Pool celebrates 50 years

PORTISHEAD Open Air Pool will splash into action this weekend as it starts the 2012 season, 50 years since it first opened.

Kicking off its half-century celebrations, a family fun day will take place on Saturday to mark the special occasion.

Fairground rides, arts and crafts, a vintage photographic exhibition and tethered balloon rides (weather permitting) will all take place from 11am adjacent to the seafront pool.

Portishead Town Council chairman Arthur Terry will perform a symbolic kettle pouring ceremony at 12.30pm, similar the one performed at the pool’s opening 50 years ago. Meanwhile BBC weather girl Jemma Cooper will be on hand to chat to swimmers with her roving microphone and MP Liam Fox is also expected to attend.

Heritage Estate Agents, which is celebrating its 10th year in Portishead, is supporting the pool this year and will be selling tickets for a balloon race in aid of pool funds. Tickets are already on sale at their High Street office and they will also be selling them outside the pool on Saturday, before a mass balloon launch at the end of the day.

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Portishead Pool Community trust chairman David Coombes said: “This is a special year for us, only three years ago we were faced with closure but the community pulled together to keep it open. It’s been a lot of hard work but now we have reached our jubilee year and we’re delighted.”

Portishead Open Air Pool first opened in April 1962 when the population of Portishead was around 10,000.

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The pool’s jubilee season continues with a programme of events over the coming weeks ranging from a 60s fashion show to a mini Olympics involving local schools.

For more details about the pool visit www.portisheadopenairpool.org.uk

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