Wolverton Swimming Pool

Open for nearly half a century, Milton Keynes was very sad to see its last surviving open air pool recently close on 4 September 2011. Wolverton Swimming Pool, which is based on the edge of Western Road Recreation Ground, first opened on 1 August 1964. However, today’s swimmers have been deemed not brave enough for an outdoor pool and it has been replaced by a state of the art indoor version.

The original opening literature described the pool as ‘being completed at a time which makes history for this community.’ During the 1960’s the town of Wolverton was undergoing a great deal of regeneration and industrial growth. The pool, which was designed to ‘County and National standards,’ (110ft x 49ft) fitted into a period of new ‘community spirit.’

As well as 31 male and female changing cubicles, thermostatically controlled showers and metal baskets for clothes, the new poolside proudly hosted a well equipped cafe. A children’s pool was planned for the future and the overall final construction was expected to cost approximately £50,000. Part of this amount was raised by the Wolverton Swimming Pool Appeal Fund and the New Bradwell Swimming Pool Organisation. Today’s pool has cost £7.5million and will take 18 months to build – a slight increase in cost!

The 2011 manager, Matthew Leeder, talked about the importance of the weather on dictating the pool’s success. “A sunny day means hundreds of people through the doors and a cold day means a handful.” Apparently the hot weather in 2009 broke all swimming pool records with 2,000 people cramming through the doors. It wasn’t unusual to have 1,000 swimmers and hundreds more queuing outside. Following its closure, Hilary Saunders, Chair of the Trustees for Wolverton Pool wrote ‘it’s sad it’s closing but hopefully the new facility will bring as many happy memories to lots of people as this pool has.’

Images collected as part of the Our Sporting Life Milton Keynes Project.

Comments about this page

  • It is still such a shame we do not have the open air pool in Wolverton, my children and I spent many happy hours during school holidays in and around the pool. I wish some shrude business person would see the benefit of this, if I had the money I’d make it so the outdoor pool could become an indoor pool during the colder months

    By Christine (19/06/2020)
  • My memories are of taking sandwiches and meeting up with friends. Walking from Greenleys across the rec was so exiting as the closer you got the more you heard the laughter and splashes. Spent most of my summer holidays there. Then home for a quick dinner before going roller skating at the Agora. Hundreds of kids together without parents, great great youth clubs. Fell sorry for kids today.

    By Linda Kehoe (16/06/2020)
  • I walked past the site recently with my grandson and was telling him nostalgically about how my friends and I used to go to the pool and sit on the grass in the sunshine and revise before taking an afternoon exam. Or go swimming after a morning exam. This would be in 1968 when we were taking our O Levels at Radcliffe.

    By Dianne (31/07/2019)
  • Quoting from an early 60’s cutting from The Wolverton Express in my possession – Wolverton Urban District Council’s most talked about, joked about and moaned about scheme, the swimming pool, was the subject of a short comic sketch entitled ‘Faith, Hope and a little Charity’ as one of many items in the St George’s Players Spring Revue, ‘May Madness’.
    Gone but not entirely forgotten it would seem !!

    By Wendy Harvey (31/12/2017)
  • I really wonder the reasons why you named this specific blog
    post, “Wolverton Swimming Pool | Sport,
    Wolverton | Living Archive”. Regardless I adored
    it!Thanks a lot,Yvonne

    By https://tinyurl.com/publkent52218 (26/01/2013)
  • “Wolverton Swimming Pool | Sport, Wolverton | Living Archive” was a wonderful read
    and thus I actually was indeed extremely glad to read the article.
    Thank you-Sara

    By https://tinyurl.com/primjenks35220 (13/01/2013)
  • I think it is an awful shame to lose this outdoor swimming pool I remember when I was a child we used to go there nearly all of the school summer holidays. It was about the best thing Wolverton had!

    By Pauline (30/11/2011)

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