17/09/17 – Session #13

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Rolleston Swimming Club – Burton On Trent


History

Originally the Swimming Club was the Rolleston Hall Reservoir. Water used to be pumped by a pair of 8hp.gas engines from a 63ft deep well situated beneath the Pumping Station within the Hall Grounds up to the Reservoir and Water Tower from where it gravitated back to the Hall, Stables, gardens and various other buildings and cottages in Rolleston to provide the water supply. A photograph of the Water Tower shows the date of its construction to be around 1913.

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A precis of the Reservoir’s transition to a swimming pool is as follows:-

  • October 1923 Sir Oswald Mosley sells the Reservoir, Water Tower, Pumping Station and other buildings to Vernon Estates (the latter being the equivalent of today’s property developers), who developed the Hall Grounds properties and gardens basically as we see them today).

  • June 1925 Vernon Estates sells to Rolleston Water Company Ltd

  • September 1932 Rolleston Water Company Ltd transfers the Water Tower, Well and Pumping Station to South Staffordshire Waterworks Company who then supplied the mains water to Rolleston.

  • Feb 1933 Rolleston Water Company Ltd (in voluntary liquidation) convey land and reservoir to the Trustees of Rolleston Swimming Club for the sum of £180. There were three trustees from Rolleston:- Thomas Shercliff of Oak Cottage, Irene Cherry of the Old Hall, Geoffrey Bircher Smith of Fairfield and one from Burton, Raymond Hugh Dunicliffe of 13, High Street.

Hence in 1933 following the foresight of some local residents we have the start of what was a very popular and treasured asset for members of Rolleston Swimming Club.

Finally in 1987 the Club acquired the freehold of the Water Tower from the South Staffordshire Waterworks Company after they no longer used the Tower to provide gravity for the local water supply.

As of 2000, the Club had around 475 members, such is the demand for membership though, the waiting list for new members was closed for the 3 years prior.

The pool closed due to a number of health and safety issues which were never resolved. It is believed that one of these was the requirement to have a life guard on duty, which the club just could not afford.


This was a very eerie place to visit. In the back of my mind I could imagine the pitter patter of childrens feet running around the pool, the sound of splashing as people jumped in the pool and most of all, the sound of laughter which had long faded away. All that is left is a very drab and dirty looking pool over shadowed by a looming tower. It is a sad state of affairs for what I imagine was once a very cherished local amenity.

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