Rec Re-Re-Opening Remand

Another quick diary check, and yep, if it’s the 16th of April, then it must mean that the re-re-opening of Brixton Rec is taking place today.


Hang on…

My morning swim still involved being asked to get changed in a temporary changing ‘dry’ changing room that was designed for gym users and not drip dry swimmers. The irony of the dry changing room is that it now resembles a lake.

I then had to navigate the SW9 Stairs of Shame, parading in front of all the gym users in my Speedos, as I walked down two flights of matting to access the pool.

SW9 Stairs of Shame

Remind me of that date again?

You may remember how the Rec introduced the bonkers 7am – 9am public swimming timetable in the only pool remaining open in the borough, back in January. The reason was to secure a government grant to refurbish the main changing rooms (y’know, the ones that were refurbished back in 2007 at the cost of £2.7m.)

Anyway, the “absolute guarantee” of a re-opening on March 15th, as pledged by the Cabinet Member for Culture and Communities (who is actually half decent) came and went, yet still swimming in Lambeth remained a struggle.

A leaked cabinet briefing paper revealed how:

A number of failures in the work previously undertaken during earlier refurbishment were discovered including the lack of mastic and screws to joints in excess water gulleys, the absence of drains for the gulleys and lack of appropriate waterproofing.

April 16th was listed in the Lambeth Cultural Services Briefing, a document that is circulated to select Councillors, as the new date for opening.

I look forward to the next instalment in this ongoing saga. Who knows – Brixton Rec may even get a re-re-re-opening before May 6th. That may just save someone’s bacon at the ballot box.

Events dear boy, events, etc.

Failing that, then 3rd May and the season opening of the lovely Lido is next up on my radar. I may have already endured my final ever daytime swim at Brixton Rec, ahead of the Great Escape.

What all this continued, continued delay means to users is that 7am – 9am remains the only time a public pool is now open in Lambeth.

With the kids returning to school next week, the whistle blows promptly at 9am, and it’s a case of “everybody out!” The temporary changing room can’t accommodate kids and public swimmers, hence the bonkers timetable.

Everybody out!” might just be the exact same shout coming out of Lambeth Town Hall on the morning of May 7th.

5 thoughts on “Rec Re-Re-Opening Remand

  1. Thanks for the info! Will you let us know when the Brixton Rec pool will open after 9am? I’m keen to do some swimming over the summer in evenings and weekends. Also tempted to dip my toe (literally) in the Lido pool for the first time ever. Will it be warm enough start of May to swim? Now that the Lido Cafe is so nice, I’m having recurrent dreams about swimming and then sitting with a beer in the cafe terrace. Although have to remind self I live in Brixton, not Sydney!

    Sasha @ The Happiness Project London

  2. @Sasha Mid May is the off the record answer as to when the Rec will be open again after 9am. Not set in stone, and could move either way.

    In the absence of anywhere else to swim in the borough, this is the perfect opportunity to try out the lido! May 3rd is the confirmed opening date. Yes – it will be very cold.

    I wouldn’t swim in the lido without a wetsuit until around mid-June. Temperatures are likely to be around 15-18 degrees. Don’t worry – you soon get use to it 🙂

  3. When’s the great escape Jason? Are you going to abandon us to Tesco’s evil clutches? Who’s going to keep the council on their toes (ish) when you go?????? FYI – I went swimming in tooting bec lido this morning. Was chilly but utterly blimmin lovely and you can warm up in the sauna afterwards.

  4. @Julia We’re off to the North Essex coast and Wivenhoe, hopefully before the end of the year. Brixton Rec might even be open by then.

    I congratulate your brave endeavors at Tooting Bec.

  5. I agree that the whole saga is a major major inconvenience – I’ve recently taken to using the awful Queen Mother sports centre, which is an object lesson in how not to run a swimming pool* – but you have consistently implied that 7-9 is the ONLY opening time, when, of course, it’s also open in the evenings

    * eg Thursday evening, when it shuts at 7.30 anyway (like on Weds & Fri – at weekends it shuts 5pm), half the pool was closed for a ‘swimathon’ leaving one fast lane, one recreational lane and one lane marked as swimming lessons, although it was actually one person receiving a one-to-one lesson. It costs 55% more than Brixton and the Ladies changing room is gruesome – cramped and dirty with too many lockers out of order (or just the wrist bands for the keys broken)

    I also notice that Balham has ridiculous opening hours which rules out an after-work swim there. I am yet to try it.

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