Andrew (Boy) Charlton Pool

Find out what makes Andrew (Boy) Charlton Pool Shannan's Happy Place

We recently sat down with Shannan to find out what makes her a regular visitor to Andrew (Boy) Charlton for over 50 years.

Sun, 7 Jan 2024,
posted by City of Sydney

We had the pleasure to meet with Shannan and her husband Max. Based in Darlinghurst, Shannan is a neuroscientist, and has been swimming at Andrew (Boy) Charlton Pool since 1972.

Shannan: "My brother had a scholarship at St Mary's Cathedral so after my Mother dropped him off for his lessons, we would walk to the pool for a swim" she said.

Having been a long term patron of Andrew (Boy) Charlton Pool, she knows all about the fascinating history of one of Sydney's favourite pools.

Shannan: "Originally the pool was known as Figtree baths in the 1800s where it was predominantly a male pool. In the early 1900s, the Council built a new complex which consisted of a ladies bath called Domain Baths.

"Then in 1968 it was replaced by Andrew (Boy) Charlton Pool, named after the famous Australian Swimmer who won set five world records and won five Olympic medals.

"To me, it will always be known as "The Boy."

Shannan spends half her time in the UK which is where she met her husband in 1981.

Shannan: "Though he didn't grow up in a natural water environment like I did, Max does enjoy coming down to the pool with me on occasions, (though often it is just to have a coffee).

"There is nothing like this in the UK - we are so lucky to have so many beautiful and clean outdoor pools around the city."

When she is in Sydney, Shannan swims at the pool three to four times a week.

Shannan: "It only takes me 20 minutes to walk here from home so I usually swim first thing in the morning. It is such a lovely way to start the day.

"Having been coming here for so long, I see many wonderful people who have been swimming here for many years. Every time I visit, I always run into someone I know."

So what makes Andrew (Boy) Charlton such a happy place for Shannan?

Shannan: "I love coming here - the location, the views and the atmosphere are unbeatable. The pool is always clean, the staff are always friendly, the cafe is great, I have never encountered any issues.

"Sometimes I visit Victoria Park Pool and Cook + Phillip Park Pool but "The Boy" is still my favourite place to relax and soak up the wonderful atmosphere.

"This area is so special - nothing compares to strolling through the botanical gardens, visiting the Museum and going for a swim."

Having been a long term visitor, Shannan has seen many changes over time.

Shannan: "There were a lot of refurbishments done in the early 2000s and in 2011 which really modernised the facilities. The new design took better advantage of the stunning landscape and natural light.

"Plus the addition of a cafe by the pool is amazing - it's great to grab a coffee after a swim."

Shannan just doesn't swim, as a 360 member, she also visits Cook + Phillip Park Pool to do some weight training and use the cardio machines., which helps make her a better swimmer.

Her final comment about Andrew (Boy) Charlton Pool:

Shannan: The pool is set in such a stunning setup with the backdrop of Sydney Harbour and the Domain, nothing beats it. I wouldn't want to live anywhere else in the world."