Imogen Radford, a supporter of Kings Cross pond, updates OSS members on the early closure of it - and what they can do to help keep it open
Kings Cross pond is the UK's first ever man-made fresh water public bathing pool. It is outdoors, unheated (with a free sauna in winter), in a park in the middle of the massive King’s Cross development. The water is clean and refreshing and full of lovely plants and wildlife, an oasis in an increasingly built up area of London, open during daylight hours at an affordable price.
First the rumours, then the confirmation, of its impending closure on 26 October 2016 brought an outpouring of love for the pond, with over 1700 and rising signatures on the petition to save it, and hundreds of comments from near and far about why people value it, from local residents, to visitors from Germany, the US, Brazil as well as from across the UK.
"Please keep this open. It's the most delightful place. It changes one's perspective on the city. Seeing all the new buildings from a frog's eye perspective is magical, precious and rare. It adds fun and whimsy at a time when the city is starting to feel like a slick, bland capitalist hole. It's a wonderful locus in King's Cross. So many people come to see it, if not dip themselves. Keep the magic. London is worth that."
It was originally designed as a usable art installation, to be on site for at least two years, but with the possibility of the lifetime of the pond being extended. It is not known why the developers plan to close it after only 17 months, particularly as it has proved popular, with 20,000 visitors in its first year, so right now what we (local swimmers) are trying to do is run a campaign showing it's popularity so that it is at least kept open for the next 7 months, the original plan.
Please lend your support: sign, share and promote the petition https://www.change.org/p/argent-fusion-keep-kings-cross-pond-open-for-all-year-swimming-please-don-t-scrap-it. And if you haven’t been, do visit the pool before 26 October (book on the Kings Cross pond club website in advance http://www.kingscrosspond.club/), and enjoy this beautiful green space.
Wouldn't it be wonderful if it could actually become permanent? It is a great space for fun, exercise and being outdoors in a very urban area. It doesn't take up much space and punches above its weight in the benefits it provides. Also it is cool and is another feature which sets the new Kings Cross development apart."
Words: Imogen Radford
Photos: Chris Romer-Lee
"This is such a unique selling point of Kings Cross. It was one of the reasons we moved here. To lose something which is unique seems such a shame. I'm sure you could build a block of flats in its place and earn millions, but I don't think you could put a price on the positive benefits of the pond. It may sound crazy but that pond makes people happy and feel so healthy. Surely promoting a love of nature and recognising the importance of it, even within central London, is so valuable. To take this away will be like ripping a lung out of Kings Cross and the heart of many of its residents."