Urgent appeal for volunteers to get Bourne Outdoor Pool ready to open
Volunteers are urgently being sought to help get Bourne Outdoor Pool revamped in time for the summer season.
The pool, in the Abbey Lawn, Bourne, is due to open its doors to the public in May - but there is still a huge amount of weeding, cleaning and painting work to be done.
Mandy Delaine-Smith, chairman of the charity which runs the pool, said recruiting volunteers has been a real struggle this year and the pool’s opening could be delayed or even cancelled entirely if help is not forthcoming.
She said: “People don’t always realise quite how much work is required to get the pool up to standard each year.
“There’s a lot of weeding and general tidying up to be done and we haven’t yet started the process of draining the pool before it is repainted, by hand.
“If anyone could spare us some time to come along and help out we would be absolutely delighted and they’d get a warm welcome.”
In previous years the trust has managed to arrange some help from offenders carrying out unpaid work as part of the community payback scheme, but an internal reorganisation has meant repeating that in 2016 has proven difficult to organise.
Tidy up sessions are being held every Saturday from April 2 until the pool is due to open at the end of May.
Anyone who would like to help out is encouraged to meet at the back entrance from 9.30am onwards.
Mrs Delaine-Smith said a combination of unpredictable summer weather and rising energy bills saw the pool make a loss of around £5,000 last year.
She added: “Obviously, the pool is a lot busier when it’s warm and sunny, but in 2015 the weather wasn’t very kind to us.
“We decided to raise the temperature of the pool after criticism it was too cold, but that meant our energy bills rose significantly and, sadly, we didn’t take enough money to cover it.”
Bourne Outdoor Pool was founded in 1919 when the historic fish pond, which dates back to 1138, was converted into a pool by keen local swimmers.
Lifeguard wages, gas, electricity, chemicals, water, insurance and rates see the pool’s running costs exceed £36,000 every year.
To ensure it continues to be enjoyed by future generations, the charity is hoping to see lots of people visiting the pool this year.
Mrs Delaine-Smith added: “We are really keen to see the pool thriving but we won’t be able to go on forever if people don’t come and enjoy it.”
Anyone wishing to offer support, or to suggest fundraising ideas, should e-mail enquiries@bourne outdoorswimmingpool.org