10th Apr, 2020

End of an era as Coventry baths opens for final swim on February 15

IF you would like to take one last dip in the city’s old swimming baths – the Olympic-sized 50metre pool and diving boards will be open for a final session before closing.

On Saturday February 15, the 50m pool at Fairfax Street, Coventry, will be open for free swimming from 10am to 5pm alongside the 5m and 10m spring boards and a chip van outside.

It is the last time the swimming baths, inside the city’s iconic elephant building, will be open – 54 years after it was officially launched on April 23 1966.

A new £10.5million 50m pool is soon to open just outside the city centre at the Alan Higgs Centre on Allard Way, with a new 500-seat spectator gallery, health suite, jacuzzi and sauna.

Coun Jim O’Boyle, Coventry City Council’s cabinet member for jobs and regeneration, said: “The 50m pool at Fairfax Street has been much loved and well used by Coventrians for generations, but it has reached the end of its useable life.

“We’re thrilled that the new 50m pool at the Alan Higgs will provide a state of the art replacement, but felt it was only right to say goodbye to the leisure centre pool by going back in time to when it first opened and enjoying it for the final time.

“The whole pool will be opened up for people to enjoy as they choose, and we’ll even hark back to the days of Fishy Moores as we’ve booked up a chip van for outside so people can enjoy an indulgent post-swim treat the way they used to.”

To mark the occasion, entry prices will 50p for adults and 50p for children.

Coun Kamran Caan, Coventry City Council’s cabinet member for public health and sport, said “This event is a fantastic way to send off the 50m pool. I’m sure that there’ll be lots of people that want to come and have one last swim in the pool, whether they’re feeling nostalgic or would just like a great family activity at a bargain price from over fifty years ago.”

The elephant building was in 2017 named in a list of the UK’s Top 20 important architectural buildings under threat by the charity C20 Society.

There is no need to book, but session limits may implemented at peak times if it is busy. Fish and chips will be charged for separately.

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