Prince Regent Swimming Pool

Photo:Prince Regent

Prince Regent

Used with permission from D.C. Leisure Ltd

Photo:Prince Regent

Prince Regent

Used with permission from D. C. Leisure Ltd

Points of interest

By Iain Gowers

I thought I would add some pictures of the Prince Regent Pool and some information that I have learnt whilst swimming there.

Location and teams
The pool was built in the 1970's to replace the pool that was closed in the town. It is situated around the corner from the historic "slipper baths". It is also just across from the new Library, which will hopefully mean that a few more people pay attention to the fact that pool is there. The pool is one of the busiest pools in the South East, owned by the Council but managed by a separate company. It is used by two swimming teams, the "Brighton Swimming Club" and the "Brighton Dolphin Club", and the Lesbian and Gay Sports group hold their swimming meetings there. It also has weekly sessions for the over 50's and for women only.

Here are a few things you might find interesting:

  1. The centre walk way in the middle first quarter of the pool is removable, I am told, though I have never seen this happen.
  2. I am also told there used to be a second tier on the diving boards, which was removed for safety reasons.
  3. The pool offers swimming lanes, as shown in the photos. One of the unique aspects of the pool is that it offers a slow lane, a medium lane and a sprint lane, whereas most pools only offer two lanes. In the past the signs at the end of the pool had approximate times on them. This often led to arguments as 'approximately 20 secs a lap' could result in a swimmer doing 18 seconds a lap swimming alongside someone who was doing 28 seconds.
  4. There is a training/baby pool behind the main pool (this is not shown in the photo).
  5. There is a gym above the clock which looks down on the pool.
  6. The yellow hut surrounded by the water chute is the sauna.
  7. The pool is one of the few pools (if not the only pool in the South-east) to offer single sex showers, that are not viewable to the general swimmers. However, you are politely requested to keep your costume on. My Scandinavian friends find this "very British" because in their public pools you are required to wash naked first, put on your costume, swim, and then wash naked again. You are also not allowed to wear shorts in Swedish pools, again for hygiene reasons. The showers are separate to the changing rooms and you have to walk through a unisex locker room. People who have forgotten this, or didn't see anyone when they changed, have walked out naked from the shower into the changing room and caused a bit of embarrassment.
  8. The pool shuts for the first two to three weeks of December for maintenance.
  9. The pool is cleaned by a robotic vacuum (which is off-shot of the left hand corner of the photograph).
  10. The main pool is 25m in length.
Added to the site on 21-04-05 
This page was added on 22/03/2006.
Comments about this page
I've been going to the pool since it opened; my recollection is that it was built in the very late 70s. It's not that long ago that the centre 'removable' walkway was added. Although I don't doubt that it is removable, I don't believe that its ever been removed. There was never any 2nd tier diving board at the Prince Regent. Try Worthing pool, built in the early 70s that did have a 2 tier diving board that has been removed. The pool is not one of the few pools to offer single sex showers. The King Alfred, 5 mins down the road, Worthing, Eastbourne (to name but a few) all offer the same shower arrangements.
By Peter Groves (26/04/2005)
Access to the diving boards is very haphazard. We are told on the phone they will open at 3:30 only to find them not open until 4:30.
By Anonymous (03/04/2006)

The recent changes to the pool and changing rooms are not an improvement, in my opinion. The 'modernisation' was advertised as improvement to the changing rooms and a moving floor in the diving pool. What they chose to omit was that the diving boards were being removed. Many would have objected had they known before the event, alas it was too late after they removed them. I dont see the 'pool with removable floor' getting much use, so it really sounds like a waste of money to me, and Brighton has lost its diving pool, the nearest one now being Worthing or Crawley. Point 2 and 7 in the text above now need rewriting as they are no longer true of the current situation.

By Peter Groves (20/06/2007)

A diving pit or pool has a very limited use as a stand alone pool. By adding a movable floor(not removable) the depths can be adjusted for many different activities from Scuba training to Aquarobics, toddler classes and much more. The movable floor also allows easy and dignified access to wheelchair users as it can be set to 0m to allow the wheelchair to be wheeled onto the floor.
Although there is no longer diving at this pool, it is anything but redundant.

