TODAY we go back more than a century to a swimming class at the old Freckleton Street Baths, in Blackburn.

It was the era of full length swimming costumes for gentlemen, and tie on cotton trunks that were provided by the council, for the young school pupils.

This risky swim wear was still being provided 20 and 30 years later and several readers have told how easily they came undone, especially if they did a particularly energetic dive into the water.

It seems the lads did not have individual changing rooms, but got changed on the balcony, hanging their outdoor clothing on pegs on the wall.

And there is a large notice, which tells bathers to wash themselves in the slipper baths before taking to the water.

These 60 young lads received their instruction from Harry Ward, on the right, who obviously shouted out his lessons from the side.

He was a top open-water swimmer in the 1900s and was often seen training in Queen's Park lake, for the popular mile races which took place in local rivers.

Freckleton Street baths opened in 1868 with a 60ft pool, as well as 40 private baths - welcome in the days when many terraced homes were lucky to have one cold tap.