THE SWIMMING POOL (left Mrs Selina Berry cuts the first turf)

It was as long ago as 1967 that the idea of a swimming pool for Kingsteignton was mooted but due to the high costs involved the idea was shelved.

Five years later, on December 5th 1972, a group of councillors and villagers met again to discuss whether or not they could muster enough support for the idea of building a swimming pool in Kingsteignton. As a result of their discussions an action group was formed and a public meeting was arranged to be held on January 10th 1973. Some sixty people attended the meeting full of enthusiasm for the idea and The Kingsteignton Swimming Pool Action Group was formed.

For generations the cold waters of the River Teign, with its attendant dangers, had been the favoured bathing spot in the in the parish, whilst the more fainted hearted made the long trek to the pool at Penn Inn. In the days before widespread car ownership the latter could mean a two staged bus journey.  A pool for the village meant that children would be able to learn to swim in Kingsteignton and in a much safer environment.

Fund raising began on 7th April 1973 with a coffee morning held by Mrs D Berry at Abbrook Cottage which raised £13 followed by a the first of three sponsored knits organised by Mrs S B Berry which raised £189.25.

A house to house collection was organised and £236.41 raised.          

          The idea of reviving the carnival tradition in the village was mooted and work began to organise a carnival later that year with the added hope that it would become an annual fund raising event. The week of carnival celebrations which followed proved to be a great success and the proceeds amounted to £1,100. The carnival instilled a new found sense of community in the village and was a feature in the village calendar for several years.

April 1974 saw the commencement of a weekly lottery which within three years raised nearly £6,000 thanks to a very willing band of collectors. That year also saw the end of the search for a suitable site, many sites in the village having been explored. An application for outline planning permission was made.

1975 got off to a very good start with an anonymous donation of £100 worth of Premium Bonds. June saw an arts and crafts show at Newton Abbot Racecourse where the association also began running beat dances for the young. The 1975 Carnival Week procession will be remembered by many for the torrential rain. The year ended with the association an appeal against the refusal of planning permission for the pool.

One of the highlights of 1976 was the arranging of a week of events to mark the opening of The Kingsteignton-Newton Abbot By-pass. The major event was a pageant of the history of the village.

March 1977 brought the final granting of planning permission and in June 1977 The Kingsteignton Parish Council became holding Trustee for the Association. It was also that month that the association received a message from the Queen wishing the project every success.

By November 1977 the Target board stood at £15,000 and the association had been promised plant and filtration equipment and also materials valued in total at over £8,000. Watts Blake Bearne Ltd had offered to undertake the excavating work required.

Appeals were made to various organisations and bodies and the Parish Council had promised £500, Teignbridge Rural Aid Committee £9,000 and a grant was under negotiation with the Job Creation Project.

Following the turf cutting ceremony members canvassed the village asking the villagers to buy a brick, 10,000 of which were required to build the pool. They will appealed for skilled and unskilled help with the construction.

The first sod was cut by Mrs S B Berry on Saturday 5th November 1977 before excavating equipment of Watts, Blake Bearne & Co Ltd began digging the hole. The dream of a swimming pool for the village was finally realised on June 9th 1979 when the pool was opened by Keith Sykes. Since its opening other improvements such as a toddlers’ pool have been added.


CARNIVAL PICTURES FROM 1973 courtesy of Malcolm Vallance


These photographs  below were taken by Michael Rendell who was a keen photographer even in those days

and will be fond memories for many.  Thank you Mike for sharing them.

Below scenes from the 1977 Carnival courtesy of Malcolm Vallance - click on the photo to get a larger image

Below scenes from the 1978 Carnival courtesy of Malcolm Vallance - click on the photo to get a larger image

Carnival Memories from the 1990s can be viewed by clicking on the link below:-