The Ōamaru swimming pool was a favourite haunt of the young Janet Frame and her siblings, until Frame’s sister Myrtle drowned there in March 1937. Frame later wrote that ‘at the end of the street I passed the Town Baths and felt again, held within the dull red colour of the rows of seats and their spindly uncomfortable slats, the sense of the old glory at “being at the Baths”, and then I remembered after my sister Myrtle’s drowning, the deliberate disentangling, the excision of the baths from my life …’ (Janet Frame, The envoy from mirror city: an autobiography: volume three. Auckland: Hutchinson, 1985, p. 170.)
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