THE city’s last surviving outdoor swimming pool is to go out with a splash on Sunday.
After almost half a century of hosting happy, sometimes shivering bathers, the Wolverton site is to be bulldozed to make way for a state-of-the-art indoor pool.
The £7.5 million structure, which will take 18 months to build, will house a 25 metre pool, a learners’ area and a gym.
But before the bulldozers move in, manager Matthew Leeder is inviting local people to make waves with a giant swansong swim session.
“So many people have happy memories of days spent at Wolverton swimming pool.
“It would be lovely if they all came to say goodbye,” he said.
“It will be a sad day because the pool as it is means so much to so many people.
“But it will also be a happy one because we are getting a brilliant new pool that can be used all year round.”
Matthew, who has managed the site for the past 18 years, admits to being obsessive about weather forecasts during the pool’s 16 week open season between May and September each year.
“I spend the whole time with one eye on the sky and one on the weather forecast!
“A sunny day means hundreds of people through the doors and a cold day means a handful,” he said.
The record-breaking crowd came one exceptionally hot day in 2009, when 2,000 people crammed through the doors.
“If the weather is good, then we’ve regularly had 1,000 people on the site and 400 more queuing outside to get in,” said Matthew.
But limited numbers on bad days, combined with the short opening season, meant the pool has been under threat for years.
The building work will be financed by Milton Keynes Council but afterwards the facility will continue to be run by the Wolverton and Watling Way Pools Trust.
Anybody wishing to don their costume to join the official farewell on Sunday can turn up any time between 10.30am and 6pm.
Said Matthew: “The weather forecast, so far, is quite good. Although – as anyone connected with Wolverton Pool will know – you never can tell!”