Hampton Pool Mike Pain reminisces about the pool and its rescue and Marshall Lees, President of Hampton Pool and Director and Trustee of Hampton Pool Trust, considers how the pool is faring now in its anniversary year
I was a pupil at
Hampton Grammar and we used to have swimming galas at the pool many years before it was heated!
But I was also the surveyor at the Property Services Agency who granted the licence on behalf of the Secretary of State for the Environment to Hampton Pool (negotiating with Tony Harris and Marshall Lees).
Before speaking with Tony I had been instructed to make sure the licence to the council was terminated and the pool filled in.
Once I heard about the group I managed to get an extension to the filling in of the pool. But due to the poor state of the pool over a number of years, I had a direct order from Michael Heseltine (the then Secretary of State) that I was only allowed a limited time for the Hampton pool group to find the necessary money and agree a new licence. This time expired and I was instructed to get the council to fill the pool in and return it to parkland.
As I supported the Pool, I gave extra time to the Group - in effect disregarding a direct order from a secretary of state, which as a civil servant wasn’t really the thing to do!
Luckily the group found the money and entered into the licence or I would have had a lot of explaining to do.
Once the licence was completed I joined the Friends of the Pool - and helped scrub the bottom of the pool and laid a lot of the turf on the grass area. Also, Sarah, my wife was on the committee shortly after it re-opened.
We were regular attendees when there was a club slot early on weekend mornings, and our kids were involved in the swimming clubs. Sarah and I also did our life-saving awards at the pool in the mid 1980s, but I seem to recall it was in the colder months as we wore wetsuits to some of the evenings!
A Remarkable Treasure on our Doorstep
The public open-air swimming pool in Hampton is a rather special Hampton community asset, which has served the Hampton area very well since 1922 and looks set to do so for many years to come. Thousands of people of all ages come to Hampton Pool each year.
The main pool is 36 metres long (most public pools are only 25 metres long), and the water temperature is a very comfortable 28ºC. There is also a learner pool, where the water is even warmer. There is a gym, sauna, sun terrace and café, and a room where pilates and yoga are taught. There are swimming lessons for all, open-air concerts, school galas, triathlons, water polo, picnics, barbecues, and other delights.
If you have not yet seen the inside of Hampton Pool for yourself, may I invite you to do so? There is no charge for looking around it, although there is the risk of being
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