Following on from my previous post of a tour around our town, my walk around the town ended up at the back of our soon to be opened Swimming Pool and Fitness Centre. Any of my long term readers (if any are still around that is) will recall my previous tales of our swimming pool, the history of our wait for a new one and how K and I were keeping tabs on the progress (or lack of it) of the new build. It has been completed on time, the hard hats have departed, the bright yellow fence complete with peep holes for nosy residents ( ) has long since been demolished, and it is due to open on the Monday the 25th October.
As I rounded the corner of the new Swimming Pool to continue my journey home, I was surprised to see lot’s of people entering the building. Not only that, but it appeared that staff were there ushering them inside. What was going on? Ever the nosy one, I enquired of a lady who was making her way through the doors. An open day! A chance to take a tour around the new Swimming Pool and Fitness Centre! Wow! Count me in! And not only that, I had my camera with me! Joining one of the Groups for a tour around led by a very helpful young man, I was eager to see just what we residents had all been waiting patiently for all these years. Had the long wait been worth it?
First stop was the new Teaching Pool. Aimed at non swimmers, toddlers and babies, swimming lessons for schools etc, as soon as we walked through the door, we were greeted by warmth. Our tour guide explained that they were using the latest method of keeping the water germ free, and therefore there was no need to employ tons and tons of chlorine in the water, so no dried out skin and the inevitable break out of eczema!
This pool goes up to 1.1 metres deep at this near end. Next we moved onto the big main pool which faces the back looking towards the tennis courts and the park. Wow! What a size! During the tours, they had it roped into lanes as for a swimming race, but our tour guide explained that normally the lanes would not be roped off in this way. Even the chrome handrails where we all stood gaping were heated! Luxury or what?
This is where K and I will soon be ‘dipping our toes’ into that lovely warm water! By now, I was literally walking around with my mouth open. Next, onto the changing rooms. To arrive here, you have to go back to the main entrance and they are positioned to the right hand side of the building. Again, these changing rooms were a pure delight to see. Hairdryers, different changing cubicles, some for disabled people, some for families (with baby changing mats etc) some single ones, some group one’s for schools to use. And lockers! There were rows upon rows of lockers! Wow! Showers to go through before entering the pool that work by simply standing under them, showers for when you end your swimming, I was simply gob smacked.
Our tour guide took us upstairs next to take a look at the new Fitness rooms. First of all, we looked around the Dance Studio, which is complete with a full length mirror across one wall. Aerobic classes and step classes as well as dance classes will be held in here.
Then finally we moved onto the main Training Studio. Wow! Huge televisions run alongside the walls so that you can watch TV as you work out. Every piece of equipment is state of the art and accessed with the use a a fitness key that you purchase when you have your induction, and similar to a flash drive, it contains all of your fitness regime. You will of course work closely with a fitness instructor to ascertain what type of regime you require, this will be incorporated into your own personal key which you then use to access the equipment.
The equipment at the far end even has a TV screen built in for you to watch as you exercise, and will also let you surf the internet. Some equipment was tailor made for disabled people to use. By now, my mouth was touching the floor!
Mind you the downside (there’s always one isn’t there?) of all this is the cost. Okay, you can use your Passport to Leisure which does give some respite but, for K and I to swim it will cost £2.35 each a session. So practically £5.00p in total every time we go swimming. The Exercise regime is rather harder to work out, as you can pay £24.95 a month or alternatively you can ‘pay as you go’ which I couldn’t get the grasp of to be honest with you, as to have your induction and then be issued with your fitness regime key costs £10 before you start. So all of this luxury comes at a cost. Pensioners like myself on a fixed low income, disabled people like K or the gentleman touring round in our group with difficulty walking, one could argue that we are the one’s who get the most benefit from keeping fit and exercising, yet we are often prevented from doing so by the cost of accessing it all.
However, has it been worth the wait? You bet! It beats any other swimming pool in Calderdale into fits and I can’t wait until K and I take the plunge into that gorgeous big pool as soon as it opens! I’d better get saving up!
You can all take a virtual tour yourself via a video incorporated here at http://www.joinbrighouseleisurecentre.co.uk/ Here’s an article in our local rag when the news first broke about it all. http://www.brighouseecho.co.uk/news/it_s_a_red_letter_day_for_town_s_swimmers_1_800327
And you can read all of my previous posts on the subject at http://technogran1.wordpress.com/2008/11/18/some-good-news-amongst-the-gloom/ http://technogran1.wordpress.com/2009/09/14/keeping-it-under-wraps/ http://technogran1.wordpress.com/2009/10/08/an-unusual-thursday…/ http://technogran1.wordpress.com/2009/10/18/a-reconnaissance-mission-to-the-swimming-pool-site/ http://technogran1.wordpress.com/2009/11/22/a-swimming-pool-update-for-anyone-in-the-least-bit-interested/
As for the old Swimming Baths building you can see some shots of its current state here at http://www.urbexforums.co.uk/showthread.php/7304-Brighouse-Swimming-Pool-March-2010 Its still there and still waiting to be demolished as is the old mortuary next to it and the Sugden’s Flour Silos towering over it. I do have some happy memories though of times spent there over the years and all of my three children learned to swim there.