Newsletter 1 – 2020

Welcome

Hi! Thank you for taking the time to read our newsletter. This forms an ongoing commitment from the pool committee to keep you up to date with our strategy, plans and events lined to the Shoalstone Seawater Pool. We will be publishing the newsletter quarterly and welcome any contributions you may have or ideas for its improvement.


Shoalstone Pool Strategy

In November last year we published a draft strategy for the pool. If you haven’t yet seen it you can find a copy here. Following publication we’ve taken the strategy to consultation including presentations to the pool AGM, local Council, Chamber of Commerce, Brixham College and their Student Council meeting, YES and the Peninsula Community Partnership. We also ran an online survey to which many of you contributed.

We’re pleased to say that the feedback was amazing. There’s huge support for  the direction we are taking and many constructive comments and ideas. We are indebted to those who contributed and are in the process of revising the strategy and building a set of plans to deliver it. 

As a result of the feedback we can announce that we are fully committed to the dissolution of the Community Interest Company and the formation of a new organisation by which we can gain charitable status. This is critical to our plans for fundraising. Linked to this is our will to continue providing access to the pool for free with a donation advised.

We took on board many comments concerning charging but the majority of feedback indicated that the pool should remain open to any and all with no restrictions.  A significant number of you expressed concern about the phrase “membership scheme” and we understand that it has sown some confusion. We’re going to have a long look at our wording as the intention was to recruit patrons to our cause rather than charge for the pool via a membership levy.

The name of the pool was raised by some and we were asked to consider a rebrand as a “lido”. However, we feel that the pool is known locally and nationally as a pool. We want to keep the phrase “seawater” in the name as this clearly distinguishes us from swimming pools and thus are pushing ahead as “Shoalstone Seawater Pool”.

Finally we’ve poured over all of your ideas as to how we can improve the pool’s infrastructure, raise the pools profile and raise more funds. Thank you so much for these, there is a lot to think about and a lot to do. As a result we’re reorganising the way we work as a team to allow us to manage these effectively. We recognise that we have gaps in our team that must be filled in order for our vision to be achieved. We are actively looking for those people including new volunteers to help with all aspects of pool development and management.

If you think you are one of them please get in touch.


Committee Matters 2020

The pool committee meet monthly and even though the pool is closed we have a lot on our plate. We commissioned an expert to carry out a Health and Safety audit of our operations and are busy putting corrective measures in place.

We are looking at the signage around the pool site, and also on the way in to Brixham to make sure folks know where we are.  You would be surprised how many visitors and Torbay residents alike don’t know the pool exists. This was highlighted in a survey we carried out at the pool last summer.

And on a related issue, we have been considering how we can improve the disabled access around the site.  As a first step, with improved signage, hand rails and some widened paths we hope we can make visits for those with disabilities a lot easier. We hope to make significant improvements this year and are also making accessibility a cornerstone of our development plans moving forward.

Dave Barter has recently joined the committee and will be helping us enhance our website and drive forward our strategy.


Pool Infrastructure and Cleaning

Throughout winter we still need to empty and clean the pool in order to prevent a build up of silt and debris. Recent storms have interrupted our schedule with our last full clean happening on the 27th December. Ten of our hardy volunteers helped us scrape the base clean and powerwash the walls and decking. A solitary crab was returned to the sea. 

You may have noticed that a set of railings were damaged in a recent storm and we will be repairing these prior to opening. We also suffered vandalism from a graffiti artist, damage to changing rooms and the sea itself which has thrown up a large volume of stones onto the decking (now cleared).

As always we are hugely grateful to our volunteers who help us inspect, clean and maintain the pool. It may not seem like it but we are as busy when the pool is closed as we are during high season.

Dates for Your Diary

2020 brings two exciting fundraising events for the pool. On March 3rd Rockfish Restaurant held a charity dinner in aid of the pool. Tickets proved hugely popular and sold out within a week. Thank you Brixham we appreciate it! A charity raffle and auction raised an AMAZING £2000 on the night. Thank you so much to all who attended and dug deep into their wallets. And thanks also to those who provided the prizes

Saturday the 11th April sees another dog swim at the pool starting from 11:30am. These have proved very popular and are great fundraisers. Come along and see the spectacle even if you haven’t got a dog. 

On Friday April 17th The Friends of Shoalstone Pool are putting on a concert in aid of the pool with local musicians entertaining us for the evening. The event will be held at the Scala Hall starting at 7:30pm. We’re very excited to announce that the local MusicAtTheEdge group from YES will be launching the evening with a song written especially for the pool. Please tell your friends and family, tickets will shortly be available from The Friends. 

The pool opening date has been set for the 23rd May at 3pm. We will be running stalls and have a live band playing. Watch this space for details of who will be opening the pool. We’re just waiting to hear back from them… 


Other News

If you’ve been down to Breakwater Beach recently you may have seen two bearded gentlemen swimming away in the freezing seas. These two fellows are Chris and Bear  also known as the 365 Sea Swimmers. They are taking a dip in the sea every day, whatever the weather, for a year in aid of the pool and the Seal project. You can show your support here https://www.gofundme.com/f/365swim


The Friends of Shoalstone Pool

The Friends of Shoalstone Pool http://www.friendsofshoalstonepool.co.uk/ continue to support us with their drive to raise funds to sustain and develop the pool. We all owe them a huge debt for their tireless efforts and the events they run throughout the year. The Friends fund many of our initiatives and actively support and promote the benefits of using the pool. Thank You!

Please consider supporting the Friends by becoming a member. It’s a small donation and every little helps. More details at http://www.friendsofshoalstonepool.co.uk/square-metre/4588968275


Can you Help?

