In the Kind of World Where we belong
When I was little this pool was my world.
When I was this size, it was a family outing.
A little larger, and it was a free for all with friends.
In those days there was not the requirement for constant parental supervision (well to be honest there probably was, and in some circumstances a necessity), and we were left to our own devices to get on with fun and playing.
Going home time was designated by the going down of the sun; we loved the summers. You could play til 10 PM.
On the first day of the summer holidays we would run to the Swimming Pool, hoping to be first in the queue, or at least in the first twenty to get one of those Summer passes with a low number.
Once you had that summer pass, that Pool was home from home. The earlier you turned up, the longer your days. The more pool you had to yourself.
There were Boys and Girls changing rooms at opposite ends of the pool, and pool attendants who issued baskets. Great big metal hanging baskets for you to pile your belongings.
It was an outdoor pool; temperature average about 18 degrees celsius (if we were lucky); if it rained, even better. No holiday makers, and the water felt warmer.
There was a sundeck where we would pile up when the sun shone; and it did seem to shine more in those days. The tar on the sun balcony would heat up and stick to your feet, and burn like crazy.
There were three slides, small, medium and large. They were wooden. Probably the original slides when the pool opened in the 30's. The little one was replaced as was the large one in my time, but the middle one was taken away.
There was a spring board on one end, and a diving board section at the opposite end. I never, ever, ever did the top board. It was as high as the sun deck.
However amazing our days, were in the swimming pool, leaving was always a drag. Getting dried took for ever, clothes stuck to you. My curly hair was bedraggled and tangled and I knew it would be agony to fix.
We chittered all the way upstairs to the cafe, where 12p in the machine would get us a hot chocolate, which would burn our fingers and we'd spill most of it before we got to the front door.
As we left through the massive clunking turnstiles, the ladies who had sat at the ticket office all day, would be inside, helping to shut down for the night, and we would shout our goodbyes to a dark echo'y entrance... and bounce off the water, and our last glance of the night would always be the water glistening in the evening sky.