We are open!
As many of you may be aware, when the government delayed unlocking, we had to take the decision to keep our lifeguards employed and deploy them onto other tasks whilst we waited for the green light. On the 19th of July it finally came. It’s been such a long wait but we were at last able to open our gates to the public. It’s been amazing to see the pool bustling with happy people, swimming, paddling or just relaxing poolside and the feedback we’ve received from users has been fantastic. The pool has been very busy with deckchair and sun lounger rentals going well.
This year we’ve invested in technology to take card payments at the pool and it appears to be working flawlessly. This has allowed us to take donations from card users and also sell our new range of merchandise described later in this newsletter. We’ve put up QR codes at strategic points to allow mobile phone users to make donations and are able to monitor these in detail.
As always we owe a huge debt to everyone who has helped us get to this point.
Firstly, we would not be open without our team of directors and volunteers working behind the scenes helping us with everything from restoring benches to managing our accounts. Let’s not forget that almost everything we see at the pool is down to those who give their time freely and willingly.
Next we need to thank all of you who supported us with donations, encouragement and support. We had an extremely difficult run up to opening with the management of complex pool works and a number of unforeseen issues. Every penny donated helped us get to this point.
And finally we should pay tribute to Roy, our caretaker, who has worked tirelessly on a myriad of tasks required to get the pool operational. And thanks go to Molly (Pool Manger) and our lifeguard team who with their friendly and helpful manner have been great ambassadors for the pool this year.
We must never forget that Shoalstone Seawater pool would not exist without the continuing support of this community and we’re incredibly proud to have fought our way through recent adversity to get to where we are today.As always, we are keen to hear from everyone who wants to support us in the running of the pool and the whole Shoalstone site. You can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a message on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/shoalstone/
Pool operational issues
Vandalism and CCTV
Our first week of opening was mired by two incidents of vandalism that caused us to have to shut the pool. On both occasions broken glass was discovered pool side and in the pool itself.
This had come from bottles that had been smashed on or near the site. When this happens we have no option but to close the pool, drain it out and remove any trace of the glass. As a result we lose takings from pool donations/car park/chair hire and have to sympathise with many disappointed users who may have travelled to visit the pool.
Following the last incident a crowdfunding campaign was set up by a concerned resident to purchase a CCTV system for the pool area. Currently we do not have camera coverage and our budgets are stretched. This campaign has allowed us to progress an investigation into CCTV. We’ve subsequently met with local police representatives to seek their advice and are now looking into options and feasibility. We hope to report back on this in the next month.
In the meantime we encourage any members of the public in the pool area to be vigilant. If you see any anti-social behaviour please report it to the police immediately. They are ready to act and keen to ensure that Shoalstone Seawater Pool remains open and a pleasure for all to use.
Pool Water and Cleaning
During the period of pool closure we sought advice from the Environment Agency on the use of chlorine in the pool with reference to discharging pool water directly into the sea. They’ve advised us that this requires a permit along with a significant payment for application and annual maintenance. As a result we’ve taken the decision to keep the pool chlorine free this season whilst looking at other solutions. You may notice that the water is greener than usual which is to be expected without additives. This is simply algae and sea life in suspension, to be expected in a pure seawater environment.
We’ll be draining and cleaning the pool every fortnight with a schedule published and maintained on our website. We will also carry out flushes overnight when the tides allow but remember that at low tide heights we cannot drain the pool as it will not refill properly without overspill.
Sunday Fete August 22nd 2021
At the start of a normal season we’d celebrate opening with an event at the pool on the first weekend of operation. The pandemic caused us to err on the side of caution and pick a date when we knew restrictions would not pull the plug. As a result, this year we’re planning a celebration in the middle of the season instead.
So put Sunday 22 August: 2–4pm in your diary.
Currently Shoalstone Pool summer season is in full swing so come to the pool and celebrate with us. At our Sunday fete you can win prizes on the tombola, eat delicious cakes and enjoy a lazy afternoon by the pool serenaded by the local ukulele band.
We all missed the pool in 2020, so let’s have double the fun in summer 2021!
Twilight Swim September 4th, 6.30–8.30pm
The moon will be nearly full, the pool will be at its most romantic. Time for an early evening swim as the season draws to a close.
Hot soup, drinks and cake will be available for swimmers and audience alike. Our brave swimmers pay £5 per person for their swim and get free hot drinks.
Thanks to the hard work of our new merchandise subgroup we’ve recently launched a new range of on-trend apparel. Featuring awesome new prints on a range of organic clothing. All products in this collection are printed on demand in the UK, using low waste printing technology.
Items include hoodies, T-shirts, bags for all ages and sizes. All of which can be purchased at pool side and via our new online shop https://shoalstoneseawaterpool.teemill.com
Remember that every purchase helps us keep the pool going so why not kit out the whole family and wear your Shoalstone Seawater Pool T-shirts with pride to show your support.
Finally this weekend is “Plant a Tree Weekend” at our online shop. Buy One Get One Tree means that for every order you place a tree will be planted. What better way to support the pool and help the environment at the same time?
As you may know we submitted our application to the Charity Commission in May 2021. This will take us from a Community Interest Company to a Charitable Incorporated Organisation. A bit technical, but the key point is the new organisational form will allow us to apply for charitable funding, previously barred to us. The latest from the Charities Commission is that they are working through applications submitted in April and will get to May’s applications in due course. We will keep you posted.
Meanwhile we’ve started work with Brixham Town Council to refresh our working agreement to reflect our shared ambitions for Shoalstone. We are at a very early stage of this work and we will update you when the work is further advanced.
Shoalstone Pool, Berry Head Road, Brixham,TQ5 9FT
We are always keen to hear your views and feedback. If you have something to tell us please do get in touch. New Volunteers are always welcome. We’re busy maintaining and improving the pool all year round.