Swindon Coate Water Diving Boards above. All that remains agj 2011
Swindon Coate Water was originally built as a reservoir by the Wilts and Berks Canal Company.
Mammoth crowds flocked to Swindon’s “Lido” opening.
The Diving Boards were a remarkable structure and became a great asset, attracting important diving events.
National Diver Miss Cicely Cousens gave a demonstration of “fancy” diving and was followed with exhibitions from Les and Bram Tomkins, S.A. Nash and F.Scott.
Ladies, Men’s and Girls Western Counties Diving titles were held by Coate Amateur Swimming Club, and the club became distinguished by having Cicely placed third in the Ladies British Empire Games.
Coate was the first provincial club in the country to boast a further achievement of Cicely gaining Ladies National Diving Championship of England 1935/36.
The end of an era came in 1952, when swimming was forbidden in Swindon Coate Water, due to pollution of the lake from Chiseldon’s Sewage Works.
There were various suggestions for the diving stage. Some were – “turn it into a cascading waterfall, clean the lake up, or “Blow it up”.
Other ideas included – paint it and add ornamental lights, or deck it with flowers. None of these public suggestions materialised.
The diving tower remains standing proud, patched up here and there, painted, and provides a perfect home for wildlife. I believe it has now secured a Heritage Listing.
The lake is a tranquil calm setting, just right for reminiscing, and relaxing. This nature reserve is an active centre for ramblers, bird spotters, and study. There is a small cafe situated on the lakeside, providing various refreshments and beverages.
Each year there is a lantern carnival with the local school children taking part.
The lantern lights flickering across the water are breathtaking.