Glass Mill Open Day, July 20th

Fusion writes:

On Saturday 20 July, Lewisham Council and Fusion Lifestyle will be marking the start of the summer holidays with a day of free taster sessions and activities for all ages at Glass Mill Leisure Centre.

Throughout the day, young people will be able to take part in special gym induction sessions and sample classes including boxercise and bootcamp.

Meanwhile, adults can test their dance moves with Zumba, tone their tum with Ab Attack, experience a full body workout with Body Combat or take inspiration from the Tour de France with an RPM class. The gym will also be offering group sessions as well as rowing, sit-up and press-up challenges.

The brand new 10m climbing wall will also be open, with a series of taster sessions for adults and juniors, beginners and experts.

From midday onwards, Glass Mill’s two pools will be dedicated to swimming assessments and fun family swims. There will also be an underwater hockey demonstration from 4pm.

All sessions are free and are offered on a first come first served basis, subject to availability.

Less sporty members of the family will be kept entertained by face painting, special appearances by mascots, Olly the Octopus and Zoggy the Seal, and fantastic prize draws and competitions.

The award-winning Rhubarb & Custard Café, located in Glass Mill’s foyer, will be serving special hand-made picnic food which can be purchased and then enjoyed in the beautiful surroundings of the adjacent Cornmill Gardens.

For the full programme of activities, visit


Max Calò said...

"From midday onwards, Glass Mill’s two pools will be dedicated to swimming assessments and fun family swims."

It would be good if there was some actual swimming on Sundays (and Saturdays too). I went there this Sunday and had to leave after 10 minutes, it was just carnage with people swimming in all directions and no lanes at all.

Lane swim has practically been deleted from the weekend timetable to make space for the carnage.

Lane swim on weekends is now only available on Sunday before 10am. It's even worse on Saturday when it's only 4 lanes between 9 and 10am.

On weekends there used to be lane swim early morning to 10am and then a lunchtime slot 12 to 1:30pm. On Sunday there was also a 4 to 5:30pm slot before closing (Saturday the last slot was women only). These have now been deleted from the timetable.

There is a large teaching pool with movable floor and 8 lanes in the main pool, management should devise a timetable that gives space to all users.

Last night there was lane swim slot from 9pm to 10pm and it was unbelievably packed, I counted 45 people in the water swimming lanes as I entered at 9:15, and there were more people coming in the pool after me.

Fusion, can you please put your act together and make this place work as the sport centre it was supposed to be?
(and also stop asking people to leave before time)

Guest said...

Fusion have had such a good shot at opening a brilliant leisure centre to be their flagship for Lewisham borough. The facilities are lovely and I'd really enjoy using the centre if I had any respect for the management.

Instead, the centre is woefully understaffed. Every time I've been, there are huge queues at reception and not enough staff at the desk. Those staff members who are at the desk though, I must point out, always seem to be smiling despite the abuse sometimes hurled at them, and look to be doing their utmost to help people and get things moving. I have so much compassion for them, having been in that position myself!

In complete contrast, the management appear to be swanning in and out of the staff office and are rarely seen doing anything. I've also heard junior staff begging management to allow them to allow them more 'permissions' on the online systems so they can speed things up, only to be denied! Obviously being run by people with no common sense and the poor floor staff are taking all the flack.

Old Man Patterson said...

No public service is well run in Lewisham, I'm afraid you will have to get used to it sir.
I have given up asking for any kind of assistance/general question at Brockley train station. I don't think the local population is actually capable of producing decent management/workers.
Maybe we can bring in androids or train chimps.

Max Calò said...

This is not about staff, this is management, just before closing Ladywell was well run, now something's changed, or maybe someone, but the staff is largely the same.

Never at Ladywell Pool people were asked to leave before the end of the schedule, and it takes a management decision to start doing this, and since it appears it's happening also at Forest Hill that's also run by Fusion it may be quite up the management line that this decision comes from.