By Simon (30/11/2007)

But what is so annoying Simon is that removal of the diving boards was kept secret from the general public. The refurbishment was advertised, with "most" of the changes detailed, it said "addition of removable floor" but not that the boards were to be removed. Why could the diving boards not have been left, and the removable floor added?

Anyway I go to the pool regularly and rarely see the old diving pool in use. It will prove to be a waste of money, probably public money. All because of a whim, to have the latest in pool gadgetry, even if its not needed.

By Peter Groves (01/12/2007)

Peter, it is a shame that the floor was added and the diving boards removed without proper notice to the general public. Once the floor was added the depth of the pool would have been too shallow for the use of the diving boards. Many diving pits nowadays are deemed too shallow for diving due to our ever increasing HSE czars mollycoddling us. There was recently a case where swimmers can no longer dive from the side of the pool as it is too risky (there is a moving floor in this pool which has depth displays to indicate the depths of the floor). As for it being a new bit of technology, there are moving floors in UK pools that are 30 years old. The main reason for the floors is increased revenue with limited space for expansion and I know of one that paid for itself in less than a year. I do sympathise that, as usual the users were not properly informed.

By Simon (05/12/2007)

Losing the diving boards has added very little. The deep water could be used by aquarobics and there is already  shallow water are there. What it has done, by removing the 'boards' is take away the main fun element that makes the pool attractive to the youth, as well as killing off the diving club. From my own experience with diving at other pools, the availability of diving boards gets a different clientele into the pool and has more than doubled the pool's turnover when diving boards are in use.
Yet another set of boards gone in the UK as we run up to 2012.

By John (14/09/2008)

I do Aqua Natal in the pool with movable floor and it is a fantastic pool to use. Prior to our class (which is held 3x a week) there is an over-50s Aqua Aerobics class. You may find that the times you attend are peak times, so they don't use the additional pool then to avoid over-crowding in the changing rooms. Interestingly I was chatting to the teacher for Aqua Natal last week about diving. She said that, when the pool was initially designed, there were plans for various different diving boards. When it was completed the regulations had changed and it was not deep enough for some of them, so they had to put in just a few. Again, when they re-did it, the regulation depth for diving boards had changed again so they had no choice but to remove them. Even if they had left the pool exactly as it was the diving boards would have had to have been removed.

By RT (20/02/2009)

Well RT, I never see overcrowding of the new changing rooms during peak time, that sounds like it would be good for the pool. If you want overcrowded try Burgess Hill, which has plenty of popular activities, enjoyed by the masses. I suspect your aqua natal teacher was not around when the pool and diving boards first opened, I was. There was no plan to add more diving boards than was originally constructed, they would not have been able to fit any more in. They never "re-did" the diving boards, they just removed them, without any consultation with those that used them. It sounds like a really poor excuse that the regulation depth had changed, how much water do you need for a 1 metre board? It was almost impossibly to reach the bottom from that one and only just possible from the three metre one. Week after week at one of the peak times on Saturday afternoon the pool is empty.

By Peter Groves (11/03/2009)

I have read the various comments on diving boards "or better the lack of them" posted, my question is - does anyone know where the tables or regs are for diving from a platform 9ft 3 up and 16 ft up? Portishead open air pool opened in 1962 and has just been taken over by a trust. I am a trustee and want to re-open the boards. I have searched the web for this info but can't find anything. We have a web site here - please send an email to contact me via the site if you have any views on how I can re-open them. The water depth at present is 8 foot but I am looking at raising the edge to get 9 foot or a bit more also slightly reduces the dive height. Many thanks.

By Andy Richards (12/04/2009)

Most of the swimming pools in the south east offer single sex shower facilities that are hidden from view of the main pool. The nearest pool,  The King Alfred in Hove, has had them for at least 15 years. There are showers barely viewable from the pool for ladies and then showers totally hidden from view next door to them.

By Lou (24/11/2009)

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