Author Topic: Exciting leisure centres  (Read 122170 times)

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Exciting leisure centres
« on: February 13, 2012, 03:21:40 PM »
It's the late 80s, everyone.  You grew up in Bath and you've only ever been to ordinary leisure centres before now, so know of the possibility of a big pool and a small pool, and maybe a day when loads of toys are chucked in and the wave machine comes on, drowning you a bit which you don't like.

Then, one day, you for some reason end up being taken to this INCREDIBLE PLACE IN SWINDON:



WOW!  FLUMES AND SLIDES AND STUFF!!  THEY GO OUTSIDE AND THEN COME BACK IN!!




Like some tropical country!



So fucking incredible!  Even today you can remember the joins between the segments of those flumes, rasping upon your shoulderblades and heels at a rate of knots.  The smell of chlorine, the echoing sound of shrieking children and splashing water.  And having to spend the entire time without your glasses which meant you were unable to see a fucking thing.

It wasn't long before this treat was replaced with a journey to the CHIPPENHAM OLYMPIAD instead, which was half the distance away, but despite having similar flume and slide aspirations was not as thrilling at all.


This is a thread for exciting leisure centres.  Share them!

shiftwork2

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Re: Exciting leisure centres
« Reply #1 on: February 13, 2012, 03:39:54 PM »
If you're from the North West and of a certain age then the Rhyl Sun Centre was an exciting place indeed.  Sort of like an eighties prototype of the lagoon in CenterParcs, boasting I think the first wave machine in the country.  It was made even more exciting by being full of angry Scousers from nearby static caravan parks.

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Re: Exciting leisure centres
« Reply #2 on: February 13, 2012, 03:45:23 PM »



Those slides seem to start in a connected building but end up in some mangy shed. Hope it's not one of those paedo-dens Chris Morris informed us all of.

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Re: Exciting leisure centres
« Reply #3 on: February 13, 2012, 03:47:39 PM »
If you're from the North West and of a certain age then the Rhyl Sun Centre was an exciting place indeed.  Sort of like an eighties prototype of the lagoon in CenterParcs, boasting I think the first wave machine in the country.  It was made even more exciting by being full of angry Scousers from nearby static caravan parks.

Ah - Red Dwarf trivia:  the Better Than Life "beach in paradise" sequence was filmed on Rhyl beach, and since it was too freezing cold and windy to convincingly film many of the scenes they had planned, they considered at one point shifting into the leisure centre, to where some fake palm trees were erected.  Being unable to get Rhyl Sun Centre to shut for the day, however, they opted not to do this.

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Re: Exciting leisure centres
« Reply #4 on: February 13, 2012, 03:49:10 PM »
Hemel Hempstead has a fantastic swimming centre called Aquasplash, which seems a lot like that Swindon one, but apparently less arrogantly boastful, seeing as this is the official website:

http://hemel-aquasplash.co.uk/

Even the official description makes it seem incredibly crap:

Quote
Aqua Splash is not an ordinary swimming pool! It has slides and tubes, with tables & chairs around the edge. Hugely popular with young children and families.

It is within the Leisure World, the entertainment complex in Jarman Park, Hemel Hempstead.

There are highly trained and professional Lifeguards (all with a valid NPLQ and all are 1st Aiders), as well as trained and professional Pool Attendants!

I'm surprised by how unwilling they are to advertise it, as it was great fun when I was a kid. Here are a few photos from Google Images, just to prove that it does actually exist:







That last one seems to have been taken from the café with a very poor quality camera, perhaps by a pervert surruptiously shooting while fondling himself.


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Re: Exciting leisure centres
« Reply #5 on: February 13, 2012, 03:49:37 PM »
Those slides seem to start in a connected building but end up in some mangy shed. Hope it's not one of those paedo-dens Chris Morris informed us all of.

Haha, true!  There's also a horrific homemade gas chambery look to the image if you have that kind of mind. 

