Now that the summer holidays have officially begun, Stonehaven’s open air pool is open for longer hours, and this week marks the return of their famous Wednesday night aqua disco midnight swims.
The pool will be open on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 10am to 7.30pm, and on Tuesdays and Fridays from 6.30am to 7.30pm. Weekend hours are unchanged, with opening 10am to 6pm on both Saturdays and Sundays.
There will also be daily fun sessions for swimmers, with the inflatable assault course available from 1pm to 3pm, though these are weather dependent – to ensure everyone’s safety, the inflatable “swoopee” is not used if the wind is very strong. However there is still plenty of splashy fun to be had with the main chute, float toys and paddling pool, except during the daily “quiet swim” from 10am – 11am and on weekdays from 6pm until closing, when lane swimming is offered. Ticket prices remain the same during high season, with tickets valid all day. The Pool’s famous ‘midnight swims’ also start on Wednesday (July 5) and will continue every Wednesday until August 16, with doors open at 9.30pm for the start time of 10pm.
Friends of the Pool Chairman, Pete Hill, said: “with an additional week of school holidays this summer, the Pool will have a seven-week high season, with seven, rather than six, midnight swims on offer. We are aware that interest has been building for these ‘aqua disco’ sessions and know that last year people travelled considerable distances to attend and stayed overnight in or near Stonehaven. We know that the Pool is central to Stonehaven’s summer, but this year we have contracted a professional market research company to conduct a customer survey to demonstrate the importance – or otherwise – of the Pool to the local economy. We would ask all customers who are approached on leaving the Pool to agree to be interviewed.”
The survey has been commissioned by the Friends of Stonehaven Open Air Swimming Pool in partnership with Aberdeenshire Council and will provide valuable information about Pool customers and their attitudes to the Pool as well as data to help the Friends promote the Pool more efficiently.
The first interviews have already taken place on a wet, cold blustery day – the Pool does manage to attract customers even in poor weather!
Pete continued: “we say the Pool’s cool when it’s hot and fun when it’s not. In fact, for many people the Pool is more fun on poor weather days when it is generally quieter. However, kids and adults really love it in the rain – there’s nothing quite like being able to duck down into warm water to escape a shower!”
In addition to promoting the Pool, the Friends, a registered charity, are responsible for its maintenance and providing a range of things to enhance customers’ experiences. These range from poolside furniture to thermal pool covers and float toys to hairdryers and baby care items in the changing rooms. “We really have our work cut out this year”, Pete concluded, “with a brand-new pool cover ripped by gales days after opening and a new inflatable required as well as many other items behind the scenes. We’re therefore really grateful to support from local businesses which so far include McHardy’s Butchers, The Ship Inn, Station Hotel and My Beautiful Caravan. We also have a range of merchandise on sale in the Splash Café at the Pool including, for the first time ever, calendars. We do hope our customers will support us by buying these as well as postcards, pens, cards and raffle tickets!”