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‘Keep pool convenient’
8:00am Thursday 2nd August 2012 in Letters
Sir – I have lived in Oxford long enough to have seen the ice rink, the Ferry Pool and Barton Pools built and Hinksey Pools reopened, despite initial council wails about unaffordable loss-making etc — because the public campaigned for them.
But we were never told that a new facility had to be paid for in part by the loss of an existing one.
A pool at Blackbird Leys can never be a ‘citywide’ facility; keen swimmers may be willing to drive outside the ring road for special events or to train for such but most people don’t want to be competitive swimmers (although some are so motivated); parents want their children to enjoy and be safe in water; teenagers can let off surplus energy; working folk want a pool near home or workplace and open early, late and in lunch-hours; older people like me want to keep mobile, recover from illnesses and operations and stay out of the care home. And a lot of homes have been built in the Temple Cowley Pools catchment area since 1938, including retirement flats and schemes for homeless people such as Emmaus.
I can cycle to Temple Cowley Pools — I don’t envisage cycling to the Leys, nor want to spend more time on the journey than I would in the water or in the gym. Those of us who want a pool/fitness centre to remain in Temple Cowley, accessible to users from East Oxford, Florence Park, Horspath Road, Wood Farm and Rose Hill (all served by good bus services) are not seeking to deprive aspiring young swimmers of adequate pool-space — at 25m length, Temple Cowley Pool is as “Olympic” as the proposed Blackbird Leys pool — and produced one Olympic swimmer in Esme Gibb.
A fit nation, eating and exercising properly, is the best of all Olympic legacies.
Patricia Wright , Oxford