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Save Tunstall Pool Demonstration Gallery + Radio Interview - 15th Feb 2011

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Today saw a mass demonstration of users of Tunstall Baths and residents of Tunstall who are angry at the closure of the much loved and much needed pool.

Chants of "Save our Pool" could be heard from around the streets, as the protesters waved their placards.

The protest, which was organised by the Ladies Aqua group who use the pool on a tuesday have become a rallying point bringing the community together, with representatives from Greenfields, QRAT and Bankeyfields residents associations and members of the public together.

This Friday the 18th a meeting has been organised at Christchurch on Furlong Road (in the church) at 7:30 all welcome and next week the Aqua group have organised a A "Swim In" at 1:30pm all are welcome, bring a trunks or a costume, standard charges apply (well it's for a good course).

The demonstration caught the attention of all of the local press, but sadly the only people missing where our towns Councillors and areas MP.

Radio Interview with BBC's Becky Wood and Janet Henson

Becky Wood from the BBC interviewed Janet Henson, one of the Aqua group members
Janet - I feel it's very sad, this is a grade II listed building, the oldest working swimming pool in the Uk, and it's been here for a very long time .
These swimmers and this community depend on this pool.
BBC Hasn't the decision already been decided to close the pool, is there a point to this?
Well yeah of course there is, we've sent petitions last year, again this year and letters , but unfortunately our voice wasn't heard. But we really feel that if we just sit back and just let it be boarded up
it would be such a shame, when we need this pool in this community

BBC the council has got to save money somehow how would you like to see it saved?
It's a really hard decision by the council and they have got to make cuts, but with us all getting fatter, and with obesity and ill health, surly a facility that is going to prevent some of these illnesses is needed and short sighted.
Perhaps the council should have spoken to us as a group about how we could have helped to run the pool as a co-operative before just wielding the axe.
We are really passionate , we want to save the pool, but we want more dialogue with the council, the aqua fit ladies and the swimmers.

BBC Whose going to miss out? To a Ex swimming teacher demonstrating
800 children swim here each week, therefore must be £1600, there aren't more schools banging on the councils doors to save this facility , the sooner we get a child to swim, the better it will be. We all know children like to play around water.
But normally were water is, it's in a secluded place. This is a life saving point of view, a life skill. We swimming teachers do what the parents can't do, we teach the children what to do.

BBC: Is it a case of if you shout loud enough, do you think you will be heard?
We did shout, but in a very digniffied way, we will head down to the civic centre in our costumes we'll do that, but we'd rather have dialouge first.

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Web Monkey's picture

Richard from the QRAT's Ra

Richard from the QRAT's Ra has just uploaded another set of photos to his website.

terry turbo's picture

W/M "our" councillors should

W/M "our" councillors should have shown up, after all they will be looking for our votes come May.
The turnout (and it was blinking cold) was great,
Lets hope this is a starting point to the people actualy having a say in the running of their town.
The fact that Tunstall baths is under threat "again" leaves a nasty smell.
The closure was proposed but according to Megan Ryans answer on " update on closure of Heathside home and TUNSTALL pool" it is closing on the 31st March?
Does this not show what the council think of its electorate.
Somebody should remind them "THEY ARE THERE TO SERVE US, NOT US TO SERVE THEM.
This fight is only just begining.
Well done to all who attended.

paula's picture

Here Here Terry Turbo - Well

Here Here Terry Turbo - Well said!!!!

As for Megan Ryan not turning up due to work commitments. I also have to work but took half a days annual leave today to be there!!! our councillors need to learn alot from those who attended today about community spirit, loyalty and most of all HONESTY!

Web Monkey's picture

A lot of people made today

A lot of people made today happen, but I'd just like to say how well Janet came across on the radio, she has a calm dignity that really carries an argument forward and helps to make people listen.

I was sad that none of our elected officials were here today, I always thought that being a politician was to stand for your people. There has been enough outpouring of anger on this site and in other places that it's the people wish to keep it going.

The other thing that I feel has been lacking is any reports about the pool. Why is it losing money, as stated, what are the cost of the repairs. What are ht operating costs? What incentives have and could be tried to keep the pool afloat.

Is it because things aren't quite as bad as they say they are? Is the building being lined up for something else? Has it been this councils long term agenda to off load the pool at the earliest opportunity?

janet henson's picture

Everyone did really well

Everyone did really well today at tunstall pool, it was cold and damp but the community were out with their banners and voice, let hope that someone is listerning?
Thanks web monkey for posting up the info,great job and great photo's.

paula's picture

have just come off the

have just come off the telephone from joan walley

she warned the council 12 months ago that they would need a strategy for swimming. she managed to get £50,000 from the ASA. she also liaised with a number of other organisations to keep the pool open.

she informs me that the council refused the initial ASA. as for the other organisations, they are still waiting for the council to contact them!!!!!

Rach's picture

From what I am reading and

From what I am reading and from the photo's just to say well done to you all today, like Terry says it was not a good day weather wise but looks like a great turnout.

Let's continue the fighting spirit and lets hope we can at least try to convince them to overturn their decision.

Would have loved to join you but couldn't get the time off work.

paula's picture

i have a meeting with joan

i have a meeting with joan walley on friday to hand over a (so far) petition of 1200 signatures.
has anyone got any questions i can relay to her?
I am not politically minded and have no interest in politics, i just care about the future of our pool and the children, families, and groups that use this fantastic amenity.

Dereth's picture

is the building

is the building listed?

from what i remember from an interview on radio stoke -tunstall baths is the only public swimming baths of that era to be still in use in the UK .

paula's picture

yes the building is grade two

yes the building is grade two listed and is the oldest listed victorian pool left open (for now) in england, but seemingly that doesnt matter to our councillors

Web Monkey's picture


press play and then click the time slider and select at about 1:33:00

terry turbo's picture

Paula, ask Joan Whalley why

Paula, ask Joan Whalley why she was not present at the death of the last Victorian swimming pool in England still in use, and to see the people of Tunstall treated like an nuisance to Mr Pervez and his cronies at the council,while they play their political games.
For over 200 years councillors have been the caretakers of "OUR" buildings and have performed their "DUTY" to our ancestors.
That is untill this bunch of cut,shut, and demolish vandals took over.
As Webb Monkey as pointed out theres no evidence put on the table.
No facts, Figures, just distortions, smoke, and mirrors.
Come on councillors ask Mr Pervez for the facts.
Fight the closure or come the election there's a good chance you will be out of a job as councillor.

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