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islingtonclaret

Birmingham Swimming

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There are a lot of areas where a move back to Birmingham has trounced London with quality of life, and it's been a positive step after years of dealing with the 'pig-in-lipstick' that is London.

However, swimming pools aren't clicking here. I can't really understand what I'm looking at/for.

For instance - all of the many London pools are run by an independent company on behalf of the government. At least 70% of these pools have been renovated in the past 5 years and are absolutely sparking clean. I am very wary of pools - grim tiles, mould, minging water- all of these will make me totally freak out.

 

So, what are we left with for more casual swimmers?

Well,  Cocks Moor Woods has kids taking dumps in it and has been closed 3 times in the last year alone.

Moseley Road baths, what's left of them in pool number 2 looks absolutely disgusting.

 

As far as I can see, that leaves the new-ish Harborne Pool and then extremely expensive memberships at the Marriott Five Ways (ouch), University of Birmingham's new 50m pool (still expensive, looks amazing though), the Spa at the Cube (ouch) and Edgbaston Priory Club (not even worth considering because of how elitist the prices are). Elsewhere it's Virgin Active at Solihull and another membership place there.

 

What gives with this? Is Birmingham just an anti-swimming city or wat?

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2 minutes ago, islingtonclaret said:

 

What gives with this? Is Birmingham just an anti-swimming city or wat?

Yes.

 

(oh, you missed Fox Hollies)

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When I lived in Brum (20 years ago), I used to go to Erdington baths mostly, and sometimes Wyndley. We'd occasionally go to Kingstanding, which was more geared at kids, as it had a waterslide, and a wave machine. When I was at school, we would go to Neachells baths, which were grim at the time, but when I think about it now, they were around 100 years old.

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I don't have a problem with old (they renovated the Kentish Town baths in North London which look very much like Moseley Road baths magnificently), just as long as they're clean

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Some places such as holiday inn  have reasonable priced baths I am told as my aunt uses it.  I am considering getting into swimming myself and looking for somewhere safe/clean to go.

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It's the cryptosporidium wot dun it.

At least it did for Northfields (until 2018) and Kings Heath & Fox Hollies for a while.

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I think the university pool is the only feasible one here. 3 council pools closed by disgusting pools doesn't fill me with confidence.

Has anyone checked out the Bannatyne one in Brindleyplace? Or the Hagley Road Marriott?

What I'm asking for in terms of advice here is quality vs. price. I don't mind paying, just not Edgbaston Priory Club madness. £64 a month, BEFORE you've earned the right to pay to use the facilities.

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Not really Birmingham, but earlier this year Dudley Council announced that they were closing the Halesowen and Dudley leisure centres and also the Crystal Leisure centre in Stourbridge as they were costing too much to maintain. The plan was to build two brand spanking new centres with all modern facilities.

I was gutted when I heard the news as I use Halesowen Leisure centre a fair bit and I loved going to the Crystal when I was a kid. However, when they scrapped the plans because a lot of people weren't happy about it, I was gutted again. I'd come round to the idea of two brand new pools, squash courts etc.

I'm not sure what my point is, but I'm sure there is one somewhere.

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2 minutes ago, islingtonclaret said:

I think the university pool is the only feasible one here. 3 council pools closed by disgusting pools doesn't fill me with confidence.

Has anyone checked out the Bannatyne one in Brindleyplace? Or the Hagley Road Marriott?

What I'm asking for in terms of advice here is quality vs. price. I don't mind paying, just not Edgbaston Priory Club madness. £64 a month, BEFORE you've earned the right to pay to use the facilities.

I've been to the Bannatyne one before on a spa day with Mrs P and it's nice, but fairly small if I remember correctly. 

It was mainly people relaxing around the sides and going in the jacuzzi rather than doing lengths.

I work a stone's throw away from the Marriott and I had no idea they had a pool.

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When I tried to save the Aston Arena (Aston Villa Leisure Centre), one of the proposals I put forward was to use the site for an Olympic sized swimming pool. There are probably still pictures of my ideas on Aston Arena's facebook.

This made sense because some British Olympic open water swimmers already swam in the area and others were using Newtown for their training. Yes, Newtown!!!!

I can give you very many other reasons why is was a good idea, from both an economic, social and regeneration point of view but sadly some in the city had other ideas as to what the site was good for and where the money from it was going to go. 

