Hitchin to celebrate 80 years of its outdoor swimming pool tomorrow

Swimming at Hitchin's outdoor pool back in 1938. Picture: NHDC

Swimming at Hitchin's outdoor pool back in 1938. Picture: NHDC - Credit: Archant

Hitchin’s outdoor swimming pool is to mark 80 years tomorrow with a day of fun for young and old.

Swimming at Hitchin's outdoor pool in 2013. Picture: Harry Hubbard

Swimming at Hitchin's outdoor pool in 2013. Picture: Harry Hubbard - Credit: Archant

The pool had two official openings in 1938 – the first on April 30 that year, and the second on July 2 with the Lord-Lieutenant of Hertfordshire.

North Hertfordshire District Council and swimming centre operators Stevenage Leisure Ltd will celebrate tomorrow with baby fun, a pirate-themed show and more.

Councillor David Barnard, who is responsible for leisure at the district council, said: “Hitchin Swimming Centre has had 80 tremendous years. It’s at the heart of the community – and what better way to celebrate that than with some free, fun activities for everyone to enjoy?”

Stevenage Leisure managing director Ian Morton added: “We look forward to seeing you all on Saturday. The weather is set to be fair, and you can see for yourself why the pool is still so popular – even after 80 years.”

Children with paying adults get in all day free of charge tomorrow.

There will be baby fun in the indoor pool from 10am to 12 noon, with an eliminator event following from 1pm to 4pm.

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In the outdoor pool, there will be a fun session from 11am to 1pm, and then Imajica Theatre’s Raggle Taggle Pirates show.

Those celebrating the 80-year landmark with fond memories include Hitchin Bearton Labour councillor Judi Billing. She spent countless hours at the pool as a young mum with her then-baby daughter Zoë, who is now the best-selling author Zoë Folbigg.

Judi told the Comet: I think it’s absolutely marvellous that Hitchin outdoor pool is celebrating 80 years of bringing such joy to Hitchin families on those precious sunny summer days. It was there long before the indoor pool was even dreamt of.

“We’ve had lots of sunshine this summer so far. My happiest memories at the pool were in 1976, another epic summer, when I spent most of my time there with my new baby Zoë. How marvellous that she is still able to go there with her own small sons!

“So, while I can’t claim to remember the pool for all of its 80 years, I’ve been going for well over half that time!”

The indoor pool next to the 1938 open-air lido was opened in 1991.

To find out more, look up Hitchin Swimming Centre on Facebook.

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