SIR: I have read with great interest the why and the why nots of having an open air swimming pool in North Walls Recreation Park.

It brought to mind the open air swimming pool in Hyde, the Lido. As a young 16 years old, as often as I could, I would go and swim there. It was a meeting place. Then, when one got married and had children you took them and taught them how to swim in the lido. Generation after generation would go there. It was, in a very small way but to us, extraordinarily uplifting and joyful. The children loved it, it was healthy, it was in the open air, it was a meeting place.

Now the people have spoken and signed a petition that they would love to have an open air swimming pool but it seems nobody is listening.

When you think and look at the size and population of Winchester, there’s nowhere for them except indoor swimming. All the rivers that we have, and may I say I’ve swam in Water Lane where I lived for seven years. Also at Bull Drove I’ve swam there. Along with the young eels swimming with me. It was magical but we’re not allowed to swim anywhere in the open rivers. Most certainly we cannot swim in any area that the college owns in The Meadows. In the 21st century we’re being told we cannot have an open air swimming pool especially not in North Walls Recreation Park. They will say that the rivers are rising causing flooding, that all can be addressed to where you situate it and would have to be addressed anyway. There are other sites that could be looked at. Let’s be honest, we need to be catering for generations from birth to death and what could be healthier and more convivial for families of every generation coming together and enjoying a picnic out there or indeed a cafe or restaurant nearby, than in the open air when it’s possible.

Eileen Berry,

Priors Dean Road,