Letters - 12.09.13

site for
swimming pool

Use former Academy site

Sir - I have had a look at the plans for a new Academy campus, which I think are a modern state of the art learning centre for the future generations of Academy pupils.

I only hope the pupils appreciate all this money spent on their behalf. I have only one discerning remark to make on this so modern campus. Why have the public baths situated on the very outskirts of our town, which many people use on a daily basis? It won’t be long before the people of Forfar and the Academy pupils will get the impression that this swimming pool, which is a public utility, belongs to Forfar Academy.

Some time ago, when it was mooted that our local baths was nearing the end of its life, after 100 years in existence, I wrote a letter to the ‘Dispatch’ then, asking our council to look at converting the original Forfar Academy, which has now been lying empty for over five years, to be the situation for our new swimming pool.

Where are all our entrepreneurs and architects with vision, who could transform this fine old building into a modern state of the art swimming pool, with all the facilities it can offer?

Any city or town would give its eye teeth to have such a central position for a new swimming pool.

All bus services from north, south, east and west terminate at the bus stance, which has its own gateway for the Academy, on its doorstep.

There is more than ample parking for cars in the playground, facing Academy Street.

All families don’t have a car to transport their children to the outskirts of the town. In my opinion, the old Forfar Academy could still be standing for the next 150 years.

Is there to be a new bus service, running every half hour, from the bus stance to this new campus, for people without cars?

I remember as a child going to the ‘pond’ for the first time when I was maybe seven or eight years old, and paying my old penny to get in.

The swimming pool was always known as the pond.

Before these swimming baths were built all the jute factories had their own pond, where the exhaust steam from their engine went through a condenser to be changed back to water, which then flowed into their pond.

One of the factories used to allow the children to use it as a pool, hence the name pond was always used instead of the baths.

Also in these days of the 1920s, during the winter where you couldn’t get your weekly washing dry, your mother told you to take the galvanised bath with all the washing down to the pond for drying, a charge of six pence being charged for this service which could be collected the following day.

Many houses in Forfar in the era before 1933 didn’t have any running water in the house, so a galvanised bath was used for bathing.

To go to the pond and experience that lovely hot shower was something to look forward to, all for an old penny, when you could stay for as long as you want.

However, I am digressing a little. Let the public air their views on my idea of having our new pool situated in a central position, where it can be reached from all parts of Forfar.

Yours etc.,

John Macdonald,

Suttieside Road,