And the schedule also is a management decision, and this kind of weekend scheduling is really bad management.

Guest said...

Totally agree, definitely a management problem way further up the line! Problem is that floor staff and customers are the ones who have to deal with the fall out from poor management decisions.

SamB_UK said...

They do seem very keen on getting people out at the end of the evening, presumably to make sure they can close up bang on 10:00. I don't have a problem with that in some ways - it makes sense to get people out of the pool at 9:50 so they have time to get changed - but chucking people out of the gym at 9:40, when many aren't showering or changing there, is a bit rich.

SamB_UK said...

Agreed, definitely not enough staff on that front desk, though I don't think there's anymore computers or tills behind there, so I doubt more people would make much difference. They could also do with more trainers in the gym too, to help with questions etc.

The staff on the desk are quicker than they were. When it first opened, the problem was that most of the staff were new, and several of them had very little idea of how to process anything on the systems, where anything was or even what some of their products were, so everything took forever. For the most part, they're much better now, and the majority of them are also very nice, friendly people :)

moira said...

Went to Charlton Lido yesterday at 11.30am. Packed but there's a children's pool, lanes all day long as well as the rest of the massive pool. There were never more than 4 people in a lane at any one time. The heated water was refreshingly cool on a beautiful day. Fantastic!

Max Calò said...

They don't need to close bang on 10pm, why should they? To save on wages?
They really should leave people alone to use the facilities all the way till 10pm, that's what they advertise in their timetable,that's what they agreed with the Council to provide and that's what they always did at Ladywell Pool.

Max Calò said...

By the way, on Mondays for example Lane Swim is only 9 to 10pm, before 9pm the pool is taken by Saxon Crown. This means that even entering the water dead on 9pm you can swim at most for 45 minutes if they close the pool at 9:45pm, and that for many regular swimmers is not enough.

SamB_UK said...

If the staff are employed and paid til 10pm, I can fully understand them wanting everyone out by then so they can go home. Obviously if that is the case, it's a management decision and that's where the issue is.

I suppose it depends on if you count the changing rooms as 'facilities'. If you're swimming until 10:00, then many people will still be using the facilities - the changing rooms and showers - until at least 10:15.

Max Calò said...

I mean the facilities advertised on the timetable, where swimming goes on until 10pm, as it's always been.

I assume that staff is paid until they close the centre, so if they close the doors at 10:20 they'll receive payment for those 20 minutes too.

And for a contractor like Fusion those 20 minutes across the whole year across the 78 pools they run mean a lot of money, for nothing.

Guest said...

Never assume that staff are paid for the extra time outside of outside hours. I used to work in a leisure centre where this was not the case, and in plenty of restaurants too!

If Fusion has salaried staff, it's highly unlikely that they will be paid extra overtime on top.

Max Calò said...

I don't mean extra time, just normal working hours to account for people changing and leaving the building.

It's always been the case that at 10pm the last customers go and shower and change and the doors close when the last one's out about 20 minutes later.

I'll ask staff.

Guest said...

Ah I see what you mean. Interesting, I wonder whether they account for that in their working hours. Let us know what you find out!

Amelia said...

Glass Mill is lovely but I agree with those below, it's carnage swimming there. I have given up swimming in the evening and generally get there for 6.30 or 7 in the morning. Even then I have had a couple of sessions when it's supposed to be lanes but they have only had one lifeguard so half the pool is out of bounds. One Sunday morning was particularly unpleasant with people swimming into each other. I complained as did others but all we got from the lifeguard was a shrug of the shoulders. Complained to management and was given a complaint form to fill in. Not great!

Max Calò said...

I asked and staff are paid to 10:30pm.

Max Calò said...

Further update, according to management it's for Health and Safety! They say that Lewisham Council told them to close everything at 10pm because they're not insured after 10pm. But of course they wold say that, contractor blames Council and Council blames contractor is normal behaviour.

AP123 said...

