Picture gallery: MP opens popular pool

ALMOST 3,000 visitors packed Portishead Open Air Pool over the holiday weekend to enjoy one of the hottest British Easters on record.

On Monday, North Somerset MP and Defence Secretary, Liam Fox officially reopened the pool for the summer season, welcoming the installation of a new biomass boiler, funded largely by 100 per cent renewable electricity supplier Good Energy.

Dr Fox chatted to trustees and volunteers before admiring the long-awaited revamped toddler pool, unveiled by chairman of Portishead Town Council, Reyna Knight.

He commended the community for its efforts in saving the pool from closure in 2009 and praised the volunteers who give their time freely to keep the seafront facility, which is now managed by a community trust, in operation.

He said: “If you want to see an example of the Big Society at work, come to Portishead where community spirit is strong and local determination can overcome problems as epitomised in a project such as this swimming pool.”

The new toddler pool received a seal of approval from scores of young families who said the walk in slope made it much more attractive for the little ones.

Swimmer and former pool employee, Jean Jelley, who has used the open air pool since the 1960s, said she had never seen the toddler pool, which is named the Jelley pool after her, so well-used.

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The pool caf� is currently undergoing refurbishment and is expected to open under new management in the coming weeks. Meanwhile a tuck shop offers refreshments to pool visitors.

Further information about the pool can be found at www.portisheadopenairpool.org.uk