Little Bit of Background

Petersfield Open Air Swimming Pool is a charitable incorporated organisation (CIO Registered number 1195755) held in trust for the people of Petersfield. We open from Spring until Autumn and you’ll find that we are the best and friendliest pool in the South of England. Come on down for a swim or snack and enjoy the waters!

In the late 1950s, a group of people set about providing a swimming pool for the youth of Petersfield; a clean and safe alternative to the Heath pond, where some youngsters used to swim in fine weather. Funds were raised by the people of Petersfield and the surrounding areas which were boosted by a significant grant from the Department of Education as the pool would be ‘educating and training’ young people. Finally in May 1962 after much fundraising, the pool was opened by Sir David Eccles, Minister for Education at a cost of £13,000.

PPool (1 of 52)
Petersfield Pool

Out of this emphasis on youth and learning to swim came the swimming club, which is still in operation today, meeting on Tuesday evenings. It encourages children of all ages to take part in coaching, training, fitness and use of the diving board and always welcomes new members.

Since those early days the pool has maintained local support and through fundraising by its many supporters and volunteers has been able to keep improving its facilities and has opened year on year. It now has excellent disabled facilities, hot showers, refurbished and lit changing rooms, sun loungers, picnic tables, benches and a covered area in case of rain.

Some things at the pool have not changed. The immaculate cleanliness of the pool and its surrounds is kept up by Tom Callingham, General Manager, and his team, as are the high standards of life guarding and behaviour. The old-fashioned turnstile is still there, as are the brightly coloured changing room doors. Green hedges and fences still surround the pool providing a secluded, tranquil setting in the heart of the town. In fact, the pool, with its personal and friendly atmosphere has managed to retain an intimacy, which sets it apart from today’s large, faceless leisure centres.