A group of volunteers who maintain the north-east’s only open air swimming pool have revealed some snowy snaps as they look forward to summer.
Stonehaven Open Air Pool is traditionally a hotspot for families, with people from travelling across the region to take a dip in the balmy 29C water.
But Pete Hill, chairman of Friends of Stonehaven Open Air Pool – the voluntary group which maintains the attraction – has shared some very different images of the site right now.
Like much of the region, the attraction has been covered with a beautiful blanket of snow.
And the group has also welcomed their first visitor – Frosty the Snowman – ahead of their planned reopening in May.
The pool remained shut last summer due to the pandemic, but volunteers have already taken a head start on the pre-opening maintenance programme to ensure this year’s season will be one of the best yet.
‘Major’ part of the community
Prior to the present lockdown, the Friends of the Pool group – alongside the Live Life Aberdeenshire organisation that operates the council’s sport services – plunged more than 1,000 hours of work to prepare the attraction for visitors.
Since August, they have carried out all manner of projects at the pool, including giving the whole eastern and northern perimeter walls a fresh lick of paint and removing vegetation from the front of the building.
Pete Hill, chairman of the Friends group, explained to the P&J how important the pool is to the local community.
He said: “It’s very difficult to put into words the amount of relief that people would feel to know that the pool is open once again.
“It’s a major part of Stonehaven and it’s been a killer over the last 12 months that the place hasn’t been open.
“The pool has been part of the community for well over 80 years.
“Generations of people have been through there – people who are now grandads and grannies first went in there when they were kids.”
The unique open air pool is Olympic-size and is housed within a listed art deco-style building.
And although it is open air, the filtered seawater it is filled with is heated to a pleasant 29C, so swimmers can enjoy themselves even on chillier Scottish summer days.
Mr Hill added: “The Friends as usual will be working hard to do their part in trying to prepare the pool for opening, as I know Aberdeenshire council is as well.
“And jointly, we are hoping we’d be able to get the place open and get people back into it again, because we know how much pleasure it brings to so many and how important it is to Stonehaven and the whole area.”