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Burton Latimer Swimming Pool

Burton Latimer Swimming Pool in Polwell lane - shortly after its opening in the very early 1930s
Burton Latimer's Swimming Pool in Polwell Lane.
This photograph must have been taken soon after it was opened, because there are fewer cubicles than in other photos.

Burton Latimer Swimming Pool (also known as the Lido) opened in the early 1930s. It was situated on the western side of Polwell Lane on a site owned by Thomas E Gray Ltd, who also owned the pits on the eastern side of the road.

Three boys enjoy themselves by the pool

The Pool in the 1930s. In the photo of the boys (left), one of them is assumed to be Jack Long, who was killed in action in France in the 1940s. Can you identify him or any of the others?
Burton Latimer Swiiming Pool. sometime in the mid-1930s.  The number of cubicles has been increased from the original ones shown in the photo at the top of the page
Burton Latimer Swiiming Pool. sometime in the mid-1930s.

Reg Long, who was billeted at Burton with the Inns of Court Regiment,
remembers the leisure use of the pool, even in wartime:

"We must not forget the private swimming pool placed at our disposal by its owner Mr Gray. Its cool willow- and rose-fringed waters were a source of infinite refreshment after hard, hot days of work."

Burton Lido in the late 1930s

As can be seen from the period photographs the pool was very popular, but after the building of the Sterling Metals munitions factory (later Alumasc) and the Brooklands Aviation aircraft repair factory in 1943 during the Second World War, the Lido was commandeered for use as a static water tank by the Auxiliary Fire Service in case the nearby factories were attacked.

It fell into disrepair after the war and a Weetabix warehouse now stands on the site.

The 1970s

The desire for a swimming pool in Burton did not however disappear along with the Lido. This article from a local paper, published on September 30th 1978, shows that hopes for a pool were still being cherished:

Sport group in new pool plan

1978 - and the foundations are laid for the new sports pavilion in Polwell Lane
The foundations of the pavilion being built by
Latimer Sports Association

A sports group has appealed for volunteer helpers and money to boost its facilities.Sport for all in Burton Latimer is the aim of the Latimer Sports Association.The group was set up five years ago to provide facilities for the town’s sports enthusiasts. Hard work has led to the provision of two football pitches and a cricket square on the nine acre site rented by the association.Members are now in the process of building a pavilion in the field, which lies behind the Alumasc car park in Polwell Lane .The association’s next major project is the building of a swimming pool, but there is a desperate need for money and volunteer help to enable the schemes to go ahead.An all-female committee has been set up to organize the fund for the pool.“Women are much more dependable than men at this sort of thing,” explained association secretary Mr. Roger Patrick.“We want as many sporting activities as possible to take on this land and we are interested in hearing from anyone interested in any particular sport.”He added: “What we need at the moment is money and volunteer helpers prepared to give us a hand in building up the complex.The association has so far spent in excess of £6,000, which has been raised by fund-raising events and voluntary subscriptions.Anyone interested in getting in the projects should contact Mr. Patrick at 23, Meeting Lane , Burton Latimer.

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