Crowtree Leisure Centre Pool (2009)
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Ah, Crowtree. The ‘Leszh’ (no idea how you spell that one correctly, mind…) – many a happy childhood memory involves this place. Whether it was going for a swim with my Dar on a Saturday morning, and coming out to a packet of Brannigan’s Mustard (and something) flavoured crisps from the newsagents next door; playing 5 a side with the lads, or an occasional go on the ice rink, this was a great place to visit as a young’un.
2013 sees the demolition of the entire Leisure Centre, as I type this there is merely the roof left, a very sad sight indeed. Although admittedly it hasn’t been fully used for the last 3-4 years, along with the new Olympic sized pool opened next to the SoL – it was inevitable Crowtree wouldn’t be with us much longer. The pool itself had been put out of use once the Aquatic Centre opened, in around 2008 infact.
When I was fortunate enough to visit in the spring of 2009, the pool wasn’t long out of action and still in reasonable condition. Later photos by some of the Urbex tourists show the pool and centre in much poorer condition. There’s something quite surreal about empty swimming pools, especially ones so familiar and it was an interesting experience photographing this. One abiding memory is a story one of the pool attendants told me, and that every morning they had to scrape the scummy layer of human skin from round the edges pool. Kind of like a dead fleshy tidemark. Yuk.
On a technical level, these photos aren’t the best. I’d neglected to set my meter for the 400 speed film in the camera, hence them being a couple of stops overexposed. Managed to salvage most of the shots, but some are lost to the light. I’m pretty shit at taking photos during the day…
One last thing – WHY THE WATERMARKS? Yeah, they look horrible. Yeah, they ruin the enjoyment of viewing the photos a bit. But the one Crowtree photo I posted a few years back is officially my ‘Most Stolen’ image – it’s been nicked, watermark chopped off and reposted countless times, passed off as other people’s. That’s why. If people respected the images I take, the time and money it costs to do this whole thing, or weren’t just out and out thieves – then there would be absolutely no need for this. But until that day comes…