In 1968, three young men from Cowfold, Michael Harvey, Brian Fairs and George Stevens, drowned at West Wittering beach whilst attempting to save a woman who was struggling in the water. The residents of Cowfold rallied together after the death of these three and raised the money, and helped, to build a Community Swimming Pool in the grounds of the school as a memorial for the boys. Cowfold did not want the same fate to happen again and wanted all of it’s children to be able to swim. The pool has since been used to teach generations of Cowfold youngsters to swim.
The pool is an outdoor ‘learner’ pool with a maximum depth of 1.2m, and has been enhanced over the years, amongst other things with a boiler to heat the water and a rubberised ground surface around it. It had a new liner in 2016. The technical requirements for maintenance and running of the pool have significantly increased in the last 5-10yrs with staff needing formal training and qualifications and life guards for any public usage. As such, the costs have greatly increased over the years and the future of the pool has on one or two occasions been a major concern. Back in the 1990’s this was so great an issue that once again the Cowfold residents rallied around and formed a Pool committee to raise money for the support of the pool. This continued for quite a number of years and raised thousands of pounds which enabled those enhancements to the pool and supported the maintenance for many years. FOSPS has been able to continue this support in latter years which again has enabled the continuance of the pool.
Swimming has been a part of the national curriculum for many years and having a pool within our community allows the school to fulfil this requirement without the considerable cost and the loss of extended classroom time if we had to ship students up to the pool at Horsham or elsewhere. The benefit and small cost to parents and children in the village of having our own Community Pool is of incalculable value.
We are excited for the future, to plan and progress, to encourage the community to become once again more actively involved in the running of the pool, to investigate possible grants and funding making our community pool sustainable for future generations as well as affording to update and repair when needs arise.