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Forest Hill Pool
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Posts: 377
Joined: Feb 2008
Post: #101
19-02-2008 08:39 PM

PS. The options which included Louise House were rejected as the site Louise House site on its own was too small for a new pool.

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Posts: 64
Joined: Jun 2007
Post: #102
19-02-2008 08:42 PM

I know I'm a little late to this, and sure it's been discussed, but the current building really adds something to forest hill and its a crime to tear it down. Is there nothing we can do to campaign?

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Posts: 61
Joined: Oct 2006
Post: #103
19-02-2008 10:40 PM

It is a shame that Lewisham probably won't be organising an archictectural competition for the design of the new pools. Past competitions have resulted in some really iconic buildings from the White House to the Sydney Opera House and closer to home buildings like the Houses of Parliament and the De La Warr Pavilion in Bexhill-on-Sea.

Great buildings can help to transform an area - just look at Peckham Library and the Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff. We already have some fabulous buildings in Forest Hill such as the Horniman Museum, the former Capitol Cinema and the deco gem, Welcome Aboard. Why can't we have one more?

Sadly, I expect we will end up with a dismal tin shed which will run over budget and over the timetable. To add insult to injury, no doubt the new building will be give some utterly banal name. However, if against all odds Lewisham does deliver a gem, I would be the first to lobby for the new pools to be called the Sir Steve Bullock Baths.

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Posts: 653
Joined: Feb 2007
Post: #104
20-02-2008 12:22 AM

Well said, Woody.

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Posts: 202
Joined: Jan 2008
Post: #105
25-02-2008 09:29 AM

Initially on reading the report before the Mayor on Feb 13th I was under the impression additional structural investigations had been conducted as part of the feasibility and risk assessment.

Apart from council officers measuring the water leakage, the rest of the report seems based on interpretations of the intrusive survey conducted in 2006 by Pinnacle ESP.

From Pinnicale's summary December 2006

Trial pits were excavated as part of the project to investigate the condition of the foundations at various points of the building. The structural engineer has reported that all appeared to be in good condition.
The pools were found to have minor hairline cracks in the base and walls. It is thought that these have been caused by either ground or thermal movement.

Report to the Mayor February 2008

The two pool tanks are subject to severe cracking across their entire width in three places. Water is leaking from the tanks at an alarming rate with a consequent negative impact on the environment.

In addition the Pinnacle condition survey trial pits determined that there is a void under the pool slab so that the pool slabs are not resting on the clay backfill as intended. This may be due to the saturation of the clay backfill due to the water leakage.

If the recent February report extracted its information from Pinnicale's intrusive survey report, why does their 2006 summary play down (cracks) or ignore (voids) major defects?

Does anyone know if the full Intrusive Survey is available to the public?

Have the council yet been in contact with any 'stakeholders' regarding the possible design of the new pools?

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Posts: 202
Joined: Jan 2008
Post: #106
25-02-2008 11:44 AM

It looks like there was a debate on the Sydenham forum regarding the size of the new pools building and the amount of land to be sold for development.

Cllr. Best has put the following on the Sydenham forum....

We are setting up a meeting with members of the Forest Hill and Sydenham Societies to talk about the site in more detail. There are no agreed plans on the footprint of the new building and the area that will be sold. Once we have met I am sure there will be further views exchanged!

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Posts: 5
Joined: Feb 2008
Post: #107
26-02-2008 01:10 AM

Cllr Best has been in touch with both the Sydenham Society, and the Forest Hill Society, to arrange a date for a meeting in the next few weeks. The Forest Hill Society will be sending represntatives to this meeting, though exactly who attends will depend on the agreed date.

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Posts: 3,221
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #108
29-02-2008 08:53 AM

BBC London TV (and probably radio as well) are today reporting on the pool demolition in Forest Hill.

In advance of the meeting with Chris Best we would be interested to hear what facilities you would/would not like to see on the site, particualrly what would you use. A few ideas to get you started and for your comments:
* 2 pools (main pool and learner pool)
* machine room (gym)
* dance/yoga room
* climbing wall
* cafe
* small meeting room
* class rooms for adult education
* wave machine / water slides
* display on the history of pools and public baths
* opening roof to create a lido in the summer

Not all of these would be possible with a limited budget, so we would like to know which we should have. It is important to focus on what should be in the new building at least as much as how it should look.

