Buttercross, May 29, 2015: Swaffham needs its own swimming pool

editorial image

There has been a fair amount of comment recently over the further efforts to have a swimming pool constructed in Swaffham.

Coincidentally I noted in a recent edition of the Lynn News that it was some 50 years ago that a town close to us had their new open air pool opened to the public.

It was made possible by the efforts of their two local councils. The pool was opened by the chairman of the Norfolk County Council who congratulated all concerned over their efforts. It was estimated that some 1500 children would use the pool each week, together obviously with a lot of adults.

The cost was some £25000, a great deal of money at that time, and no doubt comparable with the £1.5 million it is estimated that our pool would cost today.

Comment has been made over the advisability of having an open air pool but cost must be factor here and certainly Beccles open air pool, or lido, is extremely well used through the summer months and is profitable. We can expect the same surely.

It is extraordinary that, after all these years, we are still struggling to get our first public pool, and even now it is taking an effort by townspeople, and them alone, to get a scheme going. I have commented previously on how our councils treat Swaffham sport appallingly.

Many people have commented on the drawbacks of having the pool, should it arrive, on a site beside the A1065, a road already becoming overloaded at certain times.

Also, the site is well out of town and a fair walk from the centre. A better site has been suggested, to the south end of the Antinghams, over the fence and adjacent to the community centre.

A car park will be required and this could be accessed from the old A47, or Pickenham roads. This would provide further car parking in the area and might even reduce traffic presently using Beech Close. It is also very central to the town.

The local farm owning this land has supported other town sport and might be amenable to some deal here.

Our young people deserve a pool. I recall how I was lucky enough to have a pool available to me to learn to swim at a young age and what a benefit that was, with me being lucky enough to go on to swim for our county in a gala at Romford. Happy days indeed.