Slough Community Pool would be proud to have His Majesty King George V and her Majesty Queen Mary attend the opening.
A pool was born into the town Community, which would possess some spectacular delights, and would one day generate many future champions. From day one, the facility hit the headlines.
The first Baths Manager was Mr George William Burt, and joining him was his son Mr Charles Burt, who helped by lifeguarding in the busy times, and teaching in the quiet times. Charles was to set an example with swimming and lifesaving prowess throughout the County of Berkshire… and Nationally, including a high ratio of youth work and schools swimming.
Charles was a highly regarded consultant on all aspects of aqua sport including Mens and Ladies Water Polo.
Many National champions emerged from the pool to Charles credit, and boasted both a swimmer Sandra Keen and a diver Billy Wood representing Great Britain in the 1960 Olympic Games. In 1965, Mr Charles Burt was granted a Recognition of Services Award by Earl Mountbatten.
The pool commenced with star quality, and this was to continue over future years.
It was an interesting design in as far as it possessed large patio type openings down one full length of the pool, and was ideal for sunbathing.
331/3yards long by 10yds, it held 120,000 gallons circulating 27500 gallons per hour.
There was an attack on the 100 yards Bath record which was held by R. Randall 60-1/5secs, by M.Y. French Williams from Penguin S.C. who had represented the country in the Olympic Games 1932/36.
Prior to the war years, there had been periods of closure due to plant and roof structure faults, and an outdated chlorination system. After the war, the problems had been addressed, and the pool, having now had the patio openings blocked, – made headway once again, and, managed by Charles, more National Champions emerged. The diving boards included a 1 metre springboard and a symmetrically stepped stage up to 8 feet high. Due to bathers jumping from one side of the stage, whilst others were diving from the other, it got a little out of hand between the swimmers, therefore the solution was to remove one half of the stage!
Heating was a problem, and the temporary answer for shivering bathers was to place 8 coke stoves around the perimeter of the pool!
Water was tested by filling a pool sample bottle, then taken away to be analysed, to return results the following days. Consequently the appropriate adjustment of ph levels took place!
(Photos and history supplied by the late Mr Charles Burt Reading)
The pool was closed for 9 months whilst changing rooms were built the other side of the pool. Patrons began using other surrounding facilities, and dwindled away. Eventually, despite loyalty of those that used the pool, and many protests, the pool closed.
One of the directors of Speedwell Enterprises a Packing Company that took over the building, a past patron of the pool, explained that it was the cleanest, clearest water he’d known, but unfortunately there had been structural problems around the mid-eighties. The staff that worked there often visit for a sentimental look around.
The Community Pool survived until early 2003. During 2008 I was greeted by a drained pool. The side of the once sunshine patio windows, (before blocking), was laden and stacked with company boxes.( Speedwell Enterprises.)