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Posts: 2,002
Joined: Apr 2005
Post: #109
29-02-2008 08:58 AM

Yes on Radio London they are saying will be bulldozed in couple of weeks.
I can appreciate it would cost a small fortune to return this aged building to its former glory and probably we have to accept it will go. However I remember learning to swim there as a child and many other visits.
I remember the changing cubibicles used to be along the side of each pool which I am afraid meant your clothes got quite wet

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Posts: 394
Joined: Dec 2002
Post: #110
29-02-2008 09:17 AM

For those who didn't catch it elsewhere - a short video of the history of Forest Hill Pools presented by Steve Grindlay:


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Posts: 64
Joined: Jun 2007
Post: #111
29-02-2008 09:50 AM

I hope they go for an interesting, art deco infleucned modern building which will really contribute, architectually to the area. As opposed to some boring, ugly and unimaginative block. There are a few modernly designed buildings around here - ship ahoy, the 'sails' house and a few on Manor Mount.

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Posts: 113
Joined: Nov 2007
Post: #112
29-02-2008 10:29 AM

One facility we really need is a large community meeting space to function like a village hall, not a small meeting room. Needs to be large enough to hold meetings like the FHS AGM, Steve Grindlay's history talk and to cope with emergencies like moving the Christmas Fair indoors when weather is bad.
Could also be used for activities like dance classes, sports, kids events etc.

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Posts: 377
Joined: Feb 2008
Post: #113
29-02-2008 11:14 AM

Other ideas which have been put forward on the Sydenham Town Hall Forum include

  • Retain existing frontage building
  • Use the Dulwich Leisure Centre on East Dulwich Road as a model (for facilities)
  • A decent leisure centre is really needed in this part of the borough and that could be the perfect spot.
  • Four court sports arena (for badminton, tennis, soccer and basketball) (18mx33m)
Personally, I would strongly back the four court arena which could be used for dance/yoga room, climbing wall, community meeting space, kids events, Christmas Fair etc. If the budget does not stretch to a fully equipped hall, then at least furnish it with badminton and soccer facilities (six nets total); this would cover 66% of typical visits. Additional equipment could be provided by local community, fund raising events Smile

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Posts: 138
Joined: Jan 2007
Post: #114
29-02-2008 11:44 AM

Really like the community/village hall idea. With the right publicity and marketing, it could prove to be a nice little earner. Such things as farmers markets (winter), wine tastings, jumble sales, festivals, indoor competions etc could all be accomodated.

Although I might baulk at the setting up of a local WI !!

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Posts: 1,360
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #115
29-02-2008 01:13 PM

Local village hall seems like a good idea.

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Posts: 505
Joined: Nov 2007
Post: #116
29-02-2008 03:28 PM

Dont lose sight of the fact that we want our swimming pool back. Church hall/meeting place etc can be found anywhere - e.g the Dutch Barn in the Hornimans, the Library etc.

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Posts: 283
Joined: Feb 2006
Post: #117
29-02-2008 03:35 PM

Love the idea of an opening roof to create a summer lido - although not sure how well it would work in reality since you'll only really get the effect while the sun is right overhead - at the point we're told to keep out of it. I suspect the roof may be too high to make it feel really outdoors. Still, would be amazing - particularly perhaps if the pool could have windows/doors to an outside terrace.

Wave machines and slides don't do much for me. In many pool complexes, they seem to be out of order often. Kids like splashing around regardless whether they have a slide to do it on or not.

Machine rooms (although can I add a desire for a free weight room rather than just the machine weights) and a studio for dance/yoga/classes/stretching would be good.

Count me into the group who'd rather see games courts/halls rather than classrooms and meeting rooms.

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Posts: 505
Joined: Nov 2007
Post: #118
29-02-2008 03:39 PM

..and the roof mechanism would break down through years of inactivity!

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Posts: 729
Joined: Oct 2007
Post: #119
29-02-2008 03:46 PM

Applespider Wrote:
Wave machines and slides don't do much for me. In many pool complexes, they seem to be out of order often.

I agree! These would be expensive in terms of initial capital and probably rapidly redundant because of pressures on revenue funding for maintenance. I think that the money could be better spent elsewhere.

I do like the idea of opening to the outside world on sunny days - side and or roof?

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Posts: 505
Joined: Nov 2007
Post: #120
29-02-2008 03:47 PM

The budget needs to be spent on providing a high quality swimming pool facility. Prioirty being the building (as the lovely Victorian frontage looks like being junked) and the pools. I dont (personally) want to see a shabby frontage in a year of it's opening and to be told that compromises were made with the quality of the materials inorder to facilitate a village hall/squash courts or whatever. Obviously if money was no object then it would be a different story....

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