Author Topic: Exciting leisure centres  (Read 128169 times)

Replies From View

  • Rubbing linseed oil into the school cormorant.
  • Golden Member
  • *****
  • Gargoyles have milk bags.
Re: Exciting leisure centres
« Reply #30 on: February 13, 2012, 05:09:19 PM »
Double post.

Janie Jones

  • Member
  • **
  • Shift over
Re: Exciting leisure centres
« Reply #31 on: February 13, 2012, 05:15:12 PM »
Hemel Hempstead has a fantastic swimming centre called Aquasplash ... it was great fun when I was a kid.

Ha, the bored young mum reading Evelyn Waugh in the spectator's gallery while you frolicked around in the pissy water was me.  Aquasplash was my kids' number one choice of birthday treat for years (until Quasar was invented, which was even fucking worse) so I often I had to drive miles to that shithole town and traverse its irksome roundabout with a carload of excited children.  Some kid who was in my charge once gave me his dirty pants to look after because he'd locked his locker then found them on  the floor but was too excited about getting into the water to delay another moment.  Some weeks later I pulled them out of my coat pocket when I was rummaging for a hanky... do you want them back?  Unfortunately I had to put them on a hot wash so the Autobots have faded a bit.   

VegaLA

  • Spiritual Demon Warfare
    • The Big Dogz LIVE
Re: Exciting leisure centres
« Reply #32 on: February 13, 2012, 05:22:09 PM »
Water Palace



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

THANK YOU Sir, yes, the Water Palace. I remember being able to buy some french fries and snacks before heading back into the large pool when the alarm sounded off. Everyone would swarm for the wave machine pool when that alarm went off.

We have the water park next to Magic mountain (Wally World film fans) just up the road from me, may take the boy there this summer as my last and first time there I was ill and could not enjoy it properly.

Saucer51

  • I'm a little cupcake
Re: Exciting leisure centres
« Reply #33 on: February 13, 2012, 05:24:56 PM »


The coastal golf course near my home. With Jetsons tower in the distance. That's about it, really.

Re: Exciting leisure centres
« Reply #34 on: February 13, 2012, 05:33:43 PM »
To add further context I thought I’d take the thread back from the late 80s to the mid 1970s.  There were no wave machines then, or toys. I recall the whole swimming baths business as leaden with pervasive glumness.
I remember there was a vending machine in the lobby, shining with gaudy treats, as if to say “hey, this is fun!”  But it wasn’t fun.

This was New Addington, now famous for tram-based racism, but back then a shining beacon of- oh, actually nothing.  The town, if we can call it that, was designed to deal with the overspill of Croydon, like an empty ice cream tub tucked under a leaking pub urinal.  I see Wikipedia damns it with this faint praise “The presence of the library, youth clubs, leisure centre, shops, churches and street market enables locals to lead full lives in many ways.” 
No.

One evening a week (I’m not certain which, but if pressed would choose Thursday- most bad things in childhood happen on Thursdays) I’d be taken To Learn to Swim.  This was another of my parents’ worthy child-improvement schemes.  It came after the cub scouts, “so he can learn to socialise” (pelted with bean bags, daunted by quasi-fascist elements, resigned in disgrace.)  And I think it was before judo “so he can learn to look after himself” (refused to fight, failed to win a single belt, resigned in disgrace.)
If you’d been in New Addington Baths on the Thursdays in 1976 you might have seen me.  I was the one standing with arms folded in the shallow end while my Dad swam lengths.  Each time he passed, he’d call out increasingly weary, irked encouragement.  I’d make a glum attempt to comply by ‘swimming’; actually a panicky, thrashing, shrieking, sinking manoeuvre.  We’d repeat this for 45 minutes until it was time for the drive home, heavy with his mute incomprehension at my lack of aquatic skills. 
I think he thought I was being deliberately obtuse and difficult, like the time he accused me of swallowing the teaspoons. 

Once I misjudged where to get into the pool and found myself horribly out of my depth, in both senses of the phrase.  My Dad watched me… well let’s not mess about: ‘drowning,’ convinced I’d see sense and save myself.  But I didn’t, so eventually he rescued me before too much snot-heavy, chlorinated, New Addington water filled my lungs.  The lifeguard by the side of the pool did nothing, of course.  You didn’t have to, it was the 70s.

