News

Sunday Races

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This Sunday (9th July) at midday, will see another race in our efforts to use the pool in a variety of ways. This is an Open to All race of 60m. Prizes for 1st, 2nd and 3rd and a wristband for all entrants.

To help us we ask for a £2 donation as a race fee. Given the highly random nature of those who turn up for races, you’ll always stand a chance of winning.

On July 23rd we’ll have a July Sprints Cup (50m) for the under18s, to celebrate the start of the summer holidays.

And on August 12th we have a Summer Holidays Cup (25m), as part of our Fun Day, for the under 12s.

The final cup of the summer season is the September Medley (4 strokes – 25m each) on Sunday 3rd September.

Get practising!

SUP Fitness at Shoalstone Pool

Looking for a new way to keep fit this year? Look no further!

We are very excited to be able to offer a range of Stand Up Paddle Board fitness classes for the first time at Shoalstone Pool this summer – and the taster classes proved extremely popular.

Classes will be running every Tuesday for the next six weeks (and hopefully beyond!) with SUP Fitness Devon. There is a choice of three different groups:

Gentle Seated Yoga 5pm to 6pm

Yoga 6.15pm to 7.15pm

Circuits 7.30pm to 8.30pm

All equipment is provided, with each one hour class costing £15 – £2.50 of which goes straight to Shoalstone Pool.

If you would like more information or to book in for a class then call Sarah on 07724278137.

What better way to get fit for summer in a beautiful location whilst supporting your local lido at the same time?

We are now a Community Interest Company!

Since its inception in 2014, Shoalstone Pool Limited has always operated in the interests of the Brixham community. However as a limited company there have been some people who have been sceptical of our aims, and we have also found it difficult to apply for certain sources of funding.

We are therefore very proud to announce that we have made a successful application to become a Community Interest Company, officially recognising our status as a social enterprise using our profits and assets for the public good.

Our aims have not changed: our activities will continue to benefit the community of residents of, and visitors to, Brixham who use Shoalstone Seawater Pool and its immediate environs.

Specifically, we aim to:

  • Manage all the operations of Shoalstone Pool in an effective and efficient manner.
  • Raise money and provide volunteers to contribute towards maintenance, repairs and other activities, where necessary.
  • Help to update facilities when needed, for example by buying new equipment to further that goal.
  • Promote and protect Shoalstone Pool’s heritage and use as a civic amenity.
  • Promote its use for aquatic sports and the part this plays in people’s health and well being, both in Brixham and among the wider public.
  • Promote and provide educational opportunities for lifeguarding, swimming and other associated activities.

Any profit we make will continue to be used for maintaining the pool and furthering the activities of the CIC.

We are excited by the opportunities this successful application will open up, and look forward to continuing to take the pool from strength to strength.

Thank you for your continued support!

Strange goings on at Shoalstone Pool

If you pay a visit to the pool this week you may be surprised to see some rather unusual characters patrolling the decks…

As part of the preparations for ‘The Tale’, an exciting arts event coming to Torbay in September, artist Ingrid Fiksdal is at the pool from 20th to 24th June. She has travelled from Norway with a group of performers, and will be working with local performers too to create a site specific piece for this very special location.

The performances will be taking place over three weekends in September, with Shoalstone Pool one of ten locations across Torbay selected by innovative arts company ‘Situations’, who say:

A new type of arts event is coming to South Devon this September. The Tale will guide you on a journey of discovery around the coastal area of Torbay – from the streets of Torquay, through hidden coves and historic harbours, to the quarry of Berry Head Nature Reserve.

Along the way, you’ll encounter artworks and performances by artists of international acclaim, made especially for Torbay. Inspired by the ideas of writer Philip Hoare, whose boyhood experiences of Torbay shaped his future, The Tale offers the chance to experience the hidden stories, sounds and dreams of the bay like never before.

This is a really exciting opportunity for Shoalstone Pool and for Brixham, one which will showcase the delights of our beautiful town to a whole new audience from all over the world.

Take a look at the website for ‘The Tale’ for more information about the project. We will bring you more details about Ingri’s work at the pool as we have them!

Code of conduct

As custodians of the Shoalstone Pool site, the directors of Shoalstone Pool Limited have a huge responsibility to make sure that everyone who uses the facility is safe and can enjoy their time with us.

Most people are very respectful of the site and the time and energy volunteers put in to keep it running, but there are unfortunately a minority who make our job, and that of our paid staff, very difficult.

With this in mind, we have put together a code of conduct for users of the pool site. This is in addition to the pool rules, and has been drawn up with everybody’s wellbeing in mind.

We hope you understand why these things are so important, and will cooperate with our lifeguard team and the pool caretaker when you visit our wonderful pool. Our focus os always on keeping the pool open, safe and accessible for local people and visitors to Brixham – but we need your help to be able to do that.

We have a code of conduct for staff and volunteers too, which can be found here along with some other key policies.

If you have any questions about this or any other aspects of our operations please do not hesitate to get in touch.

Pool Cleans

One of the wonderful things about Shoalstone Pool is that its water is refreshed by the tide on a regular basis. As regular Shoalstone swimmers will know, there is no keeping the sea out during the twice-monthly spring tides – it laps over the walls, the excess draining out as the tide falls.

This is not enough on its own to keep the pool clean, though.

Every ten days or so during the season we have to drain the pool completely, with our team of volunteers (led by Charlie the caretaker) scrubbing the floor and walls to remove the algae that builds up. We use a minimal amount of chlorine during this process, and this season we are experimenting with some environmentally friendly options which hopefully will cut out the need for that altogether.

