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History of Calday Pool

The Pool's Early Days

Our pool has a long and fascinating history, and actually began its life as an open air pool!

The pool was built between 1921 and 1922 by a combination of work done by pupils, staff and outside workers. Below is an extract about the pool from the 'History of the School':

"The pool had to be blasted out of solid sandstone; this at once brought in an Old Boy, Pip Weale, who was with Nobel Explosives. Clearing the resultant debris and levelling the surfaces was done after school hours by teams of boys working under staff control...

Professionals had be employed for the concreting and bricking of sides and bottom, but the concrete surrounds were cast and laid by the boys. 

Water at first was no problem, since warm effluent from the water works opposite could be diverted through filter beds to flow continuously into the bath at one end and out of the other. The only unsatisfactory point was that the pool, being open air, was available only in the summer months...

In 1930 the water from the local waterworks ceased to be available and the expense of piping a supply from the mains had to be incurred. This had several repercussion. The local water board would only allow filling between 10 at night and 5 in the morning, which took two nights and somewhat interrupted the sleep of the master in charge of swimming; the temperature of the water dropped dramatically after a fresh filling, a great advantage to the home side.

The water now being static rapidly became murky and inhabited by growths of algae and minute and slimy fauna in spite of daily doings of chlorine, and it had to be paid for. Which left those in charge with the dilemma of having to compromise between a costly refill or a steadily thickening brew not unattractive to hardened swimmers, but apt to cause raised eyebrows-not to mention noses-on the part of the more fastidious."

The Formation of The Trust 

In 1962 the pool was condemned on public health grounds, but Cheshire County Council agreed to enlarge, deepen, filtrate and cover the pool. This was completed by 1965.

In 1974 after Local Government changes the school passed under the control of Wirral Borough Council. Eventually the cost of maintenance of the pool became too much for the school and the pool was handed over to Wirral Borough Council Leisure Services Department. 

The Trust was set up in 1996 when the council, who had run the pool through Leisure Services for many years, decided to close the pool as it was losing around £80,000 a year. The school itself was unable to afford the cost of running the pool, and so, to save it for the community, and for the school, the Calday Grange Swimming Pool Trust was established. The Trustees were drawn mainly from the user groups at that time and the school. 

This is still much the same today with the Trustees active users of the facility. 

The Trustees carry out all the tasks not carried out by the staff or specialised contractors. 

Calday Grange Grammar School has access to the pool during the day and 14  Primary Schools make use of the pool during term time to teach swimming. 

The Pool is operated as a facility hired out to the user groups. The only exceptions to this are the Saturday morning Children's swimming lessons which the trust has run for 7 years, and now our new Wednesday Afternoon lessons which begin September 2020 as well as our Adult Swimming Lessons which have been run since 2017. We also run intensive swimming and Lifeguard courses in holiday periods. 

Details of these user groups can be found under the relevant tabs on this website. 

A Little More History

The Pool has changed hugely over the years, below are some extracts of articles that have been written about the pool, complete with pictures to show how much the pool has changed. 

Below you can download this article written by Russ Temple and one of our own swimmers Heather Chapman about the long running history of the pool in an easier to read format:

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