New book on history of Portishead pool launched

PUBLISHED: 12:01 17 November 2018

John Burkinshaw has written a book about Portishead pool.     

Picture: MARK ATHERTON

John Burkinshaw has written a book about Portishead pool. Picture: MARK ATHERTON

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Portishead pool is gearing up to celebrate 10 years since it was saved from closure thanks to the hard work of supporters.

The open air pool was at risk of being closed down and demolished back in 2008 after years of poor attendances and a decline in the quality of facilities.

But supporters formed a Save The Open Air Pool (STOP) campaign and a decade on it continues to flourish.

To mark the milestone, Portishead Pool Community Trust volunteer John Birkinshaw has written a book about the efforts made to keep the attraction running, as well as its chequered past.

The book is due to go on sale today (Saturday) courtesy of Clevedon Community Press, the publishing arm of Clevedon Community Bookshop.

A bookshop spokesman said: “This third publication from Clevedon Community Press charts the history of the open air pool from when the suggestion it should be built was first mooted in 1924 through to its opening by Portishead Urban District Council in 1962, and onto the present day.

“Fully illustrated in both black and white and colour, Celebrating Portishead Open Air Pool includes many anecdotes and memories from people involved in building the pool and in its subsequent life, as well as information and extracts from official records such as council minutes.

“In 2008, after several years of poor attendances and general decline, the pool was in danger that it might close and be demolished.

“A local campaign STOP led to the establishment of Portishead Pool Community Trust and today, 10 years later, Celebrating Portishead Open Air Pool marks the success of the pool, this year attracting a record of more than 53,000 visitors.

“This well-researched publication will be of considerable interest to residents of North Somerset, visitors to the area and, more widely, to local historians and those involved in the increasingly popular world of lidos and open air swimming.”

The book will be officially launched at Café Lido, in Esplanade Road, on November 30 at 7.30pm, where John will be signing copies.

Celebrating Portishead Open Air Pool has a retail price of £9.95.

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