June 8, 2022 7.00 am

“We’re not going to be beaten by this”: Community try to save Metheringham Swimming Pool

A further £2k is needed to keep it open

A swimming pool in Metheringham built by the community and which has been part of the village for nearly 50 years is under threat of closure and local volunteers who run it are determined to raise enough funds to keep it open.

Metheringham Swimming Pool opened in 1975 and generations of youngsters have learnt how to swim there. The team behind the facility in Metheringham, which is usually open between May and September, is working hard to keep it afloat, but needs to raise around a further £2,000 to secure its future.

The facility is run by a charity called Metheringham Swimming Pool Committee, which is headed by four trustees, and all the staff are volunteers except for the paid lifeguards. The team also includes volunteers who have used the facility since the very beginning, including Ros & Paul Treadwell.

The pool in happier times.

The pool is in the middle of a major refurbishment thanks to a grant from the FCC Communities Foundation, and the works were due to be completed by the end of June.

However, the tiling phase of the project was halted when a historic crack in the pool was found to be worse than originally realised, and now an additional £5,000 in funding is needed to move ahead with the repairs.

Around £2,800 has so far been raised and the remaining funding is needed by June 17 or the charity could lose the original promised grant money and face potential closure – make a donation here to help save the pool.

A crack was found that caused the refurb works to be paused. | Photo: Carl Bradley

Swim England said last year that 2,000 community swimming pools could close by the end of the decade, which means an uncertain future for facilities like Metheringham, but the charity who run it are determined to stay positive.

Karen Rymer, the committee’s secretary who has been a resident of Metheringham for 20 years, has been overwhelmed by the public’s support and still feels hopeful that, along with her team, they can keep the much-loved village swimming pool open.

She told The Lincolnite: “The response we have had after doing our Facebook appeal has been overwhelming. Going from despair to all these people putting their hands in their pockets has made us emotional at times.

“A woman from Sheffield donated £1,000 after seeing it on Calendar as she was upset at the thought of a community pool closing. It proves that community spirit has come together to help.

“The pool is used by the local school and during COVID lots of people used us as an open space. Babies to 90-year-olds have been using it and people part of the original crew who helped to build it use it.

“If you’d asked me a week ago (whether it would stay open) I would’ve said no, but I now feel a lot more optimistic about being able to do it. We’re not going to be beaten by this.”

She added that the parish council still offer good support and has donated financially in the past, but the charity wants to move forward independently to secure its future.

Metheringham Swimming Pool Committee Chair Mel Wright helping with refurb works.

Committee member Claire Finney added: “The residents of the village raised funds and laid bricks to build it in the 1970s and it was very much a community project, and we need to get it repaired to keep it open.

“I want to be ever the optimist and want us to survive, if we keep pushing to keep it going.”

The pool was previously saved from closure in 2016 after Metheringham Parish Council donated £6,000, which helped to pay for a boiler to be repaired. They also provided £5,000 in partnership funding in 2020 to get the Wren FCC Communities Fund grant.

Money was also going to be used to improve the disabled facilities, but is now having to be used for the major refurb works.

Metheringham Swimming Pool Committee volunteer Ros Treadwell diving into the water in 1977. | Photo: Ros Treadwell

Volunteers Ros & Paul Treadwell still volunteer at the pool today and are pictured here cutting the hedge.

A definitive date is not yet known for when the pool will reopen but the charity hopes it will be by August.

Suzanne from Sheffield who generously donated £1,000 told the Metheringham Swimming Pool Committee: “I saw the local news the other night and saw the article about your pool.

“I love swimming, it’s so good for both physical and mental health. The thought of a village pool having to close really saddened me, what an amazing facility for a village to have. Plus, its so important for children to learn to swim and be confident in the water, it could save their life one day.

“I very rarely watch Calendar but I did on Monday, I felt it was meant to be.”

Around £2,800 has so far been raised and the remaining funding is needed by June 17 or the charity could lose the original promised grant money and face potential closure – make a donation here to help save the pool.