Hornby village swimming pool celebrates first year milestone

A VILLAGE pool saved by its community is celebrating a year of being back in the swim.

Hornby’s swimming pool closed in 2017 due to council cutbacks. But it reopened after villagers and volunteers raised more than £30,000 and took over the Melling Road building in a community asset transfer.

Under Charity Commission rules, the four original trustees must now resign, with a new board to be elected at the annual meeting on Wednesday, October 16, at 7.30pm at Hornby Institute. The charity which runs the Lune Valley Swimming Pool is seeking volunteers to take it “into the future”, and anyone interested is welcome to attend.

Bob McGachie, who chairs the Lune Valley Community Society charity, told the Gazette: “It has been very reassuring to see all sections of the community, both young and old, enjoying the experience of this excellent swimming pool facility.

“The original work of returning the pool to the community under a community asset transfer from Lancashire County Council was undertaken by a team of four trustees. Under Charity Commission rules all existing four trustees must now resign and new trustees need to be elected.

“As the current chairman of the charity I am advising that I will not be seeking re-election but I am willing to contribute on a voluntary basis to the future needs of the pool in terms of marketing and grant applications.

“The pool is now in the community’s hands and to ensure its future we now need to elect a new team of trustees to develop a plan for the future of the pool. The pool is approximately 50 years old with little or no maintenance by the council over the past 10 years, and over the coming years will require capital investment through grants.”

Mr McGachie said next week’s annual meeting was “the community’s opportunity to reconstruct the board of trustees who will take the pool into the future”.

Details of the pool’s charity constitution can be found at www.lunevalleypool.com

The pool was reopened a year ago by Jean James, who first dreamed of the need for a swimming pool in Hornby.

Four decades ago, Mrs James persuaded her husband Doug, the head of Hornby Secondary School, to start a campaign to build a pool to help save children’s lives. She was concerned at the danger posed by two nearby rivers, and her wish led to generations of youngsters learning to swim.

The 16-metre pool is now run and managed by local people through the Lune Valley Community Society, and is open to all, seven days a week.

The Westmorland Gazette | North Lancs