It does connect back with the main building, although it's hard to see.  If memory serves you end up in a kind of shallow mini pool, separated from the other pools by the usual tiles.  So you could either go back up the stairs to the flumes again (yes please!) or join your parents in one of the main pools where they were getting sick of waiting.

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Re: Exciting leisure centres
« Reply #6 on: February 13, 2012, 03:52:25 PM »
Did anyone else ever hear an urban myth alleging that someone had been electrocuted while going down a slide? Two local swimming pools shut down in my youth and both times it was supposedly due to the same bizarre explanation.

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Re: Exciting leisure centres
« Reply #7 on: February 13, 2012, 03:54:26 PM »
Did anyone else ever hear an urban myth alleging that someone had been electrocuted while going down a slide? Two local swimming pools shut down in my youth and both times it was supposedly due to the same bizarre explanation.

I can easily imagine passing over the joins between flume segments would cause electric sparks, so I don't doubt it.

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Re: Exciting leisure centres
« Reply #8 on: February 13, 2012, 03:56:44 PM »
The only thing not made entierly out of misery and grime in Doncaster, The Dome



Been ages since I've used a water slide, think I'd get wedged in one now.

They also have a two-level ice rink, I hate ice skating :(

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Re: Exciting leisure centres
« Reply #9 on: February 13, 2012, 03:58:51 PM »
Even the official description makes it seem incredibly crap

I love the line "It has slides and tubes, with tables & chairs around the edge."

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Re: Exciting leisure centres
« Reply #10 on: February 13, 2012, 03:59:12 PM »
If you're from the North West and of a certain age then the Rhyl Sun Centre was an exciting place indeed.  Sort of like an eighties prototype of the lagoon in CenterParcs, boasting I think the first wave machine in the country.  It was made even more exciting by being full of angry Scousers from nearby static caravan parks.

...Ah yes....The only thing about Rhyl that wasn't soul crushingly depressing. Forever hard on the heels of Rhyl for all-out shiteness, Morcambe boasted 'Bubbles' with its futuristic domed roof and its 'Drown! You little bastards!' wave machine.

Patrons of both these venues were able to pretend, for a few blessed hours,that they where somewhere other than Morcambe or Rhyl.

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Re: Exciting leisure centres
« Reply #11 on: February 13, 2012, 04:01:05 PM »
The urban myths attached to our local leisure centres - namely The Lagoon in Paisley and the Magnum Centre in Irvine - were that people had taken to sticking razorblades inside the flumes with, er, chewing gum or Blu Tac or something.  I deem it unlikely.

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Re: Exciting leisure centres
« Reply #12 on: February 13, 2012, 04:01:44 PM »
I love the line "It has slides and tubes, with tables & chairs around the edge."
Haha yes, as if it's claiming the tables and chairs as a feature rather than a basic necessity. It's a shame they didn't mention the amount of water they have. Loads of the stuff.

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Re: Exciting leisure centres
« Reply #13 on: February 13, 2012, 04:09:25 PM »
Haha yes, as if it's claiming the tables and chairs as a feature rather than a basic necessity. It's a shame they didn't mention the amount of water they have. Loads of the stuff.

I imagine the tables and chairs put there kind of like there's nowhere else to store them.  So there isn't much room between the pool and the wall, but they've put a line of chairs with their backs to the wall, facing the pool.  When you sit on them your feet are over the water.

Re: Exciting leisure centres
« Reply #14 on: February 13, 2012, 04:18:22 PM »
If you're from the North West and of a certain age then the Rhyl Sun Centre was an exciting place indeed.  Sort of like an eighties prototype of the lagoon in CenterParcs, boasting I think the first wave machine in the country.  It was made even more exciting by being full of angry Scousers from nearby static caravan parks.

Pretty much what I was going to say. As a kid this place was the motherfucking place to be if you wanted to twat about on a slide. The problem for my family was my mum didn't/doesn't like to have fun and ergo didn't swim and especially did not want to fanny about in a wave pool or face THE TERROR of an indoor tropical storm so we hardly ever got to go.

