Swimming pool stories

...Dip into tales from all over Australia

1
Novel experiences of pools
2
A bubbly birthday soak in the Ivo Rowe Rock Pool
3
From Lockhart to Lameroo: nine country pools in NSW, Victoria and South Australia
4
Wading into The Pool exhibition in Melbourne
5
Saturday’s super swell smothers Mahon Pool
6
Dancing in the water at Harlem’s Hansborough Pool
7
Winter swimming in the glorious light at the Werri Beach ocean pool
8
An early evening stroll by Coogee’s ocean pools
9
Lunchtime swim at Annette Kellerman Aquatic Centre
10
Friday morning at picturesque Petersham Pool

Novel experiences of pools

Over the past couple of years, I’ve been collecting passages from novels I’ve read that capture the bliss of being in water on a stinking hot day, the joy of swimming or serendipitously stumbling upon a beautiful  pool. My most recent find was in the pages of Kent Haruf’s Benediction recommended to me by my[…]

Read More

A bubbly birthday soak in the Ivo Rowe Rock Pool

Last Sunday, when we arrived at South Coogee for my traditional birthday, salt water swim, the sea looked like it was pumping a big swell. As we walked towards the pathway above the coast, I expected to look down on a submerged Ivo Rowe Rock Pool. But happily we found an almost tranquil scene, despite the[…]

Read More

From Lockhart to Lameroo: nine country pools in NSW, Victoria and South Australia

Travelling to Adelaide through south-west NSW and the Mallee country in Victoria and South Australia over the past couple of days we stopped by nine country pools – Lockhart, Urana and Jerilderie in south-west NSW, Swan Hill’s Richards Swimming Leisure Centre, Sea Lake Pool, Underbool Pool and Murrayville Pool in Victoria and Pinnaroo and Lameroo swimming centres in South Australia.

Built between 1955 and the mid-1980s, they were typified by vast expanses of lawn, simple amenities buildings, quirky signs, 33-metre and wading pools, surviving springboards, slides, retro-style seating and plaques commemorating the official opening of the pools.  If they’d been open I would have loved to have swum at each one but especially I would have enjoyed bouncing off the diving board into the L-shaped Lameroo Pool.

  • The 33 metre pool at Lockhart Pool, south-west NSW, photo Therese Spruhan, August 2017Lockhart Pool in south-west NSW.
  • Plaque at the Lockhart Pool, south-west NSW, photo Therese Spruhan, September 2017Plaque at Lockhart Pool commemorating its opening in 1956.
  • Quirky sign at the Lockhart Pool, south-west NSW, photo Therese Spruhan, September 2017Quirky sign at the Lockhart Pool.
  • Urana War Memorial Pool, south-west NSW, photo Therese Spruhan, Sept 2017Urana War Memorial Pool in south-west NSW opened in 1967.
  • The 33-metre pool and grounds at the Urana War Memorial Pool, south-west NSW, photo Therese Spruhan, Sept 2017Sunlight shines on Urana's 33-metre pool.
  • Jerilderie Pool in south-west NSW, photo Therese Spruhan, Sept 2017Blossom, lawn, babies and middle-sized pools at Jerilderie Swim Centre, south-west NSW.
  • Jerilderie's 25 metre pool with slide, south-west NSW, photo Therese Spruhan, Sept 2017Striped shadecloth and slippery slide in Jerilderie's 25-metre pool, south-west NSW.
  • Deniliquin Swim Centre, photo Therese Spruhan, Sept 2017
  • Cleaning time at the 50-metre pool at the Deniliquin Swim Centre, photo Therese Spruhan, Sept 2017Empty 50-metre pool at the Deniliquin Swim Centre, south-west NSW.
  • Richards Swimming Pool Leisure Centre Swan Hill, opened 1984, photo Therese Spruhan, Sept 2017Richards Swimming Pool Leisure Centre, Swan Hill, Victoria.
  • Richards Swimming Pool Leisure Centre Swan Hill, opened in 1984, photo Therese Spruhan, Sept 2017
  • Diving boards at Swan Hill's Richards Leisure Swimming Centre, photo Therese Spruhan, Sept 2017Diving boards at the Richards Swimming Pool Leisure Centre, Swan Hill, Victoria.
  • Richards Swimming Pool Leisure Centre Swan Hill, photo Therese Spruhan, Sept 2017Richards Swimming Pool Leisure Centre, Swan Hill.
  • The 33-metre pool at Sea Lake, Victoria, photo Therese Spruhan, Sept 2017.Gazanias and the 33-metre pool at Sea Lake, Victoria.
  • Underbool Pool opened in 1977, photo Therese Spruhan, Sept 2017.Victoria's Underbool Swimming Pool opened in 1977.
  • Underbool Pool opened in 1977, photo Therese Spruhan, Sept 2017The empty Underbool Pool, Victoria.
  • Murrayville Pool Victoria, opened in 1955, 25-metre pool, photo Therese Spruhan, Sept 2017.Victoria's Murrayville Pool was opened in 1955.
  • Murrayville Pool in Victoria opened in 1955, photo Therese Spruhan, Sept 2017.Large lawn areas typify the pool at Murrayville, birthplace of Australian basketballer Rachael Sporn.
  • Duck swimming at the Pinnaroo Pool, South Australia, photo Therese Spruhan, Sept 2017Lone swimmer in the 33-metre Pinnaroo Pool in South Australia.
  • Pinnaroo Pool, South Australia, photo Therese Spruhan, Sept 2017Aqua blue at the Pinnaroo Pool, South Australia.
  • Lameroo District Swimming Centre, South Australia, photo Therese Spruhan, Sept 2017
  • Lameroo District Swimming Centre, South Australia, photo Therese Spruhan, Sept 2017Not only the birthplace of Julie Anthony, Lameroo has one of very few L-shaped pools.
  • Lameroo District Swimming Centre, photo Therese Spruhan, Sept 2017Retro-style at South Australia's Lameroo District Swimming Centre.
  • Lameroo District Swimming Centre with silos in background, South Australia, photo Therese Spruhan, Sept 2017Silos, shadows and starting blocks at the Lameroo Pool.

