For more information please contact:
Ros Brousson – general enquiries
Peter Smith – for reporting faults or damage
The 2020 season
UNFORTUNATELY, THE PARISH COUNCIL HAS HAD TO MAKE THE VERY DIFFICULT DECISION THAT THE POOL WILL NOT OPEN THIS YEAR AT ALL, FOR EITHER THE SCHOOL TO USE, OR FOR COMMUNITY MEMBERSHIP TO USE DURING THE HOLIDAY.
Guidance on Covid-19 related health and safety implications for the re-opening of swimming pools has now been published by the national regulatory body for the operating of pools. The parish council hoped that there might be an opportunity to open up the pool for the later part of the year, but the control measures have not been sufficiently relaxed for this to be practical; new stringent measures for hygiene, distancing in the water including the installation of swim lanes, very reduced numbers at any one time, with consequent lifeguarding implications – these guidelines have all made it unrealistic to use the pool. Also, the council could not offer resuscitation courses at any time in the foreseeable future, and the pool has now lost considerable funds towards running costs, including fundraising from this year’s cancelled Swoosh. In addition to all of this, the school authorities are unable to allow non-staff adults and non-school children into the school grounds for the foreseeable future. These reasons have all combined to make opening the pool this year an impossibility.
A provisional date of the beginning of May is set for the pool to open, but this will depend on weather and water temperature (above 21′ is the standard minimum temperature required).
The exact opening date will be advertised beforehand on this website and on the community’s Aveton Gifford Facebook page.
Once open, the pool may be used out of school hours between the following times:
During term time:
- Weekdays – 5pm to 9pm ;
- Weekends – 10am to 9pm.
During the school holidays:
- Weekdays – 9am to 9pm
- Weekends – 10am to 9pm.
Training Course dates for 2020
Please note – this year, booking training course dates, and paying for memberships will be done online only.
When the booking site is live it will be linked to this page here.
Training is held in the Fisherman’s Rest between 6:30pm & 8:00pm.
All previously arranged dates have been cancelled, and until there is further clarification and advice from government guidelines, no courses further will be booked.
However, should the situation improve, and the pool re-open, Nigel has offered to run a crash series of courses so that members could use the pool for the remaining part of the season.
Further details will be published here, and on the Aveton Gifford Facebook page, parish noticeboards, and at the shop to notify you in time if there are plans to open up the pool this year.
Preparing for 2020 Season
All the maintenance and servicing of equipment will be done ready for the 2020 season, but we will ask for volunteer help with some of the basics eg painting, cleaning etc before opening.
Once the weather has improved, and the water temperature is above 21′ (the standard minimum temperature) we will be good to go! The water quality is sampled by Harris Pools (Torquay) who service all our pool equipment, and the new automatic dosing system tests the level of the pool chemicals three times during the day, adding the purification liquids as and when required to ensure that the pool is always safe and clean for everyone to use. Peter Smith and Colin Pearson also monitor everything daily.
Once the pool is open the solar panels make a large contribution to the water temperature keeping it regularly at 21′ and over, so the pool can remain open for the summer from the first week in May (provisional date – to be advised nearer the time)
As with last year, we also hope to keep the pool open for at least another month after the beginning of the Autumn term….. temperatures permitting.
Opening and closing dates, and further information will be published here on the website, and on the Aveton Gifford Facebook page.
Pool membership prices & rules
AVETON GIFFORD PARISH COUNCIL MEMBERSHIP CONDITIONS FOR USE OF COMMUNITY SWIMMING POOL
Payment of £55 will buy Household Community Pool Membership; this will give you one pool key issued for the current year, + resuscitation training for two adults, + annual subscription to use the community pool out of school hours, and during the holidays (see Opening Times section above) for the season.
Additional accompanying adults (eg grandparents, siblings over 18) in the same household can become Community Pool Members on payment of £15 each for resuscitation training, which must be booked in advance.
Payment of £30 will buy Single Community Pool Membership; to cover one pool key, + resuscitation training, + annual subscription to use the pool (see Opening Times section above for times).
The resuscitation training is only valid for the current year, and so all keyholders/accompanying adults will need a refresher each year before keys will be issued. It must be stressed that this pool is not life-guarded. For this reason, the safety of your family members in the water, or on the pool-side, relies on your ability to resuscitate, or your capability to deal with an accident should it happen.
