Batford swimming pool

A pool fed with spring water

By Les Casey

Before Harpenden gained a swimming pool the Urban District Council constructed a children's paddling pool at the Marquis Lane playing-field, which opened in 1954. It was fed with spring-water from the old cress-beds. Unfortunately it became contaminated by leakage from the river and had to be abandoned in the late 1950s.

Notes from comments on the Old Harpenden Years Gone By Facebook page in 2016:

"It was really good at first, spent a lot of time down there, but the frogs and newts soon moved in which spoilt it a bit!" – Jacqueline King

"I seem to remember a small swimming cum paddling pool at the bottom of Batford park down near the swings but closer to the tree line. It was surrounded by a chain link fence and an iron frame gate that a chap used to unlock between about 10am till 5pm in the summer months. It was just an old concrete affair which was eventually left abandoned and unused except for us kids collecting frogs spawn which collected their in the late summer. It was of course eventually filled in but it was there way back in the late 1950s" Ron Bourne

Photo:Pool with changing booths

Pool with changing booths

Photo:Children enjoying the pool at the opening ceremony

Children enjoying the pool at the opening ceremony

Photo:The abandoned pool, late 1970s

The abandoned pool, late 1970s

Geoff Woodward

Site of former pool, at the corner of the present playground

This page was added by Rosemary Ross on 28/09/2010.
Comments about this page

I remember my mother taking me to the opening ceremony of this pool. Must have been around 1954. Batford estate kids used to go to the pool at Kimpton Bottom for a swim until the new pool was opened.

By Clive Hobbs
On 24/06/2014

I remember the pool at Batford, but more so that freezing cold, broken tiled pool at Kimpton.  The only decent part of a visit there was the hot chocolate and a packet of Oxo crisps.  It would be condemned now in that condition.  I was often told "you youngsters don't know you're born".  I say it now.

By Vivian Summers
On 08/07/2014