Wrinkled Fingers And Toes - a Memory of Aldershot.
From Chrismas Avenue to the bathing pool, come rain or come shine, every day of the summer was bathing pool fun time for us lads. With our towels rolled up and tucked under our arms and our costumes on to save time, a bag of sandwiches and your entrance money if you were lucky... otherwise it was over the fence.
On arrival it was through the turnstile and with a quick glance at the water degree board straight in at the deep end.
The pool was nature's babysitters from morning till night, seven days a week
The pools in those days were full of servicemen American, Canadian and many others stationed, passing though, or just plain taking a hard earned rest from terrors of war, and I can describe them in one word, "boisterous", but glad to be alive and they showed it... A lot of them were missing their familes far away and latched on to the local children, be it in the town, or at the pool. Many a time with no money to get in we stood outside the the entrance and the soldiers would club together and get us in.
Our pool had everything, the baby pool that I fell into age about eighteen months old and nearly drowned, I just remember sitting on the botton watching the bubbles going up past my eyes. The biggest water silde in England that I had ever seen, and the running and diving board, coupled with that fabulous multi tiered fountain in the centre of the pool.
Most of the pool in the play areas were not to deep even for us six, seven and eight year olds as we were learning to swim.....and we were mostly self taught, if we got into any difficulties there was always someone to save you.
Last but not least we had the diving boards, four spring boards and a top platform. Us lads used to stand at the edge of the platform looking down into fifteen foot of water daring each other to jump...when suddenly you were lifted from behind by some para and off you tumbled twenty feet down into fifteen feet of clear blue water, but the para was always just right behind you to make sure you got back to the side O.K.
Happy days at the end of the summer, us kids used to go back to school with more wrinkles on us than your average 80-year-old.
A memory shared byon Aug 24th, 2011.
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