In order to drive forward our plans to safeguard and improve the pool we are looking for someone who has deep civil engineering or site operations experience from a strategic point of view. Are you the sort of person who could help us build a tactical and strategic plan for the pool and then help us deliver it? Maybe you know someone who has retired and would be willing to give us some time. Maybe you know a relevant business who are looking to do some good in the community?


Contact us

We’re always keen to hear from you on any matter concerning the pool be it fundraising ideas, offers for help or anything that we may not have thought of. Please feel free to get in touch via our email address info@shoalstonepool.com or phone Dave on 07799 414702.

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Sharron Davies, Olympic Medallist, to open Shoalstone Pool

Sharron Davies, Olympic Medallist, to open Shoalstone Pool
in Brixham at 12pm on May 25, 2019

Shoalstone Pool – Brixham’s iconic seawater lido – will open for the 2019 season at the late May Bank Holiday, as part of the town’s Brixfest celebrations.

I am delighted to be launching the 2019 season at Shoalstone Pool. I know it holds a special place in Brixham’s history as a beautiful 1920s seawater lido, but Shoalstone is also, first and foremost, a family pool. There are so many parents in Brixham today who remember coming to the pool after school and in the holidays, and now their children are doing the same.”

I started swimming when I was about 6, and was first selected to swim for England when I was 11. Without my local pool in Plymouth and the constant support of my parents my Olympic career would never have got off the ground. So well done Brixham for keeping the Devon swimming tradition going, let’s keep encouraging the youngsters, the next Olympic medallist could be swimming in Shoalstone right now.

Sharron Davies, MBE

Once again Shoalstone is only opening due to the hard work of the local volunteers who have repaired, repainted and cleaned the pool to help it recover from the ravages of a hard winter. Every year the pool is attacked by wind and waves through the winter months and every year it is open to everyone throughout the summer. Last summer was long and hot with record numbers flocking to the lido – we are hoping for great weather again this summer.

FoSP Fashion Show

From our Friends – 

The Friends of Shoalstone Pool fashion show was a great success, raising over £1600. This is the biggest amount we have ever raised in a single event. The Friends would particularly like to thank the many people who helped make it such a success – the models, hairdressers, makeup, compare, DJ, and “Missin Tackle” who sang for us.  And the stall holders who exhibited their wares for people to see in the interval.

The raffle was a great success with 13 prizes worth up to £100.  Those who won were highly delighted.  Our thanks for these prizes goes to the proprietor of the Regatta Shop in Fore Street whose clothes was also modelled; and Bertie and Crew situated on the Marina.

The Friends biggest thanks goes to Nicola from Bertie and Crew who organised the whole event with her band of helpers.  A lot of time and hard work goes into organising these fund raising events and this is where Brixham scores with people coming together as a community to give their time which in turn benefits the town e.g. Shoalstone Pool. We are most fortunate now to have Nicola on our small committee – so look out for other fund raising events (Christmas beetle drive at the rugby club!). Finally we mustn’t forget the Berry Head Hotel who let us use the Mulberry Room free of charge and all those all bought tickets and supported us.  Thank you one and all.

Volunteer to host art at Shoalstone Pool

Do you have some free weekends in September?

We need your help to host an exciting arts event happening around Torbay.

The Tale is a guided trail through artworks and performances made for the coast of Torbay. From the streets of Torquay, through hidden coves and historic harbours, to Berry Head Nature Reserve and Brixham’s Shoalstone Pool.

A collaboration between people and place, ‘The Tale’ is an adventurous arts event for explorers of all ages.

We need passionate people to get involved with:

– Welcoming audiences 


- Supporting artists


– Helping out behind the scenes 

Be part of an exciting event, meet new people and help us bring ‘The Tale’ to life.

Shifts at Shoalstone Pool: 

3 x Volunteer Hosts per performance to help with greeting audience, stewarding and providing information

Shift times: 5 – 8pm

Shift dates:                                    

Weds 6 Sept (briefing)

Fri – Sun 8 – 10 Sept

Fri – Sun 15 – 17 Sept

Fri – Sun 22 – 24 Sept

Hosts can select shifts to suit their availability.

This is an unpaid voluntary position, however Situations can provide a free ticket to The Tale and expenses reimbursed (local travel and refreshments).

 Interested?

 Sign up at: https://goo.gl/forms/XyeC9ymdnYMU6g4B2

 For more information contact: deirdremakepeace@btinternet.com

 Website: www.the-tale.co.uk

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?

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!

Sunday Race

Shoasltone Pool c1950

10am this Sunday 4th June. The first of our monthly Sunday races. There’s a cup to be won and other prizes. And in time honoured cold water swimming style; cake afterwards. All welcome. £3 race fee.

Last Swim of the Year

One way to revive a pool is to use it for races. As part of our Shoalstone Revival we want to embrace the cold water swimming community…and visitors and locals who fancy a bit of madness on New Year’s Eve. So we got a cup – which we’ll award every year – cleaned the pool, baked mince pies and organised volunteers and lifeguards to look after our visitors.

Last thrill of the year

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Brixham Wild Swimmers get some pre-sea swim practice in

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Rosemary Clarke (Shoalstone Secretary) gives Carl Reynolds the first Last Swim of the Year cup

Carl Reynolds won our inaugural two width sprint (we’ll need to adjust his handicap!), second was a visitor from London in his undies, and third was Tony Medlock. And thereafter the pool echoed to the cries and thrills of twenty or more people taking a reviving dip in our seaside jewel. And we raised a few more quid in donations.

Meanwhile over on Bolton Street, the Friends of Shoalstone Pool organised a coffee morning and raised £215 for the pool. Apologies to those of you who wanted to do both.

We’re currently planning a series of swimming and social events for 2017. If you’ve got a plan, idea or just want to help out, please get in touch.