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In response to Steve’s thoughts on the date of the ‘new’ pool; well, I can state with certainty that I was swimming in it during the summer of ’66.
During that summer my Dad closed his butcher’s shop in Higham Hill Road for ‘half-day’ every Wednesday.
He used to take my brother and I to the pool for an afternoon swim.
On the afternoon of July 20 there was a change of plan; we weren’t going swimming.
Barry RYDER Hi Esther Regarding Stan Gerula, I am a Leyton Orient supporter and I remember Stan when he played for the Orient.
He was born in Poland in 1924 and came to the Orient from CARPATHIANS in 1948 and he was Orients goalkeeper for 15 games in season 1948/9 and 15 games in 1949/50 before departing to Walthamstow Avenue.
Thank you, Richard, for all your generously shared knowledge. Margaret MILLS née MEAD Bill & Steve, Bill, you finished your article with an ‘afterword’ that triggered a memory.
The notion that the size of the ‘new’ pool had, somehow, been bungled was very wide-spread at the time. The truth is that the pool wasn’t built to Olympic specification in the first place; there was no miscalculation.
His body was taken home to Poland and he was buried in the Rakowice Cemetery in Krakow.(My brother had no interest in football so he lucked-out that day.) I’m absolutely certain that we had been going to the ‘new’ pool for quite some time prior to that.(*) This information was gleaned many years ago, from two people who were competitive swimmers in the borough at different times.There were also matters to do with the positioning of the necessary ‘turning lines’ and ‘touch pads’ at the end of each lane.(*) By the mid 60’s, the building of the Crystal Palace pool had rendered the matter moot. The fact remains that no international or national events were ever staged at the WF pool and the local/regional ones that were hosted were considered to be ‘unofficial’ for the purposes of recorded winning times.(*) Like Steve, I am old enough (60) to have swum in the ‘old’ pool in the High Street!I earned my ‘width’ and ‘length’ ribbons there under the tutelage of the terrifying ‘Mr. The place was like an ice-box, the floors were slippery and dangerous and the communal changing-room was a large, soulless, tiled room that would have made an abattoir seem welcoming.I was always led to believe that the pool was a ‘short course’ one rather than a ‘long course/competition standard’ one.The pool had only six lanes and needed to have ten for Olympic/National competition.I remember Stan as a fearless goalkeeper who always played with his sleeves rolled up and I was very Sad when he left the Orient to join the Avenue. Len BASSETT Hi Bill, Reading your piece about the ‘new pool’ brought back many memories to me, but I think you’re mistaken with the year that it opened, as in 1965 I was swimming for the Walthamstow Swimming Club and won 2 trophies in the club championships at the ‘old’ baths in the High Street. Sorry to be such a pedant Best Wishes Steve JOHNSON Thanks Brian, Good to hear from you.My interest in Walthamstow is entirely focussed on the Lestor family.Instead, that evening, my Dad and uncle (who lived in Carr Road) took me to Wembley to watch the England versus France World Cup match.It was something that I’ll never forget, of course.