Bourne Outdoor Pool heatwave record joy
Bourne Outdoor Swimming Pool has had a booming record-breaking year - powered by England’s hottest-ever summer.
The 99-year-old lido - one of the biggest surviving open air pools left in the UK - has made a showstopping £15,000 profit.
Now Mandy Delaine-Smith, chairman of the pool group, has said a massive thank-you to families for packing out the venue for the last three months.
Jubilant Mandy, 53, said: “It’s just been fantastic - we have had the best year in living memory.
“We have generated about £15,000 profit.
“And that’s the first decent figure we’ve pocketed in the 20 years since I came here.”
The delighted mum-of-two said the searing heatwave making it officially England’s hottest summer since records began had made it a year to remember.
“We’ll never forget this season - it’s been an absolute scorcher.
“The sun has shone day in day out throughout June, July and August and the crowds have flocked in,” said dedicated Mandy, who lives just yards away from the historic attraction.
“We must have had up to 1,000 people pouring in some days and many thousands of visitors across the summer - they’ve done us proud.
“We are a godsend for mums and dads with kids to look after during the long school summer holidays.
“Children love coming here to play while their parents can relax with them in a totally safe environment and have a dip as well if they wish.”
Mandy, who has two daughters, Jennifer, 26, and Victoria, 20, said they boast a 48m main pool, kids’ pool and toddler fountain.
“Our big pool is just short of a 50m Olympic-sized facility.
“It’s been great to see so many kids and adults having such a fabulous time and 99% of them have left with a smile on their face,” said Mrs Delaine-Smith, a midday co-ordinator at nearby Bourne Abbey primary school.
“We really are Bourne’s hidden gem.
“As well as giving a lot of joy I want to see every child in Bourne learn to swim.
“It could be the difference between life and death.”
Needing £400 a day to break even, Mandy praised her husband Anthony, 52, and the hardcore support team.
“I couldn’t do it without them.
“They work so hard behind the scenes to keep the pool open, do essential maintenance and keep us ticking over,” said Mandy.
“We train and pay our own lifeguards on site and they do a tremendous job keeping swimmers and visitors safe.
“Rates alone cost us £1,000 and we’ve also got to fork out for chemicals, wages, water and gas as well so it’s not cheap.
“We are a charity so we have to raise our own funds and look after ourselves.”
Amazingly she confessed that despite throwing herself into keeping the historic outdoor pool afloat hook, line and sinker she cannot swim herself.
“I had a problem with nose bleeds and developed a fear of water!
“I’ve warned the lifeguards if they ever see me go in the water they’ll have to follow me in,” joked Mandy.
“But it gives me such a huge thrill to see everyone else loving it and enjoying themselves.
“We closed on September 1 and it’s been the summer of a lifetime.”
The pool stretches back to 1919 when keen swimmers converted an old monks fishpond after the Great War.