Was the title of the first short story I ever wrote, which was in response to a task called ‘a sense of place’ which was set in my first year at Art School. That story was partly about a Victorian swimming pool called Tunstall Baths (the ConDems closed it last week) but much more about a sense of identity, which is precisely what forty or fifty thousand Stokies will express at Wembley tomorrow. It won’t be a good place to be if you like a little peace and quiet or if you’re a member of the Temperance Society. Tonight I went for a swim, I haven’t been for a good while, but it’s something I have to do sometimes. It especially helps if I’m nervous, which I am: I can’t remember the last time I felt like this about one single football match. It helps me to immerse myself in to that other dimension, to go somewhere else altogether without the aid of illegal stimulants, and to exercise. I expect all Stokies prepped for the game in the same way [wink here, maybe ; )]

I have a new phone. Via Blackberry is the new via Motorola – via Blackberry is much sharper and signals the end of the super lo-fi image (sorry Calvin); the pool is the Olympic 50 metres (split into two 25 metres by a central gate in this configuration). It’s at UEA Sportspark. It’s beautiful, I think, but not as beautiful as the one that used to be at Tunstall the last time we were in the FA Cup semi-finals and I was too scared to jump off the high board. Good luck boys.

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3 Responses to Swimming

  1. Nick King says:

    Very poor, not a cockroach in sight they don’t build municipal baths like they used to.

    I was once caned for an (incident) at Tunster Baths for kicking a stack of polystyrene floats into the pool, there would be an enquiry today if some kid got that treatment.

    Very sad that the pool is closing, if it hadn’t been for those baths I would have drowned years ago, there can’t be many Victorian pools about these days and tunstall is one of the finest examples

  2. Stephen Foster says:

    There’s a Facebook campaign to save eet.

    Nb: If you don’t want to get caned, don’t kick the floats then, lad.

  3. OS says:

    >Very sad that the pool is closing, if it hadn’t been for those baths I would have drowned years ago…

    And isn’t that the whole point, Nick? To ‘them’ it’s a swimming baths. To ‘us’ it’s a place where we learned to survive, even if ‘we’ do kick the floats occasionally. Has anybody ever tried to learn to swim in the privately owned ‘Waterworld’?

    Being a Sandyford lad, I had a few almost drowning moments mesen in Tunster baths.

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