Waiting For Common Entrance Results At The Upper Farm Swimming Pool - a Memory of Box Hill.
I was watching the Ride London-Surrey Classic Road Cycle Road Race today and the pelaton rode up Box Hill bringing back a particular memory, so I decided to look up The Upper Farm Swimming Pool on-line and immediately saw this photograph.
In 1961 myself and two friends from Homefield Preparatory School in Sutton were waiting to hear how we had done in our Common Entrance Exams: whether we had passed well enough to go to our chosen schools. The results were due to be sent out to our parents that day. We decided to ride from Cheam, where we lived, to Box Hill about 10 miles away and find somewhere to have a swim and hang out together to pass the time.
We found the Upper Farm Swimming Pool - which I had been to before several times with my parents on crowded weekends - after our ride on that hot summer's day. It was a weekday and the weather was fantastic but the real bonus was the three of us were the only people in the pool!
Seeing the photo here brings back wonderful memories of that day. We were three fit, healthy, 12-year-old boys who were more than a little worried that we would go home to disappointed parents telling us we had failed out exams.
As soon as the person looking after the pool realised we were all good swimmers he paid very little attention to us and we hardly saw him all day. This, of course, meant we all did the things we were not supposed to do: we bombed from the boards; we dived through a large, black, truck tyre that we found in one of the changing booths (presumably it was supposed to be used as a floatation device, not a diving target for boys to show off their skills with - health and safety would have been appalled, yet we all survived without injury!); we even sat on the top diving board having our lunch of crisps and cheese and tomato sandwiches and warm cream soda provided by our mothers, and dived off the top board into the pool from time to time to cool off then climb back up again.
We spent several hours there, then rode home.
We all passed and I went on to Cranleigh School. I will always remember the Upper Farm Swimming Pool with great affection.
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