Nostalgia: Dipping a toe in the past

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Swimming pools have always been a major attraction for Edinburgh residents and the fight to reopen Leith Waterworld shows this trend is long set to continue.

Plans to revive the city’s popular attraction are soon to be discussed again by council leaders following a major campaign by the Splashback community group.

The Leith Swimming Gala at Victoria Baths in 1963

The Leith Swimming Gala at Victoria Baths in 1963

Campaigners have been focusing their efforts on reopening the pool since council bosses shut it 12 months ago.

They want to see it brought back to its former glory, so that Edinburgh residents can once again enjoy its facilities, like keen swimmers have been enjoying in the Capital for decades – a fact demonstrated by the packed crowds and contestants who turned out for the 1963 Leith Swimming Gala.

Outdoor pools also had a special place in the hearts of residents in the 1960s, where the pool would be lined with local lovelies competing in events such as the 1963 Dunbar Bathing Beauty Contest.

Dozens of spectators lined up to watch beauties including Margaret Bisset, Mairi Lees and Rosalie Feeney.

North Berwick open-air pool in July 1958

North Berwick open-air pool in July 1958

North Berwick’s open-air pool was also a popular attraction in the hot summer of 1958, while in Port Seton, a spectacular demonstration of diving drew the crowds to the opening of Pond Hall in 1932.

Portobello’s open-air pool was always a popular attraction for locals and tourists alike, before the opening of the new pool in 1964.

Campaigners fighting to reopen Leith Waterworld have put together a rejuvenated bid to secure the future of the pool, which will be put before council on January 31.