Wembley, Empire Pool c.1960
Memories of Wembley, Empire Pool c1960
I can remember paddling in the pool, the depth went from nothing to, I think, about 24 feet to allow for the height of the diving board. Every so often a bell was rung to let people know that the wave machine was about to start up. There was a rope across the pool to keep the diving area clear. Living close to Wembley I went to a lot of shows; Skating on Ice, Harlem Globe Trotters, Ice Hocky, Skating Vanities ' roller skating'. There was a speed limit of 12mph around the area, I was stopped by a policeman for speeding on my bicycle, he was joking.
I used to go and watch the Wembley Lions and the Haarlem Globetrotters in the early 1960s. The atmosphere was always exciting for the spectators and the Dagenham Girl Pipers performed during the interval of the basketball. The Globetrotters always won, I remember. The Lions played their matches on a Saturday night and it was a good place to meet other young people.
My father, who worked for Philips Electrical (Mullard Amplifier Division) was the Sound Engineer at both the Wembley Stadium and Pool during the entire Olympic Games of 1948. He had to work very long hours not only during the events but also during the daily rehearsals of ceremonies. I went to one of the last events, with my grandparents, which was equestrian. After the Games finished, my father continued as the Sound Engineer and my Sister, (and sometimes my cousin) and I went to all the ice shows at the pool. We also went to see the Harlem Globetrotters every year when they came to the UK. They were good times. I went to watch Speedway at the Stadium but my view of this event involved climbing a very high ladder ...Read full memory
My father represented Great Britain in the 1948 Olympic Games. He (Thomas Patrick Holt) and his brother John and two sisters were on the swimming team. Unfortunately, Thomas came fourth in his event, as he was struck down with a tummy bug, prior to his swim, as he had over-indulged in the lavish food supplied for the competitors, and as it was just after the war, dear old Dad could not resist the temptation of food he had not eaten for the duration of the war (WW11). None the less, I am very proud of his achievements as he trained without the assistance of a coach, dietician or any financial backing. Today's Olympians have every facility available to them to achieve success. My Dad inspired myself and all of my ...Read full memory
During WW2 I went to this venue to watch ice hockey. The teams playing were mainly, if not entirely, teams of Canadian servicemen from various UK stations. The team whose name I remember the best was from Down Ampney, an airfield a few miles north of Cricklade. I suppose it was the unusual name that has stuck in my mind all these years. Later, in 1948, the Olympic Games was held in the UK. I managed to get tickets for two events, one of which was for swimming in the Empire Pool. It is so long ago that I cannot remember the event.