The pool was left in disrepair after it was closed.
Ben Birchall/PA Images/Getty Images
The lucky 100 swimmers — who all competed to be there — braved the unheated water under the last rays of the summer sun, enjoying the 25-meter (82-foot), crescent-shaped main pool and a smaller one. , a shallower splash pool.
Built in 1815 to the designs of architect John Pinch, Cleveland Pools is the oldest public outdoor swimming pool in the UK and originally drew water directly from the Avon.
Its first swimmers, according to a local history research paper, paid an annual subscription fee and included an Arctic explorer, watchmakers, surgeons, architects, bankers and a legislator.
But facing competition from indoor and heated pools, Cleveland’s popularity waned in the late 1970s.
It closed in 1978 and, despite brief attempts to revive it, was permanently closed to swimming in 1984. For a time, the pool was used as a trout farm before it fell into disrepair and was put up for sale by the council. 2003
A group of local people formed the Cleveland Pools Trust shortly afterwards to protect the site and raised the funds needed to refurbish the pools from various sources, including the National Lottery and the government.
Construction finally began in May 2021, and it was complicated: all materials had to be transported to the site on a barge from the river.
From next year, the pools will be heated during the peak summer months using Avon’s energy-converting heat pump technology.