Paddling Pool

Photo:Old Pool

Old Pool

Photo:New Pool

New Pool

The Old and New Pool

by Parisse

"I think one of the favourite places that my mum and me used to go is the little paddling pool on the beach. In the summer my two best friends (Rosie and Rosemary and their mums), my mum and me took a day trip down there from East Slope - Sussex Uni Campus where we lived.

We got all kitted up and filled my friend's silver Beetle up with inflatables, food, drink, towels and sun cream. I clearly remember (as I was only 4 or so) going to a shop that would blow up my inflatable crocodile, and Rosemary and Rosie would sit on the back of it and I would pull them up and down the pool.

It used to always be full on a summers day with kids everywhere screaming and splashing but now it's empty and its only use is a place where skaters can go to practise tricks. Now there is a new one which is far fancier as it has a small park and fountain, (I think that one would have been better for us as it is bigger and better) but I still prefer the old one as it holds many of the few memories I remember from when I was little."

Elana (Parisse's mum)

"I've chosen the paddling pool down on the seafront by the Westpier. It's not in use anymore but it used to be lovely for us during the summer. Many days were spent down there, parents and their children - it was a cheap day out.

There were a few of us who lived on the University Campus, and we'd bundle into a car or jump onto the bus with inflatables and a packed lunch. It was so nice to be able to sit and read and doze while the kids played safely. My daughter had a crocodile inflatable and she took it in turns with her friends to sit on the back of it and be pulled up and down the pool.

Walking past there now, I can almost hear them playing. They've made a new and improved pool with play equipment and a sand pit just a little further along the front. It looks very nice, but at 12 she's far too old for it now. Shame. I wonder what will happen to the old paddling pool."

From the Lesser Heard Voices project, 2003
Interviewed for the website on 28/06/03
This page was added on 22/03/2006.
Comments about this page
I have lived in Australia since 1973 but was born and bred in Brighton. When we were little kids my sister Wendy and I and our friends spent many happy times at the paddling pool both in the summer splashing around and playing chasings and also in the winter when the water would freeze over. All wrapped up in thick coats, hats scarves and gloves we would play 'skatings' on the ice. Many a time I have gone home with icy cold toes and feet having put my wellington boot clad feet through a too thin patch of ice! Life was so much simpler then wasn't it? I'm sad to hear the pool is no more, where do the littlies get their toes wet in summer now?
By Patricia Silsby (09/11/2005)
I walked past here yesterday and was very sad to see that the council is busy filling the pool in with cement. The costs involved surely could have been better spent on renovation as the new pool gets too crowded in the summer. I spent many years here with my mum and brother seeing Punch and Judy. It was where the local skateboarders used to practice their tricks on the ramp opposite and those lovely beach huts, we always said we'd get one of those.
By Lou Stack (26/02/2006)

It's always sad to see the end of something that was part of your childhood.  Does anyone know quite why the coucil decided to open new pool/pools and fill in this old one?  It seems a little like change for change's sake, when this pool has been enjoyed by so many generations.  My own memories of it are from the '80s. Can anyone tell me, am I dreaming, or did there used to be pictures of dolphins and sharks on the floor tiles?  I distinctly remember being scared of the sharks as a toddler.

By Kate Miller (30/09/2006)

I played truant from my school in Stanford Road when I was about 7 or 8 years old.  I remember walking to the pool and I spent the whole day there and walked home soaking wet.  We lived in West Hill Street at Seven Dials.  It was so hot the tar on the road was melting. I got into so much trouble... but it was great.  A lady bought me an ice cream. Kids can't do that today!

By Chris Edwards (04/10/2006)

I was born and bred in Brighton. I'm 45 and I remember the old pool with dolphins on the tiles. I don't remember sharks though! What great times we had there in the sixties.

By Chris (10/04/2007)

I used to go to the paddling pool with my mum and dad in the mid- to late 60s, before I was ready to "progress" to the sea or the King Alfred. I have vivid memories of the place to this day. I used to put my hands on the bottom and lay forward to "walk" along on my hands, pretending to swim. I also recall the paving around the pool where we'd lay out our towels/blankets and have the drinks and sandwiches we'd brought. Most of all, I remember the water as being wonderfully blue and clean - though with all those toddlers, I imagine it wasn't quite that pure!

By Tim Wareham (19/09/2007)

Why destroy a landmark?  The Council should have left the pool as it was.  Now it is a meeting place for the boozers.

By Wayne Wareham (24/07/2008)

There were definitely dolphins, but no sharks as I recall -I used to use the paddling pool from a wee toddler in the later 60's, up to the mid 70's, and then as a regular feature of seafront walks ever since until I moved to Hove. Whilst I am glad they have updated children's facilities in that area, it is so sad that the old pool had to be filled in, surely some better use could have been made of it?   Also good to hear that I was not the only one to have done the walking along on hands and pretending to swim thing :)

By Cat (10/05/2009)

Please beware - my daughter caught impetigo from the new paddling pool after we had been down there at the end of a particularly hot day!

By Kim Dawes (04/05/2010)

I remember this pool, I was in St Ann's children's home,in the 60s. The nuns used to take us during school holidays. Can anyone else from the home remember this. This site is great. I came across it by chance. Juliel549@googlemail.com

By Julie Lenane, nee Hughes (26/04/2011)

The shop you speak of where you got your inflatables blown up was my great grans shop, just up by the mini golf  bowls green. She died this week, and I miss her and those times as a kid playing in that pool like mad. RIP Gladys x

By Matt Flay (18/07/2012)

I think I remember your nan Gladys. I grew up down there in the late 60s and we owned the sweetshop by the mini golf. We used to help the donkey man with the rides and collect deckchairs at the end of the day. Wonderful memories.

By Toni long (19/02/2016)

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