Husborne Crawley
Swimming Pool
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At the end of the 19th century, several of the villages around the Woburn Estate had their own village swimming pools which had been built by the Woburn Estates. Until the mid 1960's Husborne Crawley too had its own public swimming pool. It was situated in Mill Lane between the farm and the cottages.

It was greatly enjoyed by the children of the village and here Bill Bowler recalls his times spent there in the 1920's and Joan Healy in the 1930's.
Husborne Crawley Swimming Pool in the 1930's with Bill's father, Frederick, in the centre
Bill Bowler and the Swimming Pool in the 1920's

"We used to have a lovely swimming pool in Husborne Crawley when I was a boy. We'd go and swim 2 or 3 times a week after school. A few days of the week were just for the boys and a few days just for the girls. It was always cold, I can tell you. It was all right once you dipped down right under and then it wasn't too bad after that.

The attendant at the pool was Eddie Garrett, he used to teach us to swim but he couldn't swim himself. If you got in trouble he used to get this long pole and you had to grab it. The pool was 6 foot deep at the one end and it had a diving board, but I never did jump off it cos I should have drowned because I never learnt to swim. We used that pool for years until the pump broke down that was used to fill it but they wouldn't replace it so it got closed down and was never used again".
Joan Healy (nee Battams) and the Swimming Pool in the 1930's

"I started swimming at Husborne Crawley pool in the 1930's when I was about 6 years old. I have great memories of the swimming pool. At that time mixed bathing wasn't allowed so boys would go on one day and girls on another. Much later on they started allowing mixed bathing on a Saturday but not when I was a girl. We used to go down there after school nearly every day we could. We had some lovely swimming galas. We were so lucky. We had 12 little cabins for changing rooms and Mr. Attacke was in charge. That was his job. He used to live in the end house next to the pool. He used to have a hook to rescue you if you got in trouble.

It wasn't heated. I mean you nearly died when you got in and it had lots of chlorine in it. It was so sad when it closed down. It was such as shame; we had so much fun there we really did. It gave us a lovely life of laughter and happiness".