Gloucester Park swimming pool opened on April 10th, 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 in-house 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 for safety reasons 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 from December 1989 to October 1990 the diving tower was removed and the cafe resited on the
ground floor and given the name 'splash'. A fitness gym (The Pulse Fitness Centre) later opened around 1994/95 on the first floor where the cafe
once traded. During 1995 the poolside spring board was resited when a flume was
installed which came into use in late December. Years later this board was removed leaving the pool without any diving facility.
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.
Other points of interest:
(1) Kenneth S. Cotton, A.R.I.B.A., Dip., Arch.
(2) The official opening was held on June 19th with the chairman
of Basildon Council, Arthur Baron Burn performing the opening ceremony.
(2) Martin Brady, an employee of the Urban District Council's Architects Department, was responsible for the design and detail of the brick
water feature in-front of the main pool built during the creation of the boating lake around 1973.