(Image created in July 2003. Author’s own collection.)
Sited at the southern end of MacMasters Beach, this shallow formed rock pool has rails, rather than the classic pool chains. Almost twinned with the Copacabana pool to the north, even though the two communities are distinct.
Marine Parade, MacMasters Beach, NSW, 2251, Australia
(Latitude South 33 degrees 30 minutes 03 seconds, Longitude East 151 degrees 25 minutes 32 seconds)
The southernmost surf beach on the Central Coast had been named MacMasters Beach, after a Scottish family that settled at a 600-acre property in the area in 1855.
MacMasters Beach was still comparatively remote. It had one holiday home until the MacMaster property was subdivided.
There was a new direct Sydney-Newcastle main road. All trains north from Sydney stopped at Gosford and coastal steamers continued to land passengers and cargo at Gosford. By then MacMasters Beach had a park reserve and was rated as a ‘splendid site for picnicking’ or ‘erection of bungalows’, but ‘the recommended bathing place’ was in the lake, close to one part of the beach.
The MacMasters Beach Surf club formed.
Gosford Council operated a camping ground on the ocean front at MacMasters Beach.
Largely at the instigation of George Waring, president of the Progress Association, residents built a pool at the southern end of the beach, so surf club members could teach children to swim.
1960 to 1980
Over the years, the popular pool was repaired in ‘patchwork’ fashion.
The pool was rebuilt and deepened by Council.
Gosford Council assessed the MacMasters Beach rock pool as having moderate usage, a sheltered position and being suitable for young children to paddle around. It recommended retaining the pool, but providing signs stating the depth of the pool.
After the pool began to leak badly, the community began writing to Council and agitating to have the deterioration of the pool addressed. As President of the MacMasters Beach Progress Association, George Waring’s daughter, Barbara Willis, was active in the campaign.
MacMasters Beach was very much a residential and holiday-home area. It had few tourist facilities and its beach and pool were used mainly by locals and holiday-makers from Sydney.
Gosford Council deepened the MacMasters Beach rock pool so lap swimmers no longer scraped their fingers on the bottom.