Wading into The Pool exhibition in Melbourne

The Pool, Australia’s exhibition at last year’s Venice Architecture Biennale, has had a second life and last Friday night was officially opened at the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) in Melbourne. The exhibition celebrates the pool in Australian architecture, culture and life and there was plenty of enthusiasm for its reincarnation at the opening, including[…]

Read More

Saturday’s super swell smothers Mahon Pool

Late Saturday afternoon, after watching my niece Rosie play a great game of netball at Heffron Park,  we headed down the road to Maroubra’s Mahon Pool to join the other wave watches witness the sea put on a spectacular show!

  • Mahon Pool Maroubra, 22 July 2017, photo Therese Spruhan
  • Mahon Pool Maroubra, 22 July 2017, photo Therese Spruhan
  • Mahon Pool Maroubra, 22 July 2017, photo Therese Spruhan
  • Mahon Pool Maroubra, 22 July 2017, photo Therese Spruhan
  • Mahon Pool Maroubra, 22 July 2017, photo Therese Spruhan
  • Mahon Pool Maroubra, 22 July 2017, photo Therese Spruhan
  • Mahon Pool Maroubra, 22 July 2017, photo Therese Spruhan
  • Mahon Pool Maroubra, 22 July 2017, photo Therese Spruhan
  • Mahon Pool Maroubra, 22 July 2017, photo Therese Spruhan
  • Mahon Pool Maroubra, 22 July 2017, photo Therese Spruhan
  • Mahon Pool Maroubra, 22 July 2017, photo Therese Spruhan
  • Mahon Pool Maroubra, 22 July 2017, photo Therese Spruhan

Dancing in the water at Harlem’s Hansborough Pool

“I never was a dancer but I can dance in the water,” says one of the members of the Honeys and Bears syncronised swimming team in this beautiful film by Veena Rao.

Since 1979, the group, who range in age from 62 to 100, have been meeting most days at the Hansborough Recreation Centre in Harlem, New York where they delight in the freedom of the water as they practise their moves.

The Harlem Honeys and Bears seniors synchronised swimming team.

Photo from the digital magazine, Aeon https://aeon.co/

They are more elegant and graceful than I was in 1978 when I led the green team’s water ballet routine at my school’s annual swimming carnival at North Sydney Olympic Pool.

Water ballet event at the Loreto Kirribilli swimming carnival, Term 1, 1978.

We performed to Carly Simon singing Nobody Does It Better but perhaps we could have done better than last place if I’d chosen something like Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker Suite, which the Honeys and Bears move to in Veena Rao’s film. Thanks to my brother Mark for finding this wonderful short video.

Winter swimming in the glorious light at the Werri Beach ocean pool

At the beginning of winter we drove south to spend the weekend with friends at Trudy’s Werri Beach house. On the Saturday morning we went for a walk, bought a coffee from the man with the van near the surf club, then back home for Stephen’s leftover ragu. After lunch we retired to the lounges,[…]

Read More

An early evening stroll by Coogee’s ocean pools

As we drove to Coogee in the second week of May, Bruce asked me was there anything in particular I wanted to do while we were there. “I want to see Ivo Rowe Pool. It’s the only Coogee ocean pool I haven’t been to.” Bruce sighed. “Of course, it had to involve a pool.” We[…]

Read More

Lunchtime swim at Annette Kellerman Aquatic Centre

Autumn trees turning the hydrotherapy pool red, helping Robert, a stroke survivor put his sandals on, lime green reflections, gold glows, old men slapping the water down hard, a guy in the corner reading Anthony Doerr’s All the Light We Cannot See, a kaleidoscope of colours and a lane all to myself.

Friday morning at picturesque Petersham Pool

Copyright © 2016 Swimming pool stories