Poplar Culture

imageI swam 3k in a pool that has been open for 3 days! Very excited about the opening of a new swimming pool. I’m not sure how much promotion has been done about the opening. The brutalist looking building made me even more intrigued.

As you arrive you go down and down and down a long staircase which takes you to a hair dying area and the doors to the changing rooms. The changing room is huge with a very high ceiling and loads of changing cubicles. The brutalist feel remains as the decor is slate grey throughout, with white/sand tiles. It’s not exactly full of character.

A design feature that I quite liked was a bench by all of the lockers, so as you put your multiple bags in (I carry around a load of stuff) you don’t have to put them on the wet floor or wrestle with your bags whilst you hold the locker (which takes your 20p) open.

The roof of the pool has large metal beams with circles carved out, so again it feels very industrial, or like a building site, I’m not quite sure.

The pool itself is 25m long (yawn) but obviously very clean. There were only about 3 people swimming  in it, so I had a lane to myself for about half an hour. The lanes didn’t seem as thin as Clapham, but it could just be that it was so quiet. It’s quite a fast pool, deepest part is 2m deep and I couldn’t see signs disallowing diving. The clocks  are a bit out of the way on a far side wall, which is a bit of a pain. The whole pool area did seem very open and bright, but still a bit building site-y, as though it needs wearing in.

I did share the lane with the most polite person ever, I think after I was about 1.5k in he realised I was in for the long haul and could sense when I needed to overtake and moved right out of the way, amazing swimming pool etiquette in the heart of East London.

I’m not sure I’ve swam that far without stopping in a long while, but I did find I kept a pretty steady pace once I’d hit the 700m mark, not going particularly quickly, but kept going without feeling too knackered. Something that I’m finding a bit tough is the goggle situation. They steam up so much, I’ve got a little tactic of leaving a tiny bit of water in them to clear them if I shake my head, but it seems ridiculous, also they dig into my face really hard. So, going to be doing some research around how to avoid eye pain.

The showers were good, they are long cubicles so you are able to hang your stuff on the door without it getting soaked, and the push-buttons do as they need. The changing rooms did look pretty grubby what with the white floors, they definitely need to get people to wear over shoes.

The hairdryers were good, although I was disappointed not to see a cossy dryer.

This pool of is plain and simple, no fuss and maybe not quite finished? I will definitely go back there for some long distance training, purely because it is so straightforward and quiet.


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