Eventually my parents’ belief they could coerce buoyancy into me waned, and I resigned in disgrace, both from swimming and from New Addington. 
And now it’s 35 years later, I still can’t swim, my Dad’s dead and I never got a thing from that vending machine.
« Last Edit: February 13, 2012, 05:44:09 PM by sick as a pike »

Re: Exciting leisure centres
« Reply #35 on: February 13, 2012, 05:45:48 PM »
They also have a two-level ice rink, I hate ice skating :(

Ha, I was talking about this when skating on the weekend. My wife thought it sounded quite bizarre.

Replies From View

  • Rubbing linseed oil into the school cormorant.
  • Golden Member
  • *****
  • Gargoyles have milk bags.
Re: Exciting leisure centres
« Reply #36 on: February 13, 2012, 05:58:26 PM »
I was the one standing with arms folded in the shallow end while my Dad swam lengths.  Each time he passed, he’d call out increasingly weary, irked encouragement.  I’d make a glum attempt to comply by ‘swimming’; actually a panicky, thrashing, shrieking, sinking manoeuvre.  We’d repeat this for 45 minutes until it was time for the drive home, heavy with his mute incomprehension at my lack of aquatic skills. 
I think he thought I was being deliberately obtuse and difficult.

To be honest, this is much like my time in the 80s at Bath Leisure Centre, which was built in the mid 70s and had badminton courts and all that kind of thing, and for swimming there was a big pool and a small pool.  Plus, as you say, the vending machines, of which I remember my Dad was very suspicious but I did manage to have mints or crisps or something from. 

The pools were for swimming and learning to swim, and not for mucking around in.  When I said toys earlier, I meant things used to help you learn swimming, like polystyrene blocks to keep you afloat, and weights which were just beanbags I think and needed to be "fetched" from the bottom.  These are totally linked in my mind with days of trying to learn swimming with a school group whilst wearing pyjamas so as to be weighed down.  Awful, awful times.  I imagine the arrangement was the standard for most cities, but in the late 80s to early 90s there was an excitement as new fangled places were coming into existence and were a surprise for everyone.

When do you suppose the New Addington facilities were built?  Was it new in the 70s?

With their flumes and slides etc of the new places there seemed to be some appreciation that kids liked water but were not always into swimming.  That's what I felt at the time, anyway.  I still don't like going to a pool unless my feet are touching the bottom (eh lads!) pretty much all the time.
« Last Edit: February 13, 2012, 06:16:12 PM by Replies From View »

Jerzy Bondov

  • best not bother
    • righto so ive got five minutes off work and uh yeah im gonna have a cheeky volvic
Re: Exciting leisure centres
« Reply #37 on: February 13, 2012, 06:10:28 PM »
The Plymouth Pavilions Fun Pool:

It's closing down this year. This picture doesn't really do it justice. It had a shipwrecked galleon you could get into, with cannons you could use to shoot unsuspecting girls with a jet of cold water (if they stood in one specific place). The Snake Slide (a slide painted like a snake) had coloured lights inside, and at the end you were gobbed out by a giant snake head! There was another slide that went outside the building, though you couldn't see out so you might as well have just been indoors. It also had a wave machine.

Apparently we don't need it anymore as there will be a 'fun' pool with 'flumes, a "beach entry" and a bubble pool' inside this monster:

No mention of galleons or giant snakes, and as far as I can see there's no big orange tube emerging from the building. What a waste of money.

Replies From View

  • Rubbing linseed oil into the school cormorant.
  • Golden Member
  • *****
  • Gargoyles have milk bags.
Re: Exciting leisure centres
« Reply #38 on: February 13, 2012, 06:13:15 PM »
"The Snake Slide"
"beach entry"

LOL!!!


No mention of galleons or giant snakes, and as far as I can see there's no big orange tube emerging from the building. What a waste of money.

It's going to be generic and shit.  Sorry about that.

mycroft

  • Mmmmm... *eyebrow*
Re: Exciting leisure centres
« Reply #39 on: February 13, 2012, 07:11:08 PM »
Rhyl Sun Centre

Blimey, seems plenty of CaBers visited this Mecca of water-based merriment - I went in '95, having a great time and temporarily forgetting the wind-blasted dullness of outside (although I was later quite thrilled to find the local amusements had then-achingly-new Mortal Kombat 3 in it[1]). And who could forget the thrilling monorail?! The woman at the snack shop was a grumpy bitch, mind. Didn't understand my accent. I hope she's fucking dead.

I also remember how excited everyone got when Ayr Baths installed two slides - also the subject of those chewing gum/razor blade rumours - in the late '80s. Really though, the most exciting thing about them was they featured on a Naked Video sketch where Jonathan Watson ends up emerging from a sewage pipe.

