Our swimming pool has a long and happy history, providing pleasure to generations of villagers for over a hundred years. It was built in 1902 by Thomas Seymour Brand, then owner of Glynde Estate, to commemorate the coronation of Edward VII. At this time Glynde Dairy was a thriving enterprise and the cooling water was pumped down the hill and into Glynde Reach. This water was diverted to fill the pool, with excess flowing out into the river. The new pool was bequeathed by the Estate to the Residents of Glynde and Beddingham, and opened its gate for the first time in 1904. It was open between 1st May and the 31st October “at all times of the day except on Sundays when it will be closed at 10.30am”.The pool remained little changed for many years. Older inhabitants of the village remember the big trees that overhung the pool and how, as children in the 1930s, they would shin down the branches and drop into the water. In the1950s the legacy of a villager, saved over the years in a milkchurn, enabled the changing rooms to be built: these are still in use today.
Generations have learnt to swim here and entire families have enjoyed its benefits. By the 1970s it was badly in need of repair and a major fundraising drive took place with the committee and village community working hard at running cheese and wine parties, barn dances and other events to raise money. Eventually a major refurbishment took place, much of it carried out voluntarily thanks to the numerous skills of those living in the village, which bought the pool up to modern standards. Much of the pool and its surrounds was further updated in 2005 thanks to a grant from Viridor Landfill Trust.
In 2011 another major fundraising effort enabled the 30year old filter system to be renewed. Run as a community project with the kind help of Trioflow Engineering who provided the new equipment and a lot of advice, it also relied on the generous donations of time and expertise from local businesses along with the hard graft of many village volunteers. The new system is more energy efficient and much easier to manage.
Nationally, since the 1950s, very many of our outdoor pools and lidos have closed, usually due to a combination of lack of funding, pressure on land and the move towards indoor leisure complexes and overseas holidays. Those that have been saved and kept going are increasingly becoming regarded as little national treasures and, humble as our Glynde Pool is, we regard it as one of them! Swimming in the open air in a lovely setting is an amazing experience and one we would like to ensure is available for future generations of Glynde, Beddingham and Firle residents.