I'm not saying it's the absolute best place for pool but I am saying our idea was costed in terms of build (without Council money) but we needed to consider both maintenance and further funding to support open water swimming in the lakes and canoeing in the river. Political will is weak.

Edited by itdoesntmatterwhatthissay

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4 hours ago, Paddywhack said:

Not really Birmingham, but earlier this year Dudley Council announced that they were closing the Halesowen and Dudley leisure centres and also the Crystal Leisure centre in Stourbridge as they were costing too much to maintain. The plan was to build two brand spanking new centres with all modern facilities.

I was gutted when I heard the news as I use Halesowen Leisure centre a fair bit and I loved going to the Crystal when I was a kid. However, when they scrapped the plans because a lot of people weren't happy about it, I was gutted again. I'd come round to the idea of two brand new pools, squash courts etc.

I'm not sure what my point is, but I'm sure there is one somewhere.

2? 1 was what I've heard, I don't think the tender has come out yet but we'll go for it, currently working on 1 in Warwick and 1 in leamington

basically what's happening is the councils are pissing money on them so they're refurbing them and renting them out to operators who can make a tidy profit on them, part of the refurb is financed by sport England which means that the project has to follow their guidelines, hence why the leisure pools are going and being replaced by proper pools, there's a focus on clubs and organisation rather than people just rocking up and going for a dip, next couple of years the majority of centres will be done

the new 50m pool at brum uni isn't wide enough! It can't be signed off by FINA and therefore used for competitions, not sure if it's by design or a royal **** up

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17 hours ago, villa4europe said:

2? 1 was what I've heard, I don't think the tender has come out yet but we'll go for it, currently working on 1 in Warwick and 1 in leamington

basically what's happening is the councils are pissing money on them so they're refurbing them and renting them out to operators who can make a tidy profit on them, part of the refurb is financed by sport England which means that the project has to follow their guidelines, hence why the leisure pools are going and being replaced by proper pools, there's a focus on clubs and organisation rather than people just rocking up and going for a dip, next couple of years the majority of centres will be done

the new 50m pool at brum uni isn't wide enough! It can't be signed off by FINA and therefore used for competitions, not sure if it's by design or a royal **** up

FFS, so stupid.

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This is definitely something that needs to improve in brum I think. We have quite a few dotted around but the standard of them is not great. The best I've used is the sports direct in Kings Heath, it's a really tiny pool but its modern, clean, never crowded and has good facilities.

Hopefully the new rebuilt Northfield one will be ok, the trouble is that it is in Northfield and I am quite snobby about which pool I choose to use so a public pool that's jam packed and probably got chavvy twunts going to graffiti it up or break stuff just puts me off.

Moseley (read: balsall heath) baths is just one big dregs of public cess pit. Avoid.

Cocks Moor is ok but dated and its had its fair share of questionable health standards and not great PR recently.

While we have a decent number of baths, the standard for most affordable ones are dire. Unfortunately, like with most things in life, if you want the higher standards and modern facilities with an enjoyable experience then you do need to pay extra for it.

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19 hours ago, villa4europe said:

2? 1 was what I've heard, I don't think the tender has come out yet but we'll go for it, currently working on 1 in Warwick and 1 in leamington

basically what's happening is the councils are pissing money on them so they're refurbing them and renting them out to operators who can make a tidy profit on them, part of the refurb is financed by sport England which means that the project has to follow their guidelines, hence why the leisure pools are going and being replaced by proper pools, there's a focus on clubs and organisation rather than people just rocking up and going for a dip, next couple of years the majority of centres will be done

the new 50m pool at brum uni isn't wide enough! It can't be signed off by FINA and therefore used for competitions, not sure if it's by design or a royal **** up

I heard 2 in Dudley as well. 

I hope they don't end up doing it, because I do really like the Crystal, but **** me they need to resurface the squash courts, they're an absolute state. 

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2 hours ago, itdoesntmatterwhatthissay said:

FFS, so stupid.

The 50m uni pool was dug out and tiled to be 50m until someone pointed out that with the timing boards it wouldn't be quite 50m so would be pointless. They had to dig it out again to allow for the timing boards, tiles and adhesive.

Turns it it's now highly sought after as a training pool because it's just a few mm over 50m.

It was never going to be used as a competition pool evidenced by the fact there's no seating there.

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