The volunteers who run Metheringham Swimming Pool have been overwhelmed with donations and the support of the local community as they prepare to reopen the much-loved facility later this month.
The heated outdoor swimming pool was built by the community and has been part of the village for nearly 50 years, but it was under threat of closure due to thousands of pounds worth of repairs that forced it to shut…fortunately, only temporarily.
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. It is usually open between May and September.
The first water went back into the pool during the evening of Tuesday, August 16. It will take about a week to fill then a few more days to get it up to temperature ahead of the pool’s reopening on Saturday, August 27.
Thanks to a grant of £2,550 from Heath Farm Energy, managed and operated by Future Biogas, the pool can remain open until the end of September instead of closing at the end of August at the end of the usual season.
The pool was 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 project was halted when a historic crack in the pool was found to be worse than originally realised.
An additional £5,000 in funding was needed to move ahead with repairs, and the local and wider community rallied to exceed this total by raising over £8,500. With grants also awarded the total reached £11,000.
This meant more could funds could be spent on extending the resin flooring all the way to the edges of the site, not just the poolside. The team were also able to buy mosaic tiles to go around the curves in the pool and over the crack to make it completely watertight.
Although the original contractor could not commit to finish the rest of the work in time, Ashers Swimpool Centre stepped in to complete the repair.
Chair of the Committee Mel Wright put an appeal on Find my Builder and Jonathon Hamilton from Struere UK, who had just moved his business to the Lincoln area, responded and within a week of him meeting the Trustees the repairs were done and the pool was ready for tiling.
MB Resin Driveways laid the resin flooring around the whole poolside, not just the edges. The team from Struere UK and Alan from AC Ceramic Tiling worked to tile the pool.
The heatwave temporarily stopped the works on the pool before it was completed on August 1. This also meant that the charity was able to claim grant money of just over £36,000 from the FCC Communities Foundation which would have bene lost if they hadn’t got the project back on track.
Two villagers who originally dug the pool out by hand in the 1970s – Doreen and Bryan Blackband – cut the ribbon to declare the refurbishment work finished.
Karen Rymer, the committee’s secretary who has been a resident of Metheringham for 20 years, said after the initial article appeared in The Lincolnite in June local and wider community businesses rallied round to support them.
She told The Lincolnite: “People overwhelmed us with their generosity, which was more than was needed to repair the crack.
“It’s been like a soap opera, which we joked would be called The Pool. Every time something happened we had another obstacle to overcome.
“Last night (Tuesday) me and Mel were in tears with emotions that we finally had water back in the pool, but the weather had the last laugh as it rained after three weeks of heatwave.
“It’s a community pool and it’s the community in the village and the wider community that rallied round to make sure we would reopen. Now we’re into our usual pre-season preparations, which we would normally be doing in April, and it feels good to be doing that.”
Metheringham Swimming Pool will be open seven days a week between 7am and 10pm until Friday, September 30. Saturday and Sunday, October 1 and 2 will be special doggy swim days.
It is advised to sign up for a pool account before booking, but walk-ins can be accepted. There has been a small increase in price with each session now costing £4 – see more information here.
The pool is also hoping to have swimming lessons available to book, which will be announced on its website and Facebook page. The sessions will be available for bookings once staffing for a lifeguard and further volunteer is confirmed.
Donations to save Metheringham Swimming Pool
- Nearly £4,500 raised in personal donations
- £1,400 was also donated by local businesses – AGM Landscaping, Emily’s Tanning, Little Jules Aesthetics, Mair Farms, Metheringham Locksmith, Yellow Brick Road Nurseries
- Over £500 was received in cash donations, including over £300 which was collected by volunteers Claire and Jan at the Metheringham Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Event
- The parents and children from Metheringham Primary School collected over £1,000
- People in the village have been described as “amazing” included the charity’s official fundraiser Peter Surch, who raised over £900 from licensed door-to-door collections in Metheringham
- In addition, the charity were given grants of £1,500 by Lincoln Minster Round Table and £1,000 from the Arnold Clarke Community Fund