Deptford Wavelengths does bring back a lot of memories as I used to live and work in New Cross. I think the most poignant having been about 7 years ago, mid-swim in mid-Winter, when the fire alarm went off and were marched along the slush-filled streets in nothing but our cossies and a foil blanket (weirdly, we were allowed to rush and get shoes from lockers, but that was it). So many questions about how to get set on fire in a pool…reasonably happy to say that today was much less eventful.
The first thing to note on arrival was the extreme heat of the whole centre, it is that awkward time between seasons but struggling for breath on arrival didn’t fill me with confidence. It’s about £3 entry and you need a 50p for the lockers. The changing room set up is slightly odd, you go past the wall dryers with nozzles to dry your hair, then past a shoe cover dispenser which clearly nobody uses judging by the state of the place. the changing rooms are grotty and hot, and there are a couple of benches in there and a few cubicles, all very basic.
This pool seems to want people to do as much on poolside as possible. The lockers are out by the pool, the toilets are off to the side of the pool, the showers are out there. It’s all very pool-centric and the inescapable humidity does get a bit much.
Anyway, off out to the grimey poolside and popped my belongings in the modestly sized lockers, and sloped in to the water. The 25m pool was split into 3 excessively wide lanes, slow, medium and fast, or ‘slow’, ‘slow’ and ‘at least actually swimming full lengths’. Mind you, I think by breathing the air in you’d flood your lungs out. Definitely too warm to push yourself. The pool does feel full of chemicals and it’s all quite an oppressive environment. The actual pool and building were quite nice a few years ago, but it doesn’t seem to have been well maintained. The pool does the job, it seems quite fast as it is shallow (deep end isn’t very deep), but the water feels syrupy and there is dirt gathering on the floor. It may have been due to going late in the evening, and that 25m pools in general don’t do much for me.
Out to the poolside shower cubicles, which is a concept I really don’t like. The water pressure isn’t great, and you can really notice the how chemically the pool is. A shuffle over to the lockers to grab my stuff and get changed as quick as possible and I was out the door pretty quickly.
I’ve definitely swum in worse pools, but the goodness and energy have been steamed out of this one.