Save our Swimming! But can we have our goggles back?

First published in News by

We are, I'll freely admit, relative newcomers to the delights of regular swimming sessions at Bingley pool. We've been going for about six weeks now, in a bid to encourage our children Charlie and Alice to actually learn to swim, but really to help me shift some belly-weight in time for summer.

No, that's not the real reason at all. Children have to learn to swim, everyone knows that. Because you never can tell when they might fall into a river or down a manhole. Children are attracted to water, because Rolf Harris told us so, in that advert at the swimming pool where he fell into the water surrounded by dozens of yelling tweenies, just after imparting that sage wisdom: "Kids and water. They love it."

So. Bingley pool. Very nice it is, too (although the showers could probably handle a couple of coathooks or something to hang your towel on while you use them. Just a suggestion).

Then we go and learn that Bradford Council is thinking of closing it down. Oh, woe, we cried. Why, just when we were learning to love the place?

The people who use Bingley pool and, presumably, the other ones on the hit list, are quite happy with the facilities. We don't want water slides and Olympic-sized pools, family-sized dryers you stand in or lockers that require a fifty pee piece.

Big, all-singing and dancing "leisure facilities" are no good for learning to swim in. They're good for having a laugh or chatting up girls or bombing off the first stage, but when it comes to just, y'know, swimming, then nothing does the job like a big rectangle filled with water.

In our six weeks of visiting, we haven't had a complaint about Bingley Pool. Up to yesterday, when we left Alice's pink goggles on the side and someone picked them up. Presumably by mistake, because only nice people go to Bingley Pool. With a bit of luck we'll get them back next week.

And with a bit of common sense, Bradford Council will leave this great little pool open.


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