VOLUNTEERS and staff at Bourne Outdoor Pool are reflecting on a challenging season which has forced them to adapt the way they operate.
A summer of poor weather has made life challenging for the charity this summer, with visitor numbers and the income they provide dropping due to the rain.
To save money the charity had to cut the opening hours of the pool on the Abbey Lawn and reduce the water temperature by half a degree.
By introducing these measures the trust saved about £400 a week through the reduction of wages and more than £3,000 over the summer in gas bills.
Last year the pool’s operating costs were more than £42,000 and it relies on donations and the small admission charge to keep going.
The pool is one of the charities set to benefit from the BRM Celebration Day, which will be held in the town on October 7.
Chairman of the Bourne Outdoor Pool Preservation Trust, which runs the pool, Mandy Delaine-Smith said: “It has been a very difficult season but we have got through it and we will be here next year, which is the most important thing.
“I just can’t thank the public enough. The majority of our users have been very understanding of the measures we have had to take and there have been some complaints but when we explain the situation most people understand.
“Everyone knows how much their own gas bill and electricity bill has gone up so imagine how much ours is to heat a pool this size.
“We need to ensure the future of the pool. That is the most important thing.
“A pool with cut hours is better than no pool at all.”
Mrs Delaine-Smith added: “Our staff and regulars have been brilliant and on some of the really hot sunny days we have had thousands of people down at the pool.”
Events at the pool took an unexpected twist this summer when a talking penguin bin, nicknamed Percy, was stolen.
It was discovered two weeks later on the remains of the old railway bridge off Raymond Mays Way and returned to the pool after an appeal for help in The Local.
Mrs Delaine-Smith said: “I want to thank all the people who helped us return Percy.”
The pool closed for the winter on Sunday, September 2, and will reopen on May 25, 2013 for the summer season.