The former Deep Rock Swimming Pool was about 500 yards [457 metres] above Dight’s Falls. It was there that the Deep Rock Swimming Club was established in 1906. This initial club was expanded in 1916 to incorporate a life-saving club. In 1918, John Wren, the president of the club offered the club £1000, and undertook to sponsor a patriotic carnival in March 1918, at which swimming champions would take part.
The ‘pool’ was to achieve fame as the venue for a world record-breaking ‘swallow dive’ of 205 feet 9 inches [63 metres] by ‘Prince Wickyama’, [aka Alec Wickham], a Solomon Islander. The dive from a special platform on the west side of the Yarra was reputedly viewed by between 50,000-100,000 spectators, with funds going to the State War Council. The Herald, 25 March 1918, claimed that the wide area occupied by spectators made more precise estimates impossible.
In the 1980s, the construction of the Eastern Freeway, and the consequent re-routing of the Yarra River led to the site of the Deep Rock Pool being obliterated. A small cairn and plaque on the Fairfield side of the river now marks its former site.
Very rare early photograph off the Deep Rock swimming pool. The pool and its built structures are historically and socially important to the people of Collingwood, Fairfield and Kew.
Small, faded, Gelatin Silver print positive photograph of the Deep Rock Swimming Pool situated on the Yarra at Collingwood and Fairfield. The famous diving tower is at the right of the photo. The built structures were constructed for the Deep Rock Swimming and Life Saving Club. People are sitting on the terraces above the river.
Inscriptions & markings
"Bathing Club. Deep Rock on the Yarra. Studley Park Melbourne. Please credit E.J. Thomasson Collection"