These pool cleans are important not just to make sure the water is pleasant and safe to swim in, but also to make sure the water clarity is good enough for the lifeguards to be able to do their jobs! Algae can build up quickly during hot weather giving the water a greenish hue. Whilst this is not dangerous to health, it does make it very difficult for the lifeguards to see what is going on in the water.

There are, given the exposed nature of our site, a number of restrictions on when we are able to carry out pool cleans. We need the high tide to be at least 4.7m in order to guarantee that it will refill the pool, and the timings of the tides ideally need to fall within daylight hours! We also try to avoid weekends when the pool is at its busiest. The weather conditions are also a consideration, but these are a little harder to predict…

With this in mind, we have put together a planned schedule of pool cleans for 2017 which we are going to do our very best to stick to. These are included on our events calendar, but for ease of reference the dates on which we are planning to close the pool are as follows:

Thursday 8th June

Monday 12th June

Thursday 22nd June

Wednesday 28th June

Tuesday 11th July

Monday 24th July

Tuesday 8th August

Monday 21st August

In between these planned dates there will be a number of overnight ‘flushes’ when the pool will be fully emptied and refilled. Whilst we hope to open during our normal hours of 10am to 6pm on those days access might be restricted out of hours whilst the valve is open – please abide by the red flag and any other warnings and do not enter the pool at these times.

There may also be times when we have to close the pool for cleaning unexpectedly, either due to bad weather conditions bringing in seaweed and other debris, good weather increasing the amount of algal bloom, or human factors which have previously led to closures due to dog waste bags or glass being thrown in the pool, for example. We are very aware that last minute closures can cause major disappointment, particularly if the weather is good, but we hope you understand that we never take the decision to close the pool unless it is entirely necessary.

If you have any questions about the pool cleaning process, or you would like to join our team of volunteers working to keep the pool at its best, then please get in touch!

Parish Meeting

**UPDATE: this meeting will now be held in the Scala Hall**

We will be presenting our ideas again for possible development work at the pool at the Brixham Town Council Annual Parish Meeting.
7pm, Thursday 25th May, Function Room, Brixham Town Hall.

If you were unable to make the meeting on 9th May then please come along. And please spread the word – especially to people who might not have regular internet access.

Thank you!

Shoalstone Revival…and so we begin

After a small meeting to kick off our consultation to develop Shoalstone Pool; where we shared some initial ideas; I noticed this while walking along the road the other day –

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So I decided to knock on the door and ask what their concerns were. In short, the resident did not want any development because they believed any work would be disruptive and would spoil their view of the bay. That’s very clear; and good to know. But…

It seems our message that these were ideas, not plans, had not been communicated clearly enough; as the author of the above sign states that we have “… fully formulated plans…”. Let’s be clear, these are ideas. And if none of them gain any confidence from the whole community of Brixham, and don’t meet various conditions set out in the covenants on the land, then they won’t happen.

Let’s think about why we have shared these ideas. Brixham Town Council took the lease of the pool after Torbay District Council threatened to close the pool a few years ago. The pool is run on a shoestring budget and relies on the efforts of over 50 people doing voluntary work. This work includes management (6 voluntary, unpaid directors), maintenance and cleaning (a part time caretaker and tens of voluntary helpers). And we have ten lifeguards paid just above minimum wage for the summer. The Friends of Shoalstone Pool raise money through events; Shoalstone Pool raises some money through events; some income comes from car parking fees, beach hut and deck chair hire; and Brixham Town Council make a small contribution. It’s worth remembering that a Band D property in Brixham pays £43 out of £1677 of its Council Tax to Brixham Town Council or 83p a week. Of this 83p/week, around 4p/week goes to Shoalstone Pool from each Council Tax payer in Brixham.

Two years ago Shoalstone Pool got £50,000 from the national Coastal Communities Fund to do some repairs to the pool. This was on top of almost £40,000 spent in the previous year on repairs. This £90,000 spent has repaired the pool lining, but not fixed it. Fixing it and making it future proof will cost several times more than this. Just to run the pool (with free labour covering management, maintenance and cleaning; ten summer lifeguards and a part-time caretaker; materials, paint, safety equipment, maintenance equipment etc) is around £50,000/year. So more money has to come from somewhere.

One of our principles is that the pool should remain free-to-use for local families, swimmers and visitors. We ask for donations, but like any public pool, these don’t cover the cost of running the pool. So we need to find more ways to raise money. If we don’t the pool will inevitably close…either because people tire of putting their hands in their pockets, or tire of volunteering.

The choice is simple. We either come up with ideas that maximise income and make Shoalstone Pool an even better place to be than it is already, while minimising disruption during and after construction…or we’ll see it’s gradual decline.

So, this summer we will be talking to many, many people to see what they think about our ideas, and what their ideas are. If there are more who support us going ahead we will; if not we won’t. And that’s before we’ve even applied for planning or raised the money to do any work. There’s a long way to go. Help us, rather than hinder us, please.

 

FoSP AGM

A message from our friends –
The Friends of Shoalstone Pool (FoSP) are holding their Annual General Meeting on Tuesday 23rd May at Brixham Rugby Club at 7pm.  The minutes of the AGM 2016 have already been circulated, but should anyone need a hard copy please ring Sheila on 852704. 
We would welcome a few more people to join our small committee; in particular the position of Secretary is available.  We meet once a month to discuss possible fund raising and have a break during the summer months. If you feel you, or anyone you know, have the time and energy to join us and keep the Friends going, please contact one of the committee or, better than that, come along to the AGM.
We normally ask for your £5.00 membership at this time of year (some members have already paid) and have kept this amount for some years now; so would welcome as many £5.00’s as possible. Payments can be made before the AGM; so arrive a little early to pay.