In the swim

Here’s one I suspect may trigger a few memories. Unearthed by the young David Evans, it’s an image of Walsall Wood Primary School’s swimming pool, which I think is long demolished. I’m not familiar with it myself, but it seems a lot like one Millfield had – and may still do.

I expect a few readers will have memories of this pool or others like it. A common design, they were built on the surface from four lined, waterproofed walls. I believe they feel out of favour due to health and safety concerns.

David wrote:

Hi Bob

In the course of a conversation, cup of tea and a chat this afternoon, I was delighted to learn of the existence of the swimming pool at Waslall Wood School, which I hadn’t known about previously.

I understand that it was built inside one of the pre-fab classrooms at Walsall Wood Primary School and opened in 1968, snd that the money to build this was raised by the local Primary Schools’ Parents Associations. A real community effort, in fact.

I wonder if there are blog readers who may remember learning to swim in this trainer pool, and perhaps may have been involved in the fund-raising activities to provide this much-used and valued facility.

I would like to thank Mrs Pat Lynk for allowing me to scan this photopraph in her family photo album.

kind regards


So, what do you know? Comment here, or BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com. Cheers!

Walsall Wood Primary School swimming pool opening 1968 – are you one of these children, or do you know who they are? Do you remember the pool or building? Image generously supplied by Pat Lynk and sent in by David Evans.

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27 Responses to In the swim

  1. Nick Elliott says:

    Oh wow….This was a blast from the past.! I lived in Shelfield and went to Shelfield Primary School then (Coalheath Lane) . We used to get ‘bus’ed’ up to Walsall Wood School for swimming lessons.

  2. Peter Barker says:

    I learnt to flounder and splutter in one like this, in a pre-fab building on Sandbank, Bloxwich.

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  4. Rob Sollom says:

    As a pupil of St Johns School, (just dismantled), I and many amny others collected milk bottle tops, old news papers and the like to help pay for this pool. I later learnt to swim in it.
    As an addition the little girl on the right is Mrs Jeanette Page. At the time of this picture her name was Riley. Her Grandma kept the little shop the other side of Clayhanger Road from the Wheel pub. I met her when we both moved up to Shire Oak and became classmates. She still lives in Brownhilss I believe.

  5. mrdoops says:

    I remember learning to swim there whilst I was at Leighswood.

  6. Caz says:

    I remember actually being taught in the pre fab classroom that became the swimming pool.i think the teachers name was Mr Capper and he was lovely. i left in 1967 and can vaguely remember raising funds for it to be built. My own son had lessons in there about 1985/6 and he was terrified. As parents we had to go in and undress our youngsters,but because it was raised off the ground you could see how deep it was, and to a 4yr old probably quite scarey, so it was a battle getting him in there.

  7. Clive says:

    Hello Caz, i remember Mr. Capper, he introduced us to books. The one book i remember was; Animal farm, and there was another one about a couple of Polish kids escaping from Poland in a canoe, can`t remember the title though. Nice bloke, great teacher.

  8. Ah, i learned to swim in that swimming pool……by Mrs Humpage the swimming teacher. Happy Memories… If i close my eyes i can remember the smell of the chlorine in the pool… Great photo, thanks for sharing and bringing back the memories….x

  9. Maria Hughes says:

    Where about in the school grounds was this pool?

  10. David Evans says:

    HI Bob
    it was in one of the prefab the infants school( now th youth club)..Its now a green play area, You can see this area from the Oak Park car park..

  11. Glenn Curley says:

    Crikey, I remember this. I learnt to swim in that pool too. 1970-1975.

    The changing rooms had wooden benches, one fell over and cut my foot I seem to remember. Blood everywhere!

  12. Janice mason says:

    I remember it well Mr Allan tought me to swim there by letting air out my arm bands

  13. Heidi hartshorne says:

    I often bring this swimming pool up in conversation and remember how you had to walk through a foot bath first by the showers for hygiene! I still see my swimming teacher around who used to walk around the pool while we were swimming … Great times x

  14. says:

    I too attended this school and remember the pool. I had lessons in it. The other girls name I believe was Elaine Holiman.

  15. Rob Stokes says:

    I remember this pool well… it was the pre fab next to the dinning hall (also a prefab) … always remember picking up the rubber brick and earning various colour badges .

  16. As Robert Sollom has said in an earlier post I am the little girl in the white cardigan at the front of the pic the other 2 people are David Lynk and Elaine Holyman. Not sure what has happened to them now I lost touch after leaving school

  17. Ron Badkin says:

    How did anyone really learn to swim in this pool? My knees and feet used to hit the bottom it was so shallow! Not sure exactly which year(s) I swam there but it must have been just after it opened as I was a pupil at Castlefort School between 1963 and 1970

  18. Kate says:

    Surprised by the first comment as I went to St Francis in Shelfield and went to Coalheath Lane for swimming. Maybe the pool came along after Nick was there? And yes, i suppose it was shallow and a bit crap. It was of its time though, and thousands of kids learned how to swim there.

  19. PorkTorta says:

    i learned to swim in this very pool! We used to walk up from St John’s, with our trunks and towels in Sportpax bags…. When we’d proven able to not drown, and get our blue, green and red swimming badges, it was off to Oak Park to do our lifesaving badges. So much fun in this little pool! I still remember that the central heating in the changing rooms made the pipes BLISTERINGLY hot. Not ace for a bare bum to bump against, but brill for keeping your towel warm!

  20. Fay Keay says:

    That’s where i learnt to swim went there from castlefort jmi and shire oak until they started using oak park when they closed down the one at walsall wood school . It was always a lot warmer than oak park .

  21. Fran Trawford says:

    I started teaching at Walsall Wood in 1971 and I remember many happy times working alongside Jane Humpage teaching children aged between 4 and 7 to swim. It was so exciting to see such young children gain confidence to take their feet off the bottom and swim those first strokes.

  22. I was at Streets Corner (Walsall Wood Primary) from 1973-1976 and remember this pool well. I moved to Watling Street School in 1976 and remember being bussed there for lessons. Remember nothing about the swimming lessons, just the pool itself. I loved it, but even then I remember thinking it was a bit ‘basic’. Oak Park was like swimming in an Olympic pool in comparison.

  23. leonard stretton says:

    Hi bob I remember this pool well , used to swim in there regular as a former pupil at streets corner school. Mr wroath was head master at the time . we had some good times inthat pool .if I remember right it was mrs foxes old classroom .

  24. Sue Cawley says:

    My Mom is Jane Humpage – she was the swimming teacher at this pool. She’s now 77 and still swims regularly!!

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