I think I managed to go a grand total of about two times, once with my first year school class. The only thing I can remember is my fear of sharks, stemming from Jaws and especially Jaws 3 for indoor water type situations, really hit fever pitch because the wave/surf pool had a giant fuck off dark cage at the end of it with huge thrashing waves inside it convincing me that a shark was going to break free and eat my arsehole

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Re: Exciting leisure centres
« Reply #15 on: February 13, 2012, 04:22:42 PM »
My local swimming pool was very unexciting, apart from those magical times when a loose jobby was spotted and everybody left the water in shrieking panic.  Perturbingly, if you try to swim away from a bobbing jobby it does follow you.  The lifeguard would eventually return from his fag break and fish it out with a sieve on a pole before issuing the all-clear.  I'm surprised to see modern Leisure Centres haven't introduced something similar.

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Re: Exciting leisure centres
« Reply #16 on: February 13, 2012, 04:25:50 PM »
I've just remembered another two, both in the north.

The first would have been mid to late 80s, so I would have been about 6 or 7, and it was before I encountered the Oasis in Swindon.  Whitley Bay leisure centre.  I think it may have had one slide, a wave machine, and a strange diver tank with glass walls so from around the edge of the normal pool you could see the people going up and down inside with their goggles on.  Probably bog standard but the extra features blew me away around that time.  I don't know if the building still exists; in my memory it was quite a dark gloomy affair but still out of the ordinary.

This is the only picture of it I can find, and it's definitely the one but it's shown here drained of water; I remember those colourful fibreglass ball things:

Coming out of the end of that slide, the force would push me deep underwater, and the effect brought me to tears many times.  As did the wave machine they had.  Fond memories of that time in general though.


The other one would probably been mid 90s.  Possibly a holiday with my family to Newcastle, and we went to Wet n Wild in North Shields.  That was quite an excessive place.  Like the Oasis, but with more and more.  As well as all the flumes and slides, they had a kind of swimming pool "canal" with a slow current, going outside and back in again.  It was great because if it was raining you could constantly go underwater to escape it, and it was like magic.

Here's the best picture I can find of part of that:


That bridge part to the left is where the water is coming back indoors from outside.


This is a video for a place called Waterworld; it reminds me of Wet n Wild, though I wouldn't be surprised if Waterworld is a lot bigger:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cine3jZwcw0&


For any experiences in big, colourful, exciting places like this, I do recommend being short sighted and having to leave your specs in the locker room.
« Last Edit: February 13, 2012, 04:51:18 PM by Replies From View »

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Re: Exciting leisure centres
« Reply #17 on: February 13, 2012, 04:30:26 PM »
Perturbingly, if you try to swim away from a bobbing jobby it does follow you.

This is true.  I think the best technique is to go under the water surface before swimming away, but this does mean taking your eyes off it.

Re: Exciting leisure centres
« Reply #18 on: February 13, 2012, 04:33:52 PM »
I remember the excitement of going to the Guilford Spectrum for the first time as a child, with it's almost daunting number of pools and slides, and it even had a diving pool. I was too scared to go myself, it was too high, but still the excitement of watching other people!

It might rubbish and I've just remembered it being much bigger than it is, looking at some images, it actually looks quite chaotic, which I guess gives the feeling of it being this vast jungle to explore to a child.

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Re: Exciting leisure centres
« Reply #19 on: February 13, 2012, 04:34:50 PM »
still the excitement of watching other people!

Rubbing my short-sightedness in!

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Re: Exciting leisure centres
« Reply #20 on: February 13, 2012, 04:35:18 PM »
Aaaahh...memories.... does anyone remember the bastard name of the Water park in Purely near the old Croydon Airfield? My younger days were spent at the boring Westcroft or morden Swimming baths but as I reached my late teens I discovered the awesome Water park at Purley. Diving pool, lazy river, wave macine, slides...it had the lot.

I understand it was shut down and replaced with a Nightclub and some shops.

