If Captain Thunderbolt had scrambled ashore 19 years later, he would have noticed a new addition to the point: Balmain's new tidal baths. For the first year of the baths' existence they were named after their location at White Horse Point. In 1883 they were renamed the Elkington Park Baths after the park above, which honours a former Balmain mayor. Also known as the Corporation Baths, in 1964 they were renamed after local champion Dawn Fraser, who learnt to swim there.
We were just missing the novelty events that were a feature of the start of the season carnival during the last two decades of the 19th century. As well as a 'handicap race of 750 yards for all comers', club members could join in events like 'hands-tied behind the back', 'swimming in clothes', 'diving for objects' and 'underwater distance diving'. There was also a 'smokers' race' and the annual duck hunt involving swimmers catching ducks released in the pool.
Renovated and heritage-listed in the 1990s, in recent years the Dawn Fraser Baths have returned to their glory days. They survived many years being surrounded by heavy industry, polluted waters and threats of closure. They have emerged with a new lease of life into an era when the harbour's waters are cleaner than ever; when art exhibitions and film festivals have replaced ship-building, prisons and industrial schools for girls on nearby Cockatoo Island.