Peeps into the Past: School pool due a celebration

By Chris Shepheard   |   Peeps into the Past   |
Thursday 15th July 2021 3:01 pm
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Antony Powis of Whitmead Lane, Tilford, has sent in these photographs and memories of an almost forgotten 50th anniversary in the Bourne.

“In 1970 the Bourne School swimming pool was completed and opened so last year was the 50th anniversary,” he writes.

“The following year (1971) the changing rooms were also completed in time for a full swimming season so perhaps this year is, in fact, the golden year.

“The project was on a voluntary self-help basis which, unfortunately, wouldn’t be possible today because of health and safety regulations which have ruined that aspect of life.

“It really brought out a village togetherness, but alas most of the skilled tradesmen involved have now died.

“Tony Bravery, the headmaster, was the instigator but the project would never have got off the ground without the team of hard-working, fundraising mothers.

“For my part I received a tankard suitably engraved which I cherish. Looking back 50 years it was a most enjoyable period of my life.”

The programme from the opening day, July 17, 1970, says: “These ideas of Mr Bravery’s were the starting point which led to the Parents’ Association forming two committees, one financial, one technical to enable Bourne School children to learn to swim.

“From a meeting in September to the first child swimming in July was no mean feat and congratulations and thanks are due to all those in and out of the committee, too many to mention, who made this possible.”

The team of voluntary labourers under Tony Powis put the money raised to very good effect and the total cost came in at £1,500 instead of the over £3,000 it would have commercially.

The photographs show the pool being officially opened by Nancy Murley, an English international swimmer and Bourne resident and headmaster Tony Bravery being unceremoniously thrown into the pool by committee members as a reward for thinking up the project.

Sadly, because of Covid, it was impossible to celebrate the golden anniversary last year but I wonder if the school might take up Mr Powis’ idea of a celebration this year to mark the opening of the changing rooms in 1971 as the true culmination of the project?

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