Fill it! Renovated village swimming pool in Metheringham is ready for the grand reopening

The management team celebrating the refurbishment of Metheringham Pool.

BBC Radio Lincolnshire presenter Sean Dunderdale did the honors of lighting the hose to fill Metheringham Pool last Tuesday, allowing it to fill steadily, ready for reopening on Saturday and a big party on Bank Holiday Monday.

Karen Rymer is secretary of the pool committee and part of the four-person management team. She said, “Someone said, ‘Can’t you get the fire department to fill it up?’ But it’s a slow process, we have to do it slowly. If you do this too quickly, the newly grouted tiles will simply peel off the special adhesive.

The renovations were completed on August 1 and then left to dry out the lining, although they held a small groundbreaking ceremony to mark the completion.

The pool fills up regularly, ready for opening day.

The swimming pool began in 1974 when the villagers decided they wanted a place to learn to swim. It was built next to the primary school on land granted by the parish council. A band of villagers dug the hole by hand with shovels.

Karen said: ‘It was run as a community swimming pool in partnership with the county council but then passed to various committees without any serious structural work done in 47 years.’

After facing closure when the old committee feared it was too expensive to save, new volunteers joined in and it became a charity in 2019 chaired by Melanie Wright. Karen has joined too, her husband takes care of the website and their son does odd jobs. RAF Wing Commander Nicola Duncan has also joined us as an administrator and trained lifeguard and they have a committee of seven.

With the pool liner disintegrating and the filtration system leaking, they successfully applied for £36,000 in funding from the FCC’s Community Fund – landfill tax.

Karen recalled: “Then Covid hit. We postponed it until January 2022 and all the pipework was dug up and found it was much worse which meant we had to use our contingency money.

After more delays, they started chipping the old tiles in April, but found a crack in the pool liner.

“We appealed on Facebook for £5,000 but with donations and grants we ended up with | £11,000 meaning we were able to repair the crack, cover it with special mosaic tiles and replace all the old concrete slabs with resin all around the pool,” said Karine.

The project was carried out by Jonathan Hamilton and his construction company from Lincolnshire Struere UK, including the fixing of over 5,000 new tiles.

“The outpouring of support has been incredible,” Karen said. “We were in tears when the water came in.

“We are all volunteers with other jobs. Now we’re stuck in the normal pre-season stuff and we’ve revamped the website to take online bookings.

They would normally close at the end of August due to the cost of heating the pool in cooler weather, but Heath Farm Energy provided a £2,500 grant to heat the pool throughout September.

The pool opens from 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. with new lighting and offers private, parent and toddler bookings, fitness sessions and general swimming.

About Richard Chandler

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