Memories of Gosport Swimming Pool

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My name is Bonnie, and I was brought up in Gosport. My parents still live in the same house in Bridgemary.

Back in the summer of the 70's my mum would pack some lunches for my older brother and I, she would give us both our bus fare, and money to get into the Gosport Swimming baths.

More often than not my brother and I would be first  in the queue with our towels wrapped up under our arms waiting for the doors to  open and we would not leave until the doors were closing.

I remember the old bus station and near the ferry  (I think) used to be this little wooden hut or shed type thing that sold sweets  and my brother would buy me a cola pop lolly before we got onto the double  decker bus to take us back home.

I have many great memories of our days spent within  the walls of the swimming pool, how we used to clamber over the side of the  fountain and stand underneath it.........Christ it was cold! but good fun.

My first ever boyfriend said to me one day that if  I was brave enough to jump off of the top diving board he would but me my first  ever identity bracelet.........well who could refuse that eh? I was only about  4ft 9" then and I remember how high each of the diving boards were for me to  clamber up there. But none the less I done it absolutely petrified, I was  worried sick that I might land on someone's head, so with a deep breath and my  little knees shaking for all there life ........I jumped!! I remember my little  toes gently touching the very bottom of the deepest end of this pool and  springing me gently back up to the surface. Beaming from ear to ear and shouting  to my boyfriend when do I get my bracelet? Tomorrow he answered, and that's what  we done the very next day before heading back off to the pool to spend yet  another wonderful day there.

And now/............as with most things in Gosport  it is no longer there. What a shame, I have lived away from Gosport now for the  last 11 years but I am returning hopefully some time this year .......no place like home eh.

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Have just been reading Bonnies memories of the swimming baths. I now  live in Australia (Western Australia) and I discovered this Gosport site  two nights ago. What a blast from the past!! I remember going down to  the pool with my friend Christine Privett, she lived at 49 Sydney (or  Sidney) road, I lived in Kings Road. We both went to Stone Lane School,  we sort of lost touch when I went to Central school and she attended  Privett School. I remember the waterfall near the toddlers pool, we used  to splash around in that before jumping in the big pool. Yes Bonnie, it  was always cold and there was always a chill wind blowing., we used to  sit up on the 'seats' above the change rooms, and freeze to death  (almost). I remember getting changed one day, and the change door burst  open and I was slapped and punched by two girls who accused me of  stepping on their mothers toes when I got out of the pool (if I had done  so I would have apologised), I was so upset and cried all the way home  (I was about 8 or 9 years old at the time). Both Christine Privett and I  couldn't swim properly but were able to dog paddle all over the place,  when we tired, we would hang on to the safety rail and rest. I remember  going one evening to the pool as there was a beauty contest of sorts, I  remember the lady who won it wore a red dress with white spots on. I am  now 63 and often wonder where the time has gone. My name was Wendy  Stevens, (now Atkins), if the "kids" from Central are having their  re-union in July this year, let me have a contact  email, and will send  a message, that is if anyone remembers me, I remember Ann Smith, Sue  Hoskins and Jill Osgood to name a few. Wendy (17/02/08)

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