Glass Mill is a total disappointment, but only because of the way it is run. We've been turned away because they put too much chlorine in the pool, I've spent hours trying to get though on the phone and have had to give up, the buggy locks are all broken already, the automatic door is also broken, and queuing at the front desk takes the patience of a saint, and the water temperature is far too high for serious lane swimmers. My son is at swim school, but there is no way you'll find me using the facility for anything else. Charlton Lido, however, is a dream, even though it is still a bit of a building site they are able to manage it much better. There is also ample parking, I can't wait for the full facilities to open.

Anon said...

Sorry, had to copy my post over from the other thread after seing yours which echoed my sentiment:
The pool timetable is a joke. For competent able-bodied adult swimmers who work weekdays 9-5, which is the bulk of residents, you're heavily reliant on 'General Swim' unless you want to go before work. General Swim today consisted of 7 lanes of kids throwing balls, jumping in, small kids being taught by their parents etc. But this was not confined to the 7 general lanes. A lifeguard for some reason had kids jump in the 1 lane alllocated to people who actually wanted to swim. Wouldn't be so bad if the previous 4 hours of the afternoon hadn't been dediated to 'Family Swim' and 'Fun Session' which sound exactly like what I encountered during General Swim. All of this while the learners pool is relatively empty. Of course you do have 'Lane Swim' which most evenings consists of as few as again 2 lanes for swimmers. Sometimes that's as outlined on the timetable as the pool is shared with other activities but this week the number of lanes was reduced unannounced due to scuba diving lessons which don't even exist on the timetable and even worse no lanes when the pool was entirely closed again unanounced for Saxon Crown lessons. It's actually quite dangerous. I was hit by a rather strong swimmer going in the opposite direction a couple of times yesterday. Today in the solitary swimming lane, (labled as fast), a lad due to his lack of ability drifted to the middle of the lane and took quite a blow on the back of the head from an oncoming swimmer who had to stop to see if he was OK. Additionally small children were holding on to the divider of that lane and could've been similarly struck. And this is without frustrated faster swimmers trying to overtake which is commonplace. They just shouldn't have to. There should actually be enough lanes to cater for swimmers of all levels. As it stands the timetable somewhat contradicts the council's policy of development which is posted around the centre. I am aware it's a council gym but should I not be able to develop my swimming without having to pay to join a club? Of course there is a requirement for a variety of sessions to accomodate all but they must be adequate for for the intended purpose, be enforced to a degree and be scheduled in a way which ensures safety, convenience and optimal use of the pool space.

Max Calò said...

Great News! Following complaints the Council has reiterated to the contractor that the end of swim time is at 10pm - not 9:45!

SamB_UK said...

That's good to hear, and I hope it actually happens. I was in the gym yesterday, and was leaving at 5:25 (voluntarily, as I was finished) and they were already doing the "the gym and pool will be closing in five minutes" announcements.

Max Calò said...

It's possible that the manager on duty during weekends hasn't been told yet.
I had the news on Friday afternoon directly from the Council officer that deals with them though, so people are now completely entitled to blast them shall they ignore it.

F said...

Glass Mill remains a complete shambles. The building is great, the customer service really quite shocking.

I telephoned on Wednesday last week to move my daughter's swim class and spent ten minutes on the phone to a member of staff who 'did' this. When we arrived on Friday and waited for an hour for the new class, we found out it doesn't exist. After tears (my daughter's), we then tried to rebook her into another class and we were told all spaces had been taken, meaning (because of their mistake) she isn't able to continue her swimming lessons.

I asked to speak to a manager and they refused (apparently the manager was acting as a lifeguard). I asked for a manager to telephone me and haven't heard back in four days. I emailed the swim school coordinator and customer services person and haven't received a reply. I emailed Fusion head office and have not heard back.

Everyone I speak to has a similar story of awful customer service linked to the swim school: children being turned away from classes they'd previously booked on; inability to move lessons; not telling parents lessons had been cancelled, etc.
While I like the facility very much, Fusion really need to get their act together.

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