Wednesday, 16 July 2008


My trip down memory lane, which much of the past 9 weeks has been about, took me to a swimming pool this afternoon. A former one - it closed in 1988 after 33 years of service. It was the place where I was awarded my A-diploma swimming (to certify I would not sink like a brick) many moons ago. My memories of Beekhuizen (on the periphery of Velp) are of arriving on the pushbike in a searing heat, park the bike in the racks, walk up the hill and pay a small fee. Change in the communal changing rooms, and then go outside to the pale-blue pool area. There were three pools; one paddling pool for the tiny tots, a shallow pool (2 feet in depth) and a deep pool, where the water depth would increase from 3 to 5 feet, until the floats, where the depth would increase sharply to 7 feet. A diving tower loomed over an area of 12 feet in depth. After a swim, you'd lie on the sunning lawn on your towel, until you got too hot again and would take another plunge. You'd be there all day on a really hot day.
Hardier souls, like my father, would go down there at 7.15 am for a constitutional - when he was the age I am now. The pool's heating system wasn't all that good, and the water only got up to 63F.

The pool closed down in 1988, and I had left the area some 6 years previous. I had taken a peek through the fences in the 90s, but today's visit was a shock. The bike racks have gone, as has the paving around them. The entire pool and lawn area is heavily overgrown, to create a nature reserve. I felt very sad to see the smartly painted bath & buildings so delapidated and unrecognisable. Wonder what the old poolmaster, if he's still alive, makes of it all.


sybilsybil45 said...

It is a strange thing going back after a few years to a place that seems to be so familiar in our minds to find things changed so making them almost unregognisable..It is teh same when I go back to Scotland...It is a weird feeling sometimes.  They have built a ring road round Edinburgh now and although I have to use it each year when I go up I can still get lost on it...the signs etc are not where I  KNOW they should be !!  and the surroundings are not what I expect to see.  really odd.  Love Sybil x

bhbner2him said...

Very similar memories at a local pool here.  Concession stand.  Covered area with pool tables.  Jukebox.  I still smell chlorine and hear the diving board snap every time I hear "The Joker" by Steve Miller.  Because that was the most played song on the juke box!

The one here closed for a few years in the late 80's/early nineties as the owners retired.  Some other folks re-opened it in the late 90's and Bubba and I went there some one summer.  But about halfway through we got wind that they were price gouging people of color and we stopped going.  Later it closed down for good under much controversy.  What a shame that such and enjoyable, fine thing got spoiled by a few folks ugliness.  -  Barbara

mleppard06 said...

sad to see places from your childhood disapear. even sadder when they are just left to slowly disapear. But we still have our memories!! take care mrs t xx

queeniemart said...

Oh it is so sad to see something that gives you wonderful memories fall into disrepair. I am glad you were able to go back but i wish they had kept it better maintained.

ceilisundancer said...

It's interesting to see the encroachment of vegetation, and yes, even I think a tree if not a tall bush, in the former pool my father attended as a youth.

Glad you could revisit your memories.

If it's to be unused, a preserve is not the worst of alternatives.  Think new life, not crumbling past ones, perhaps that perspective will help.