This art deco Pool is the only functioning 55 yards filtered heated sea water open air facility known to survive in the United Kingdom. It was first opened by local public subscription in June 1934, when the townsfolk showed remarkable foresight in building it to full Olympic standards. Massively patronised from the 30's to the 70's with attendance figures reaching 65,000 annually, its popularity dwindled in the 80's as people tended to seek holidays abroad. With attendances dropping to under 15,000 and its fabric showing its age, its was earmarked for closure by the Council in 1994. This threat, however, saw the formation of the "Friends of the Pool", a local conservation body dedicated to saving it.

Following several years of often tough negotiation, closure was avoided via the adoption of a mutually agreed strategy whereby the Council provides an annual capital budget, plant operation and qualified life guard staffing, whilst the Friends contribute through fundraising activities and marketing skills, and provide a group of enthusiastic volunteers who maintain, upgrade, refurbish and decorate the pool and its surrounds each Spring in advance of its summer season.

The complete renovation of the pool in vivid cheerful art-deco colours and the implementation of various other improvements including a replacement water chute, sun awnings, five column floodlights, thermal pool covers and marketing initiatives such as sponsorships and the creation of this website, saw annual attendances stage a dramatic recovery, now heading towards 40,000. The success of the relationship was recognised in May 2000 when the Friends and the Council entered into a welcome Formal Partnership to assure the pool's long-term future. The pool provides great pleasure for locals and visitors of all ages, from infants to pensioners.
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By: kjfitz


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