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 café 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


Lucy said...

I gave up with the Glassmill. Had to queue for 20 mins to buy a ticket to swim and then there was only one lane for lane swimming. Impossible to do any swimming when your in there with 20 other people trying to do the same.

anonymous said...

Totally agree with Lucy. The GlassMill is an awesome pool complex with great facilities(probably the best I've been to) but when I went there they had only two lanes designated for proper swimming and the rest for people who just want to swan about. Not good enough really for somewhere that is meant to be a competition standard pool. I've asked the staff there to allow for more lane swimming but guess I didn't ask nicely enough.

Max Calò said...

Well done Nick for highlighting the issue.
Luckily I'm flexible in my time arrangements so I'm now going lunchtime that I find to be the less crowded slot, still today there were always 4 to 5 people in the lane.
Good to see extended times but I am not an early bird so 6am is not much use to me, personally I'd like to see back the lane pool slot of Sunday afternoon. There used to be a 4pm to 5:30pm that has disappeared. Since they are so popular they mast have the revenue to afford longer opening times.

One suggestion I have is to lower the floor on the teaching pool in the evening and have all slow swimmers there, it's 20m long so it should be fine for people that don't really do lanes. In this way they could have all the main pool for lane swimming instead of having to share it when it's obviously very busy.

Anon said...

Yes, I've given up on Glass Mill after the evening where the general swim and the lane swim were forced to share a single, narrow lane. The poor kids were getting shouted at by frustrated lane swimmers and I doubt anyone enjoyed themselves.

Black cat said...

i've also given up, which is a real shame as it seems like a really nice, modern and clean pool. i can only really go in the evenings, ideally around 530/6pm straight from work, and from then until about 830/9pm on weekdays the adult pool is either completely closed to the public (on monday when there are swimming lessons in ALL lanes for Saxon Crown) or full of lanes dedicated to swimming lessons or children and families splashing around and one really thin lane for lane swimming. i've started going elsewhere which is a shame as this is my local pool and I used ladywell leisure centre regularly and although the condition of the pool and changing rooms weren't great, the swimming itself was.

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