Tying the knot at Bath’s Cleveland Pools.

The wedding party for the ceremony at Cleveland Pools. Photo © Sally Helvey
The wedding party for the ceremony at Cleveland Pools. Photo © Sally Helvey
The wedding party for the ceremony at Cleveland Pools. Click on images to make bigger. Photo © Sally Helvey

Fresh from success in securing HLF funding to confirm its future restoration – Bath’s Cleveland Pools has been helping a young couple celebrate their  marriage.  

This hidden gem – beside the River Avon at Bathwick – includes the only Georgian open air swimming pool in existence.

Polly Cassidy and her fiancé Richard Jones first visited the site during a Heritage Open Day and were ‘knocked out’ by what they saw.

The couple – Polly told me – were looking for somewhere different to include in their marriage celebrations – and this rather ‘odd, tucked away, outdoor’ complex fitted the bill perfectly.

Polly – who is a charity worker – and Richard – a computer systems developer – had their civil ceremony  at Bath’s Guildhall but the real fun started when they arrived at the Cleveland Pools by rowing boat.  

Watched by family and friends they took part in a ‘hand-fasting’ ceremony – an old English custom says Polly – and a symbolic act of tying a marrying couple’s hands together with a ribbon.

The happy couple posing for photographs. Photo © Sally Helvey
The happy couple posing for photographs. Photo © Sally Helvey

 Polly tells me she will be wearing a blue and silver 1950’s styled dress which she chose deliberately so she can wear it again.

They were also  hoping for fine weather, and it stayed dry until they were leaving for the reception at the nearby New Oriel Hall.

Polly and Richard’s river-bank arrival is also a symbolic sign of bigger things to come. Next year the Cleveland Pools Trust plan to install a floating pontoon to connect with river traffic.

The Trust is also keen to be put on the Bath and North East Somerset Council list of wedding venues and will be looking into getting a licence to perform civic wedding ceremonies at the Pools.