Working late into the evening and finding more and more swimming pools is becoming quite the challenge! Having researched a pool that I could get to, swim and get out by 9pm with my dwindling list, led me to searching East London, and the daunting area of Canary Wharf. The cycle along the riverside was lovely and as I went past the towering buildings and then further past and further past…until I wasn’t in Canary Wharf (I was expecting a super-modern high tech swimming experience), I was in the Isle of Dogs. And this could well be where people take their dogs to swim.
I have to say though, the staff here were so so friendly. When I arrived the girl on reception said the centre ‘has everything you need’ as she was telling the truth. When I went into the changing rooms they looked disgustingly dirty. It felt horrible walking with bare feet to the lockers (which took my 20p), and then I carried my towel to the pool and just had to leave it on the damp dirty floor there. Honestly though I think it has been cleaned, it is just the type of flooring that looks dirty no matter how hard you try to clean it.
On the wall there is a very sweet mural of whales painted in 1990. Probably the last time that any kind of proper upkeep was done here. There were also horrible yellowy concrete patched up bits that just made it look a bit rank, and the water was a bit murky. The lanes were also in a weird order. I’ve always known it to be that the slow lane is by the wall of the pool, with the faster lanes in the middle, I’ve always thought it helped to save flailing limbs from being whacked as people built up speed, and also meat that less confident swimmers could always stop and grab the wall if they needed. Not here. It was all a bit arse about face and I was swimming by the wall and feeling constricted.
However! enough of the negatives, as I said the staff were lovely, and I had a whole lane to myself. The pool was fast and did have a proper deep end, but it was all just a bit too closed in. Still I did manage to enjoy the swim. I have evolved into quite the critical critic.
As I was getting out, the lady on poolside came and cleaned the changing room floor, I still had a nice shower and very kindly the lady pointed out to me a cubicle which she had just cleaned.