Gloucester Park Swimming Pool|
Gloucester Park swimming pool was officially opened
on June 19th 1968 at a cost of £500,000. The main pool was built to championship size (33⅓ x 12½m) with a
depth of 12½ft. It was designed by Basildon Council architect Kenneth Cotton* and the main
contractor was Norman Sinclair Ltd. There was much debate in the years prior to opening as to
the dimensions of the pool - International or Championship size, with cost being the central
An original feature was the 2 storey diving tower and the poolside spring
board. The centre board or 'second board' as it became known was fitted with a spring
board though 'top board' remained a platform until closure during the 1980s. It was the diving
area that accounted for the buildings sloping roof. Other features of
the building include a teaching pool, first floor cafe and a spectator gallery.
Admission prices from winter 1968 were: Monday - Friday, Adults: 2/6 (12½p), Juniors: 1/- (5p) and
Weekends and Bank Holidays: Adults: 3/- (15p), Juniors: 1/6 (7½p). Spectator: 6d (2½p).
an extensive refurbishment in 1989/1990 the diving tower was removed and the cafe resited on the
ground floor. During 1995 the poolside diving board was resited when a flume was
installed. Years later it was removed leaving the pool without any diving facility. A fitness
gym (The Pulse Fitness Centre) later opened on the 1st floor where the cafe once traded.
Many additional activities take place within the building
and these have included a creche, sauna, solarium and sun booths/beds. Gloucester Park was
also home to two swimming clubs; Basildon and Phoenix, who regularly participated in competitions
In 2005 the swimming pools long term future was thrown into doubt when plans
to build a 'centre of sporting excellence' to include a 50m International size pool at the
northern end of Gloucester Park were announced. This would later become known as the
"Sporting Village" when, following approval, construction got underway in 2009 and Gloucester
Park swimming pool closed on Sunday 24th April, 2011. The Sporting Village opened on Saturday
30th April, 2011.
Text researched and written 2002 with revisions 2002-2006,2011.
Copyright © 2002-2006,2011, B. Cox - Basildon History Online. All rights reserved.
Other points of interest.
(1) Kenneth S. Cotton, A.R.I.B.A., Dip., Arch.
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