Does Coatbridge still have The Time Capsule?
 1. They also had Killer Instinct, but I could tell even at 13 that it was shite

Don_Preston

  • You should have bought me the truck, you fuck!
Re: Exciting leisure centres
« Reply #40 on: February 13, 2012, 07:29:14 PM »
Odd memories of Quay West in Goodrington Sands, Torbay. Used to see it closed as we always went on holiday out of season. Even as a wee nipper I knew it was unremittingly shit.

Sadly I can't find any photos of it in April to share the experience.

Treguard of Dunshelm

  • him nyam parrot batty
Re: Exciting leisure centres
« Reply #41 on: February 13, 2012, 07:30:54 PM »
Hemel Hempstead has a fantastic swimming centre called Aquasplash

I threw up there once. I remember it being pretty good, better than Bedford Oasis.

BlodwynPig

  • The Last Living Member of COVID-20
Re: Exciting leisure centres
« Reply #42 on: February 13, 2012, 07:36:43 PM »
I'm going to Swindon in April. For a Wastewater Treatment networking event, aptly enough.

Replies From View

  • Rubbing linseed oil into the school cormorant.
  • Golden Member
  • *****
  • Gargoyles have milk bags.
Re: Exciting leisure centres
« Reply #43 on: February 13, 2012, 07:45:17 PM »
a Wastewater Treatment networking event

I've never liked those kinds of kinky gatherings, but each to their own.

non capisco

  • Shakin' Cheeky D
    • https://twitter.com/IsThisRoss
Re: Exciting leisure centres
« Reply #44 on: February 13, 2012, 07:51:46 PM »
Dartford's temple of buoyancy-based fun was FantaSeas, which ironically was closed down after the whole park actually started sinking (it was built on a hillside and the foundations were too weak to take the weight of the building). i loved the giddy fuck out of FantaSeas, possibly because it seemed so excitingly jerry-built and unsafe, which is what you want when you're 11 and bored of just seeing who could shout 'bollocks' the loudest when jumping off the high board at Gravesend leisure centre with its grand total of bugger all flumes.

The flumes at FantaSeas were ridiculous. 'Wipeout', the fastest one that caused the most interesting flesh wounds, felt like an insane death trap but an insane death trap you were happy to queue up again for. There was also 'Nightmare' which was completely pitch black and most prone to the old 'razor blades' urban myth. Childhood homophobia was happily catered for by way of the slowest flume being called 'Mind Bender'. It truly had everything.

Blue Jam

  • The pie don't lie
Re: Exciting leisure centres
« Reply #45 on: February 13, 2012, 08:04:38 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.

Do you have The Chuckle Brothers' autographs?

EDIT: I should explain for everyone not from North Wales or the North West of England and who isn't around the age of 30: practically everyone at my primary school had been to Butlin's miserable "Starcoast World" "resort" and met The Chuckle Brothers... and of course been to the "indoor funpool"- tiny pic here but it still brought me little waves of nostalgia like those generated by a child-drowning wave machine.

ANOTHER EDIT: Here is the funpool as it is now



- and I could swear that's the exact same slide they had when I was about nine years old. That definitely looks like the same fake plastic raft and treaure chest.

I have memories of Rhyl Suncentre too. Not exactly fond ones. I wasn't into swimming back then and I preferred the monorail-type thing they had, though I remember liking the "tropical rain" which actually hurt your scalp.
« Last Edit: February 13, 2012, 08:22:38 PM by Blue Jam »

Replies From View

  • Rubbing linseed oil into the school cormorant.
  • Golden Member
  • *****
  • Gargoyles have milk bags.
Re: Exciting leisure centres
« Reply #46 on: February 13, 2012, 08:07:08 PM »
Was FantaSeas connected with the soft drink?  I feel like I'm asking Mr Smoketoomuch; it's just a coincidence isn't it and nobody in Dartford has ever heard of Orangina.  As you were...

Now though, flume names; that's a good one.  I do remember names like Hurricane and Sidewinder, with each flume having a different reputation.  Hmm.

Replies From View

  • Rubbing linseed oil into the school cormorant.
  • Golden Member
  • *****
  • Gargoyles have milk bags.
Re: Exciting leisure centres
« Reply #47 on: February 13, 2012, 08:38:39 PM »
Here you go, Rhyl Sun Centre fans.  Mute the video on the left:

The Rhyl Sun Centre vs. Grange Hill Theme Tune
http://youtubedoubler.com/3e5P

Re: Exciting leisure centres
« Reply #48 on: February 13, 2012, 08:43:12 PM »
You grew up in Bath

I was at Bath two years ago. We stayed at the worst motel/hotel ever, it was a bar and then you could rent rooms in an adjancted building. There was a murial close by if i don't mistaken. Do you know what i'm talking about?