The ONLY exceptions for memberships without an AG training course will be for those users who already have a current (to cover the season) Health and Safety at Work certificate WHICH COVERS WETSIDE RESUSCITATION TRAINING. This certificate must be agreed with either Ros Brousson or James Reina first before paying for your membership.
We have a set number of memberships which we have learned by experience gives us a safe number of users, so we cannot safely issue more keys/memberships. This means that once the training courses are fully booked, and we have accepted H&S Wetside trained memberships we can’t take any more. Also, with apologies, we have to restrict memberships to full time residents only.Unfortunately because the pool is small, and demand for membership is so high, we have to take bookings for the training courses on a first come first served basis – you do need to make absolutely sure that you are going to be able to come on that/those date/s when you make the booking.
Please note – this year, booking training course dates, and paying for memberships will be done online only. The full membership fee must be paid in order to book your places on the training session, and it will be possible to book two different dates so that two accompanying adults can both get training without having to organise child care.
If you can’t attend, but haven’t cancelled your name/s on the booking page by 48 hours of that session, you will run the risk of forfeiting your membership, but in particular, you will have prevented someone else from taking your place. Refunds will only be available in the event of illness or bereavement.
(All training course and membership fees go towards pool running costs and to pay our qualified instructor. We try to keep costs to members down as much as possible, but we rely on these membership payments to cover these costs, so in turn, we do need to rely on your commitment to turn up – each keyholder place on a course left empty because of late cancelling, means £55 less to run the pool. )
All members will be asked to sign an agreement that they have read these rules and the mandatory safety conditions below, and will abide by them, and that they have attended one of the approved courses.
Membership is subject to the following conditions:
1. Community Pool Members (keyholders) can only be adults living in the parish, or the adult family members of children attending either the primary school or preschool.
2. Guests; visiting friends of keyholders may use the pool with that person, but not neighbours or people living in the parish who would be able to get their own membership.
3. The keyholder must be present at the pool whilst his/her family or guests are at the pool. This person must please sign the register in the First Aid room on each visit to the pool. (We need this info to count the numbers for pool use in order to set the automatic doser and filtration.)
4. The CP Member must have undergone the Aveton Gifford session of resuscitation training for that year, or hold a current Emergency First Aid at Work qualification which covers WETSIDE training. (Please check your qualification with a committee member first to avoid disappointment.) No other resuscitation courses and First Aid qualifications will be valid for this membership.
5. For obvious safety reasons please do not lend your key to anyone else. Accidents, however unusual, do happen, and they will not have gone through the appropriate resuscitation training. This could invalidate your membership.
6. Please will all swimmers wear appropriate swimwear, in particular swim nappies for very young children.
7. Swimming aids such as arm rings are permitted, but not the use of air beds (lilos), fins, snorkels.
8. The pool arrangement with the school specifies that nobody may use the school playground, play equipment, or adventure area, or enter any part of the school premises. This also includes using their floats and other pool equipment which is used during teaching sessions – quite a lot of it has been damaged in past years by using it to play with after school hours.
9. For consideration of other users, and for the volunteers who daily maintain the pool for your use, please keep the pool, pool side and changing area clean and tidy, and please take all your belongings including litter with you when leaving. There is no paid cleaner to clean any of these areas, everything is done with volunteers – and they frequently have to clear up, usually litter and clothing, but, on infrequent occasions, even dirty nappies and sick. (A mop, and bucket are kept in the first aid room if needed). If we find we have to employ a regular cleaner, unfortunately, this would mean that the membership fee would have to go up to pay for it.
10. No food and drinks (apart from bottled water only) are permitted in any of the pool area. (Not even crisps or sweets please – we want no mice, and particularly no rats to be attracted by crumbs, wrappers or the remnants of a picnic.)
11. The pool cover must be replaced over the water when you leave the pool if no one else is present, regardless of time of day, because this keeps the water temperature constant.
12. The pool gate must be locked on leaving the pool – for obvious safety reasons, but also as part of our agreement with the school.
13. No pets are allowed into any of the school grounds or in pool area.
14. PLEASE NOTE – Please use the pool with consideration for everyone else. Continual excessively noisy play, or rowdy and antisocial behaviour spoils the enjoyment for other users, and it’s very unpleasant for neighbours, particularly if they hear it day after day – nobody minds the normal noise from the pool, but we don’t want to have to limit its use at all because the noise level or language has become unacceptable, so for the sake of other more considerate users, your membership will have to be terminated.
15. Aveton Gifford Parish Council, Aveton Gifford Primary School, and the PTFA accept no responsibility for loss or damage to personal property.
