Pool History

The Old Chudleigh Pool

Some of you may not be aware that Chudleigh Primary School used to be housed in the building now containing the library and the Youth centre, along with numerous temporary classrooms.


 In the late 70s, a group of stalworts got together to plan and build a 12m x 6m swimming pool for the school.  A tremendous effort went into it and many of Chudleigh's children learnt to swim in it.

old_pool001The pool itself was run and operated by volunteers, with no paid staff. Despite this, it was opened for use by the community outside school hours.  As the years went by, the number of children at the school increased and it became clear that a new, larger school was needed.  But a new school on a new site meant that the old site had to be sold to contribute to the cost of the new school and so the pool's days were numbered.

The New Pool - In the Beginning

As will become apparent, the building of the new pool was not trouble-free.  It is due to the determination of successive committees and pool project managers that the pool was completed, albeit, not as quickly as we had hoped.

When Chudleigh Community Project was founded in 1989, one of its objectives was to provide a replacement pool for the school and community and when the new school was designed, an area of land was set aside for a future pool.

new_pool001At that time, all efforts went into raising money for the larger school hall, but before work started on the school building, Watts Blake & Bearne excavated the hole for the future pool - for free!  The fenced off hole remained unchanged while the school was built around it.  The school opened in November 1991.  Design of the pool got under way, with the team headed by Graham Buxton-Smith, while funds grew.

Although funds available for the pool were limited, Mike Tudor, the then Headteacher, discovered that we would be able to use builders working under the Dartington Tech training scheme to do initial building work, with no charge for labour, just for plant and materials.

new_pool002This work started in January 1993 and included such tasks as building blockworks walls, laying blinding concrete ready for the building of the reinforced concrete tank, drainage.  Further excavation work, including a ramp up through the Playpark was done by WBB, again for free.  To supplement the work of Dartington Tech, volunteers worked on Saturdays and Thursday evenings.


The New Pool - The Tank

new_pool003By July 1993, Dartington Tech had finished their work and tenders were invited for the construction of the reinforced concrete tank.  This work was subsequently awarded to Cann and Fearon and started soon after, completing their work in September.

new_pool004Unfortunately, a problem was discovered with the concrete strength (which ensured that it was resistent to the pool water chemicals) and this delayed significant further progress for quite a while.

But work didn't stop altogether while that was being resolved, with the volunteers carrying on with drainage works, reinstatement of block paving and concreting of the foundation slabs for the upper paved areas.  Other bricklaying and blockwork was carried out, tidying up the site.

But good news came from the Foundations for Sport and the Arts in late 1993, with the offer of a £40,000 grant.  It was decided to engage Consultants to design and supervise the remaining construction work, with the aim of it being tendered as a single package of work. Tenders were subsequently sought, but were all well in excess of available funds, so that work had to be deferred.  In September 1994, the concrete problem was finally resolved by the application of a protective layer of Brushcrete (or so we thought).

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