Lewisham and Forest Hill pools to open earlier

The Glassmill pool in Lewisham is a joy. Eight-lanes, flooded with natural light, clean, underfloor-heated changing rooms and a short walk from the northern end of Brockley.

However, if you're an adult with a 9-5 job, who can swim, then getting in there can be tricky, given the number of competing demands for the main pool.

Last Saturday morning, BC was witness to an explosion of anger among swimmers who'd got up early to grab a swim, only for the lifeguards to start roping off the pool half an hour ahead of its conversion for swim school. So this is a very welcome attempt to keep more people happy. Lewisham Council says:

For a trial period of six months from November 2013 to May 2014, Glass Mill Leisure Centre and Forest Hill Pools will open from 6am, Monday to Friday. Residents who use the leisure centres regularly have been keen to see extended opening hours and Lewisham Council is hopeful that the number of people using the pool and gym in the early mornings will mean the early opening becomes permanent. 

The main pool and gym will be available for general use and the cafĂ© will open from 6.30am, giving the centre users time for breakfast before they begin the rest of their day. With the two leisure centres so close to the main transport hubs of Lewisham Station and Forest Hill Station, the early opening will be ideal for early bird commuters. 

Full details of opening times at all Lewisham leisure centres can be found at www.lewisham.gov.uk/leisure