Newsletter Number 1, October 2011
Welcome to the first Newsletter to be sent to all those who have indicated they would like to be kept informed of what the Committee of Friends of Abbey Meadow Outdoor Pool is doing to support Abingdon’s Outdoor Pool.
1) Annual General Meeting.
Your Committee gives notice that an Annual General Meeting is to be held on Tuesday 1st November, 2011 at 7.30 pm in the Council Chamber at The King’s Head and Bell, East St Helen’s Street, Abingdon.
We do hope you will note this date in your diary and make every effort to attend. We are very keen to widen the support for the Outdoor Pool and to this end there will be an opportunity for open discussion, questions and suggestions.
ALL ARE WELCOME.
Note: We are anxious to establish contact with some people who expressed interest in the activities of FOAMOP to one of our members at the pool during the summer. If you are one of these, please come to the AGM or get in touch using the details on the contact page of this website. Thank you very much.
2) Meetings during the Summer Season 2011.
The Friends of Abbey Meadow Outdoor Pool ( FOAMOP)Committee liaises with the following groups; The Vale of White Horse District Council which part finances and is responsible for the major maintenance issues of the Pool; Abingdon Town Council, which makes a substantial contribution to the costs of the Pool; and SOLL, the contractor, which is responsible for the day to day running and general maintenance of the Pool. FOAMOP acts as the voice of the public -- those who pay the Council Tax and use the Pool.
By the end of October three meetings will have been held this year with this four part interest group. There will be a report on these meetings at the AGM.
3) Grant Funding
The Committee has made considerable efforts to research ways in which we can obtain funding to improve and secure the long term life of the Pool and also to raise its profile in the County.
Currently we have made application to the Oxfordshire County Council’s Big Society Fund and should hear by the end of October whether we have been successful.
It is recognised the Pool is greatly in need of updating; particularly it needs the following; a pool liner; pool cover; CCTV. Before all this a full structural survey is required to assess the condition of the pool.
The Outdoor Pool is a recreational facility financially supported by the two Councils. It was built in the 1950s to provide the people of Abingdon with a much needed and safe environment to the alternative of swimming in the Thames, which was then the practice. This need is as important today as it ever has been. Remember the infec tions imbibed by David Walliams in early September, in his charity swim along the Thames? Notably these occurred between Oxford and Abingdon.
Before the season began the Friends helped to publicise the Pool by circulating SOLL's fliers around the town, to surgeries, the library, several shops and the two nearby locks. Fliers were sent by SOLL to the local schools. The Town Council had a large banner strung across the High Street to advertise the Pool.
The Friends submitted an article to the spring edition of the Town Council's magazine, the "Town Crier", to encourage the public to use the Pool this summer. The "Town Crier" is circulated to every house in Abingdon.
Choose Partnership published a leaflet entitled "What's on in Abingdon" , April to August 2011, in which the attractions of outdoor swimming was highlighted.
There was advertisement on BBC's Radio Oxford of the Pool's opening at the Spring Bank Holiday weekend and further reference regarding the pleasure and healthfulness of outdoor swimming during interviews between Bill Heiney (Radio Oxford presenter) and FOAMOP committee member Peter Harbour.
At the opening Spring Bank Holiday weekend, members of the committee set up a gazebo on the pool surrounds to advertise the "Friends" and to encourage membership. Unfortunately, the weather was cold and windy and few people were swimming, however those who did come were supportive of our efforts.
When David Walliams, in his fund raising swim for Sport Relief, arrived at Abingdon lock, among others who greeted him were members of the FOAMOP committee. He was presented with a cake from FOAMOP which had been provided by Waitrose, together with a congratulatory card. This was reported in the Oxford Mail and the Oxfordshire Guardian.
5) User Group
The first User Group meeting took place on 10.8.11 between two representatives from FOAMOP and three from SOLL. Areas of concern which had been highlighted both by FOAMOP members and from the public while using the pool, were discussed. Among these were cleanliness of the changing rooms, pool water temperature, water levels. Excellent innovations were free swimming for under 16s, and the provision of picnic tables and loungers. A full report will be available at the AGM.
6) Abingdon Lidos
The FOAMOP Committee is very keen to develop liaison between the six outdoor pools in Oxfordshire and would like to rebrand them collectively as Oxfordshire Lidos. For example, Oxfordshire Lido – Abingdon; Oxfordshire Lido – Wallingford, etc. More about this at the AGM.
On behalf of the Committee we look forward to seeing you at the King’s Head and Bell on 1st November,
Chairperson of FOAMOP