Living In Paradise 1950's And 60's

A Memory of Finchley.

I grew up in East Finchley and one of our family treats during the summer was trips to the 'outdoor pool' with my brother, sister, mother (Dad was usually at work), aunts and cousins from Hertfordshire and Northamptonshire. Usually as little ones we spent our time in the small pool at the bottom of the waterfall. Usually wearing our rubber rings we all learned to swim, and enjoyed our picnics on the grass beside the pool. As we grew older we were allowed to use the big pool, and how huge it seemed. The big pool always felt freezing, even on the hottest day, and to graduate to leaping off the highest diving board was a rite of passage to being a biggy. My family moved up to Sandringham Gardens, off Summers Lane, no more than a 10 minute walk from the pool. In my early teens I spent most summer days at the pool with my friends, often finding a break in the chain link fencing and sneaking in. The pool is the top memory I have of growing up in Finchley. Next to the pool was the TA Parachute Barracks, and the whole area was surrounded by the rough lots, an area of trees and pathways very overgrown and wild. On the walk down to the pool from my house, we walked down the pathway next to the football ground and passed though the allotments. There was a lovely rhubarb plant which often got raided. Across the Great North Road from the pool was the Finchley Grammer School, a parade of shops and a car salesroom, which was well out of the reach of our families aspirations. Finchley Swimming Pool was a wonderful adventure for us children, and seemed huge, which it probably wasn't, but it will be forever huge in my memories.

Added 22 September 2012


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