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Murky pool was filled with river water

By Toby Neal | Nostalgia | Published:

The picture we used the other day showing Market Drayton's outdoor pool has prompted Jenny Leese to get in touch with some memories of swimming lessons in the cold and murky water, which was taken direct from the nearby river.

Children from Mount Lane Junior School on the diving board at Market Drayton's old outdoor pool

Jenny, nee Jennifer Walley, was a pupil at Mount Lane School, on top of the bank behind the pool, which eventually closed in 1994 and was replaced by a new indoor pool on the same site.

"We had to go up and down the 'Tup' steps - 100 - to visit the pool. As a child I remember the swimming lessons on Saturday morning, in the murky cold water!" says Jenny.

"Later, a filtration system was installed and a revolutionary heating system which took heat from the river water to heat the pool. I remember the Bickley family who were caretakers of the pool and the O'Malley family that provided refreshments from the chalet.

"At some time a Channel swimmer, Mr Pickering, used the pool for practice and gave me some swimming lessons. I remember the tall diving board and the two spring boards. I had a season ticket every year and spent most of my school summer holidays at the pool.

"Later my sister Elizabeth, who is eight years younger than me, helped with the refreshments in the café.

"In the 1970s and 1980s I took my own children to the pool which then had a children's slide. I still live in North Shropshire and was sorry to see the pool go."

Toby Neal

By Toby Neal
Feature Writer

A journalist in Shropshire for 40 years, mainly writes features and columns, especially about aspects of Shropshire history. Lives in Telford and is based at the Ketley headquarters.

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