrete walls, which form a shallow toddlers pool. A 7.3-metre concrete wall separates the toddlers pool from the main pool to the south. An anchor ring set into the concrete of the main wall at the junction between the main pool and the toddlers pool may have supported a wire rope or other temporary barrier across the toddlers pool.
Construction of the Port Kembla Olympic pool made this pool less significant as a swimming venue.
Central Illawarra Shire, North Illawarra and Bulli Shire were amalgamated with the municipality of Wollongong in 1947 to form the City of Greater Wollongong.
Measurements of air pollution taken by the NSW Department of Public Health indicated Port Kembla was one of the most polluted areas in the Southern Hemisphere. Air quality has greatly improved since the 1950s.
Fishermens Beach was considered physically safe for bathing, but polluted from the sewage works at Red Point.
Wollongong City Council earmarked the pool at Fishermens Beach at Port Kembla for removal.
Fishermens Beach and Corrimal Beach were the only two of Wollongong’s beaches that did not comply with the NSW EPA water quality guidelines for 100% of the 2001-2002 summer.
The pool no longer retained water and was in extreme disrepair, especially the northernmost wall and the dividing wall beside the shore. Its concrete walls were severely eroded, exposing coarse blue metal, beach pebbles and railway tracks used as reinforcement bars. Use of too much blue metal and too many beach pebbles had produced weak concrete. The pool site was still held in high esteem by the community, even though the pool was visited only occasionally each week.