Fuckers!

Re: Exciting leisure centres
« Reply #21 on: February 13, 2012, 04:36:21 PM »
I once got stuck half-way down a water flume due to excessive friction from my trunks. Fortunately, the girl I fancied was coming down behind me and smashed into my backside, pushing me all the way to the bottom where we tumbled out of the pipe and splashed down in a big mess of bodies, laughing.

(The above incident occurred at Poole Tower Park.)

Re: Exciting leisure centres
« Reply #22 on: February 13, 2012, 04:38:20 PM »
The last time I went to Perth Leisure Pool in early 1995, Bruno Brookes was inexplicably signing autographs at the side of the pool.  Eventually me and my brother decided to join the queue, which led us to a long and increasingly cold wait.  I was genuinely going to ask him if he'd been taking drugs in the middle of the night as the sole purpose of obtaining his signature, but either a pool attendant or Brookes security person drew a close to proceedings before I got the chance.  :(

Re: Exciting leisure centres
« Reply #23 on: February 13, 2012, 04:39:04 PM »
Did anyone else ever hear an urban myth alleging that someone had been electrocuted while going down a slide? Two local swimming pools shut down in my youth and both times it was supposedly due to the same bizarre explanation.

Up our way it was far more convincing.
Hammering nails into the undersides of the slides was our 'myth'.
Although, I can totally see this happening.

I'm still not all that keen on water slides.
There's that obvious annoyance of the joins hurting you, cutting you a bit when you go down if there's not much water or they're shit.
Or the risk of coming off, which is a real danger on those straight down kamikaze ones they've got. And definitely going to happen on those ones where they go from kamikaze to fucking hump then kamikaze again.
I'll bet the surrounding area is littered with kids flung from those things.

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Re: Exciting leisure centres
« Reply #24 on: February 13, 2012, 04:39:15 PM »
This place is great.


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Re: Exciting leisure centres
« Reply #25 on: February 13, 2012, 04:43:14 PM »
I never went to a leisure centre, but I did stay at a chalet type place in Cornwall with a sports centre attached when I was about 15. I went with my best mate and his PE teacher dad/nice mum. It was pretty uneventful, apart from the time I pissed on the hot rocks in the sauna.
Most of the time was mainly spent unsuccessfully trying to cop off with Cornish grebo girls. Well, I did okay. Not to boast. Ben pulled a right hosebeast. He did buy a nice White Zombie t-shirt though, to be fair.

And we saw the eden project, before it was even built.

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Re: Exciting leisure centres
« Reply #26 on: February 13, 2012, 04:47:14 PM »
Aaaahh...memories.... does anyone remember the bastard name of the Water park in Purely near the old Croydon Airfield? My younger days were spent at the boring Westcroft or morden Swimming baths but as I reached my late teens I discovered the awesome Water park at Purley. Diving pool, lazy river, wave macine, slides...it had the lot.

I understand it was shut down and replaced with a Nightclub and some shops.

Fuckers!

Water Palace



I fucking loved it there. That picture has caused a flood of soggy nostalgia.

Re: Exciting leisure centres
« Reply #27 on: February 13, 2012, 04:53:24 PM »
Oh yeah Water Palace, there's a nostalgia trip. I vaguely recall going there now, a little too young to really remember it now, but I seem to remember that being fun.

Can I be 8 again and go to one of these leisure centres now please, just for a day?

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Re: Exciting leisure centres
« Reply #28 on: February 13, 2012, 04:55:00 PM »


I like the design of this building (and the Leisure World sign) a lot.  Very evocative.

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Re: Exciting leisure centres
« Reply #29 on: February 13, 2012, 05:00:04 PM »
Can I be 8 again and go to one of these leisure centres now please, just for a day?

I can put you back there, but I'm afraid you'll have to then live the whole of the rest of your life again from that point.  And I'm afraid that you will be struck by amnesia at certain crucial moments so that when it matters, you will make exactly the same mistakes again.  Sorry about that.