Pool opening delayed but 75th splash is secured

Pool at hathersage. PICTURE BY PETER JONES
Pool at hathersage. PICTURE BY PETER JONES

WHATEVER the weather, a queue forms at Hathersage open-air pool when it opens for the new season, usually at the end of March.

However, swimmers will have to wait another couple of months this year for their first dip against the backdrop of the Peak District.

The 33-yard pool is being refurbished to ensure its reaches its 75th anniversary in July and to guarantee its long-term future.

Work on relining the pool cannot be carried out during cold weather, so it is being done during the low season, which means delaying the opening of the premises until May 28.

However, the season is being extended by a couple of weeks into October.

Hathersage Parish Council, which owns and manages the site, is pulling together the £80,000 for the project, which is being seen as the first phase of a programme that will eventually see the pool plant and filtration units being replaced.

“We have had to have the work done we can can open this year,” said parish clerk June Robins. “If we hadn’t had it done, it wouldn’t have opened.”

The pool, which is heated to 28°C/82°F, attracted 36,877 customers last year.

“It’s very popular, with residents, visitors and the wider community,” said June. “Everybody loves Hathersage pool.”

It opened in 1936 as a part of the King George V Memorial Field which included tennis courts, a bandstand, playing field, a sand pit and a paddling pool, financed thanks to a donation from Sheffield razor blade manufacturer George Herbert Lawrence.

He and his wife, Elsie, attended the official opening by Sir Charles Clegg on July 25,1936.

Lawrence was killed in the Sheffield Blitz after he left his Hathersage home to take food and drink to his workers at the Laurel razor blade factory.

The pool basin was retiled about 40 years ago, but every winter the frost takes its toll.

The parish council had extensive consultations last year with structural engineers and swimming pool consultants to examine a number of options to secure a long-term future for the pool.

Now that has been resolved, preparations are being made for celebrations of the 75th anniversary in July.