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Page last updated at 15:11 GMT, Wednesday, 17 February 2010
Plymouth Hoe diving board takes a nosedive
By Laura Joint
BBC Devon

Archive photo of Plymouth diving board
The diving board pictured during its heyday

The Plymouth Hoe diving board - one of the city's iconic landmarks - has been dismantled because of safety fears.

The diving board - a huge, Heath Robinson-style construction - was built in the 1930s.

Together with Plymouth Pier and Tinside Lido, it was used as a gathering place for bathers before the war.

But it has now gone the same way as the much-missed pier, which was lost during the Luftwaffe's bombing of Plymouth during the war.

A lady diving off the Hoe in the 1930s
A lady diving off the Hoe in the 1930s

On 17 February 2010, contractors moved in to dismantle and remove the rusty remnants of the diving board, which has been caged off to the public for safety reasons since 2003.

The mesh caging was being ignored by some people who continued to climb the structure and in 2009, a 15-year-old boy was seriously injured when he fell from the board.

With a lifeguard and security bill of an estimated £100,000, Plymouth City Council decided to remove the board completely.

The loss of the landmark has been met with disappointment by some locals, including Plymouth historian Chris Robinson.

"For some reason there aren't many archive photos around of the diving board, which is a real shame," said Chris.

Plymouth Pier
Swimmers would also dive off Plymouth Pier

"In the years before the war, there was the pier, the diving board and a long slide.

"Swimmers would meet at the pier and many dived off the pier as well.

"It seems so ironic that Plymouth has a world champion diver in Tom Daley, but is losing its diving board."

* Two images on this page are from the Roy Westlake Collection and are supplied by the Plymouth Barbican Association South West Image Bank.

The photo of the lady diving from the Hoe in the 1930s is from the book and DVD, Plymouth in the Twenties and Thirties by Chris Robinson.




SEE ALSO
In pictures: Photos of Plymouth
09 Feb 10 |  People & Places
Smeaton's Tower through the ages
13 Oct 09 |  History
A-Z of Devon history
08 Oct 09 |  History
In pictures: Tom Daley
07 Dec 09 |  People & Places
'Unsafe' diving platform removed
17 Feb 10 |  Devon


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