Re: Exciting leisure centres
« Reply #49 on: February 13, 2012, 08:43:45 PM »
it was central Bath, almost on the main street i think.

Replies From View

  • Rubbing linseed oil into the school cormorant.
  • Golden Member
  • *****
  • Gargoyles have milk bags.
Re: Exciting leisure centres
« Reply #50 on: February 13, 2012, 08:45:06 PM »
I was at Bath two years ago. We stayed at the worst motel/hotel ever, it was a bar and then you could rent rooms in an adjancted building. There was a murial close by if i don't mistaken. Do you know what i'm talking about?

No, sorry.  If there's one thing I know very little about my hometown it's what the hotels are like.  I guess that's the same for many people.

One of the main hotels is the Hilton, and that's a terrible 1970s block that messes up its surroundings, but I have no idea whether it's a bar with rooms in an adjacent building.  There are probably lots of little guest houses and hotels and B&Bs scattered here and there, though.  They're not something I know a lot about.

falafel

  • Yes, blue.
Re: Exciting leisure centres
« Reply #51 on: February 13, 2012, 08:58:00 PM »
I've been to Rhyl Sun Centre and I didn't even grow up in this country!

What is happening here?

dr beat

  • #TeamColourfield
Re: Exciting leisure centres
« Reply #52 on: February 13, 2012, 10:15:52 PM »
Another Rhyl Sun Centre veteran here

Quote
I remember liking the "tropical rain" which actually hurt your scalp.

Blimey I remember that now, it was like being showered by needles.

To be honest it was always a wee bit of let-down to be told we were going to Rhyl SunCentre.  I much preferred Blackpool Sandcastle.

shiftwork2

  • pies this is your time
Re: Exciting leisure centres
« Reply #53 on: February 13, 2012, 10:39:43 PM »
There was a murial close by if i don't mistaken. Do you know what i'm talking about?



Hilda, is that you?  The world's your lobster.

I accept the terms of the

  • Everybody, summertime love! You remember me.
Re: Exciting leisure centres
« Reply #54 on: February 13, 2012, 10:59:03 PM »
She looks a bit like a lobster there.

Replies From View

  • Rubbing linseed oil into the school cormorant.
  • Golden Member
  • *****
  • Gargoyles have milk bags.
Re: Exciting leisure centres
« Reply #55 on: February 13, 2012, 11:16:02 PM »
Racist.

I accept the terms of the

  • Everybody, summertime love! You remember me.
Re: Exciting leisure centres
« Reply #56 on: February 13, 2012, 11:17:40 PM »
I just imagined what noise she'd make if I boiled her alive :-(

Mister Six

  • Golden Member
  • *****
  • Ridiculously teacakes
Re: Exciting leisure centres
« Reply #57 on: February 14, 2012, 01:50:46 AM »


The coastal golf course near my home. With Jetsons tower in the distance. That's about it, really.

You appear to live in a pastoral version of Dubai.

SetToStun

  • Golden Member
  • *****
  • That's me, that is.
Re: Exciting leisure centres
« Reply #58 on: February 14, 2012, 10:07:46 AM »
To add further context I thought I’d take the thread back from the late 80s to the mid 1970s.  There were no wave machines then, or toys.

Broxbourne Lido - opened with slides and a wave machine in July 1978. You could not move for kids in that place; you didn't so much swim as walk on the layer of smaller children beneath your feet. The only reason the kids at the bottom didn't drown is they were far too crushed to actually breathe any water in. Once an hour, every hour, the beast stirred in its lair at the deep end and utter chaos ensued. If you were a strong enough swimmer, you could venture out into the deeper water and have some real fun; otherwise you were doomed to paddle with the little kids. If you went past the red lines two thirds of the way up the pool, the machinery would drag you in and crush you while you drowned, so naturally every single kid who could swim was trying to outwit the life-guards and get right up to the far wall. If you had touched the wall while the waves were on, you were God. Funnily enough, it didn't matter how many kids made it to the wall and back alive, everyone - everyone - knew that three kids had drowned trying it just the previous day. Why they reopened after less than twenty-four hours went unexplained - presumably they needed the money.

Sometimes I really miss being a kid.

Re: Exciting leisure centres
« Reply #59 on: February 14, 2012, 06:51:47 PM »
Not exactly a leisure centre, and not even in the UK, but always worth a link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Action_Park