Nostalgia: Swimming in Edinburgh

Swimmers flock to the outdoor pool at Portobello

Swimmers flock to the outdoor pool at Portobello

0
Have your say

IT was purpose-built as a state-of-the-art swim centre ahead of the Edinburgh 1970 Commonwealth Games, from which it earned its name.

Costing £1.7 million to construct, the Royal Commonwealth Pool was the flagship venue for competitive meets and swimming enthusiasts for the last four decades.

The “Commie” – as it is affectionately known – received a new lease of life in 2012 when after a three-year improvement programme costing £37.2m it reopened with a new 25-metre diving pool.

Hearts players Peter Oliver, Alan Anderson, Alan McDonald, and Jim Cruickshank have fun at Portobello Swimming Baths in Edinburgh

Hearts players Peter Oliver, Alan Anderson, Alan McDonald, and Jim Cruickshank have fun at Portobello Swimming Baths in Edinburgh

This new addition is now the host venue at another prestigious sporting spectacle – accommodating the diving competition for the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. And the new complex is also set to attract star names from the world of diving when Olympic star Tom Daley, and others, compete at the Fina Diving World Series next year.

Thousands of sports fans are expected to descend on the venue to cheer on the springboard contestants.

But swimming has always been a popular pursuit in and around the Capital, whether it’s been al fresco dipping at Portobello outdoor pool or local baths at Dalry or

Warrender.

Sadly, hot summer days are no longer spent cooling off at the Portobello Pool in which generations of Edinburgh children learned to swim.

The much-loved facility, which had opened in 1936, ran at a financial deficit throughout the 1970s and was eventually closed down. For a number of years it lay empty before being demolished in 1988.

The site now houses a

five-a-side football complex and an indoor bowling centre.