When news happens get involved. Send your pictures, views and video to us by text and email
Remembering the old swimming pool just beyond Grey’s Bridge, Dorchester
2:09pm Tuesday 31st July 2012 in Looking Back
JUST when a story seems to have gone as far as it can, more details have a habit of coming forward.
Dorchester correspondent Cyril Trellis has been in touch about the old swimming pool just beyond Grey’s Bridge.
The site first came to our attention when John Broad asked readers to confirm the pool’s existence because his grandchildren didn’t believe it was ever there.
But former Colliton Street School pupil Cyril has very vivid memories of visiting it.
He said: “We used to call the area Ten Hatches because the river had 10 hatches that were opened to let the water flood onto the meadows when necessary.
“I used to swim there – everyone from Dorchester would swim there during the summer. It was lovely because you could lie out on the grass verges in the sun.
“I think it was eventually abandoned because when it was hot the cows used to wander off the fields and into the river and then there was an outbreak of polio. They closed it down.”
The caretakers of the pool were a Jack Swyre, who lived in Fordington and Fred Pugh who was a postman.
Cyril added: “If you look at the picture you can see the place where the diving board was. The pool was five feet deep but I remember one chap, called Lorton I think, diving in and hitting his head on the bottom. He was all right though.”
Cyril also thinks that during the war, money was collected together and eventually given to a fund for a ‘proper’ town swimming pool. Does anyone know any more about this?
Joan Clarke of Weymouth has also written to us about the pool.
She says: “Dorchester’s swimming baths certainly did exist. I was a pupil at Maud Road Girls School and can remember walking in a small group from our school to the swimming baths in London Road. It was a long way but well worth it.
“There were two teachers, Miss Dugall and Miss Clarke.”