Monday 18 December 2017

The days when even Louth County Council could dream

Declan Lynch

Declan Lynch

The architectural historian Emma Gilleece recently tweeted an aerial picture of the old sea-water swimming pool in Blackrock, Co Louth, along with a view from the apartments which replaced it. And since I spent most of my childhood holidays in Blackrock, I was plunged straight away into the pit of nostalgia.

I almost drowned in that pool when I was about three years old - my life saved by my excellent cousin Mary, who saw that I had somehow found my way from the steps to the bottom of the "babies' pool", from which she grabbed me just in time. Weirdly, I have still some sort of memory of sitting there for a long time wanting so badly to slide into the deeper water along with the bigger kids, of the fountain which seemed so magnificent, the beautiful blueness of the water, the irresistibility of it.

I don't remember the coldness of the water that day, though it could be cold in the adjacent 50-metre pool which started at "3ft6", then descended to "6ft", and on to the fathomless depths of the "15ft", into which I was eventually diving many times a day, still not much of a swimmer, but good enough to be able to stay alive.

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