16. All persons use the pool at their own risk; please read and abide by the safety conditions below. Aveton Gifford Parish Council, Aveton Gifford Primary School, and the PTFA accept no responsibility for death or injury to any person.
Mandatory conditions for the safety of all pool users:
1. The pool may only be used out of school hours between the following times:
- During term time: weekdays – 5pm to 9pm ; weekends – 10am to 9pm.
- During the school holidays: weekdays – 9am to 9pm ; weekends – 10am to 9pm.
2. The gate to the pool area must be locked by the last members to use the pool.
3. This pool is not life guarded.
4. A rescue pole is kept on the wall of the changing room.
5. The CP Member must have a mobile phone with them whilst at the pool.
6. All children under 18 must be accompanied by a CP Member. For children under 8 years of age there must be one adult over 18 at or in the pool for every two children.
7. No more than 15 people should be in the water at any one time.
8. No person should use the pool on their own in case of accidents.
9. Alcohol and smoking is not permitted at the pool and no inebriated person may use the pool – for obvious safety reasons.
10. Diving or jumping into the pool, and running alongside the pool are all prohibited, again for safety reasons.
The First Pool
Living so close to the river and the sea it’s essential that our children learn to swim, and for many years swimming lessons have been an important part of the school curriculum. There wasn’t a public pool in Kingsbridge until the 1990’s, but there has been a pool here at Aveton Gifford Primary School for over 50 years. The first pool was built in 1965 in part of the playground by the original school buildings for the princely sum of £600! £250 of this came from Government funding, but the remaining £350 came from local donations – the Parochial Church Council gave half the proceeds of their Summer Fete, the Cricket Club held a barn dance and gave half the proceeds from that, and the rest came in from voluntary subscriptions.
The first pool was a raised wooden tank-like structure with a liner and a ladder to get in and out, and although it was very small it was just big enough for lessons and for children to swim a length without their feet touching the bottom. It was even big enough for an annual swimming sports day with races, although parents coming to watch did get fairly wet as well!
The New Pool
By 1991 the pool had served the school very well in the 26 years since it was built but it was requiring quite a lot of annual maintenance, also the original school building was about to undergo major work which would double its size and encroach on the site of the pool. It was obvious to Tony Bishop, the headmaster, that it needed to be replaced elsewhere with something more up-to-date. He enlisted the support of the school governors and the PTA, and over the next couple of years some land behind the school was acquired, funding was negotiated, and the new pool was built, mainly by a group of parents led by Paul Holmes who was PTA chairman at the time.
The intention right from the start was that this new pool would be for the use of the whole community; since it was opened on a lovely sunny afternoon in June 1993 by local TV celebrity Ron Bendall, many more of our children have learned to swim in it in the summer term, and it has been used in the evenings and during the summer holidays by local residents. For a small place we have been really lucky to have the pool, and one of the best sounds in the village during summer months is the sound of children’s voices really enjoying themselves!
Our community pool
In 2011 our primary school in the village became a member of a co-operative Federation. After several years the managers considered closing the pool down altogether, but at this point the parish council stepped in to negotiate a lease; it is now run by the community rather than the school for the use of residents in the parish, or families who don’t live in the parish but whose children go to either the primary school or the Hive pre-school, and the school will still be able to use it for lessons as it always has during term time.
After paying for the legal fees involved in setting up the 7 year lease, the parish council oversaw the initial repairs and improvements, principally to the filtration system and to the solar panels which provide heating to the water. This ensures that the pool is now much warmer than in previous years, regularly in the lower 20 degrees range, often much higher during heat waves, and is enough to keep it open for an extra month during part of the autumn term as well. However it’s an expensive business for a small parish council to cover annual running costs and maintenance, to replace outworn equipment, and fund our annual resuscitation courses – the pool must cover its own running costs, but we have found ourselves very dependant on other fund-raising to keep the pool up to date and in good and safe condition.
Tony Porter generously gave a large proportion of the proceeds of the 2015 Classic Car Show to pay for an automatic dosing system which tests the water throughout the day, and administers the right amounts of pool chemicals to keep the pH levels correct and the water safe and clean.
There have been many other improvements as well, and necessary replacement of various bits of the original equipment that have reached the end of their days. The parish council has been very grateful for the very generous input from the Outdoor Swimming Society’s Bantham Swoosh fundraising swimmers who have enabled us to make these repairs, especially those requiring speedy attention during the season so that the pool doesn’t need to be out of use for any longer than strictly necessary.