Community efforts restore and reopen historic pools

27th February, 2018

Four Victorian sea pools in Guernsey have officially reopened after community efforts to restore and regenerate the historic swimming spot.

The bathing pools at La Vallette, near Havelet Bay were built in 1844 and then in the 1930s changing rooms were installed. Originally the different pools were designed for men, women and children swimming separately, but now they are all open to everyone. In 2014 the pools were badly damaged in storms and were closed. Later that year two of the pools reopened, but the men’s pool and horseshoe pool remained closed. In autumn 2015 a local group got together and formed the La Vallette Challenge, aiming to restore the pools as well as viewpoints and the Victorian changing rooms.

In February all four pools officially reopened with changing rooms, toilets and a diving board in the former ladies’ pool. Local swimmer Katie Hutchings is a member of the La Vallette Challenge. She said: “There are swimmers who meet daily all year round and we welcome visitors to join us.”

The restoration was delivered predominantly from fundraising and going forward the responsibility and maintenance of the pools will fall to the local island community and businesses. Visit the La Vallette Facebook page for more information and to find it on the OSS Wild Swim Map.