This project came about as a follow on inspired by Lynn Pearson’s book ‘Played in Tyne and Wear. We were able to focus on a very specific subject and location as a means of collecting memories. We met the swimmers from Age UK North Tyneside’s Swimming Group and recorded their stories.
Here we met Zillah, one time swimming instructor for local schools who added a whole new perspective on why it was important for local children to learn to swim – because the coastline is dangerous. We learned that Hawkey’s Lane Open Air Pool was seared onto the memory of many people for the coldness of the water and the flimsy nature of the changing facilities. We heard about the fun that could be had at the Table Rock pool.
From other people we heard about the way they spent their time during school holidays, down on the beach with family or friends. From these contributors we were given some beautiful photographs to use in the booklet. One of the most exciting legacies of the project was the set of these images that became a permanent installation in the viewing gallery of Tynemouth Swimming Pool. If you get a chance go along and have a look at them.