Throw Oasis a lifebelt

Returning from a recent shopping trip to Swindon town centre, I was driving down the dual carriageway past the Oasis. I am a Swindonian born and bred and spent a lot of my childhood here with my friends. I felt drawn to make a left turn and then sat in the Leisure Centre's empty car park. I spent a few minutes just looking at the derelict building in utter despair.

As I sat there reminiscing, I felt so sad and it was actually rather eerie - it was like a ghost town. It was a Saturday afternoon, the sun was beating down, the car park should have been full to capacity. It was painfully missing the babble of happy children leaping out of their parents' cars, yet there was not one excited child with a rolled up towel in view.

Back in the seventies it was a sheer treat to be taken here with my family complete with a picnic my mother had packed. My heart would thump with excitement as an eight year old child walking up the slope, hearing the other children already in the pool squealing and laughing. As we got closer, the waft of freshly cooked chips from the cafe could be smelt. As I got older, many Saturdays in the eighties were well spent walking there with my friends, enabling us to have fun, socialise and exercise together. The times we had, jumping the waves, swimming races and daring each other to go down the slide. I can still picture these moments forty years on! We would walk back home in a content little daze, stopping off at the newsagents for sweets on Ferndale Road. We built precious memories that shall remain with us forever.

Not only did the Oasis have a fun pool, it also catered for other interests, such as badminton, roller skating discos, bowling, squash, martial arts - even hosting concerts! It attracted all kinds of people from all over the country. It truly was an establishment that as a Swindonian I was very proud of.

If the current pitiful sight and the frustrating uncertainty of this previously glorious entertainment venue isn't enough, I am also disheartened at the state of the small pool at the Health Hydro. Surely these two iconic Swindon buildings deserve some money ploughed into them? We are told that we should encourage our children to eat healthily and get plenty of exercise, but leaving two leisure centres in the state that they are, isn't really supporting this message.

I would love to take my children to the Oasis if it were restored, and enable them to also make some lovely happy memories here, which I have been lucky enough to do. In addition, being able to swim is a life-saving skill, so restoration of both of these pools should, in my opinion, be a priority. I am sure that many other parents feel the same?! Swindon Borough Council - please throw the Oasis a life jacket!

Sarah Forrester


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What a Carry On

After 448 days of Carry On Covid .The one the Carry on film franchise never made. I have had enough .When do we get the Glasgow variant .See you Jimmy .The London variant .Duck and Dive. The Boris variant .This is my final decision. Maybe. The Tony Hancock, sorry Matt Hancock variant .Could I lie to you ? Perhaps even the Swindon variant. How to destroy your town centre without dropping a nuclear bomb.

I jest. But to be honest, I firmly believe this horrendous virus is now under control .I also firmly believe that this continual lockdown farce is doing more financial damage to businesses and health due to the NHS waiting lists from cancer to mental illness to mention but a few of many .Than the actual virus itself.

I suspect I am not alone regarding my personal opinions on this matter. I have put up with it so far in my later stages of presence in this dimension. But I strongly suspect fifty years ago in my twenties my reactions would not have been so conforming.

Bill Williams

Merlin Way


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