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The joy of oddly shaped swimming pools

Blog | By Harry Mount | Aug 21, 2017


The Jubilee Pool in Penzance, built in 1935 to celebrate George V's Silver Jubilee, is triangular, in order to deflect the force of Atlantic storms. It is no ordinary triangle: one corner is given over to a separate pool, and there's also a pleasing little curve that juts into one of the sides.

As a serendipitous result of the storm-protection scheme, the pool is a joy to swim in - as I did over the weekend. Gone is the hell of swimming length after length, in a dreary, repetitive pattern, in the traditional, rectangular pool. Instead, you swim freely at will, in any sort of direction, like you do in the sea - in another blast of joy, the pool is filled with seawater, too.

I can see this might bring problems when the sun is shining, and the pool is packed, and everyone is swimming, Brownian motion-style, in random directions. But, in the light rain on Sunday morning, when I was swimming in the pool, I had the Art Deco pool to myself, but for two other oldie swimmers. Pure bliss, followed by the ultimate in warming cups of tea in the pool's café, overlooking the sea through a thin veil of rain.

HARRY MOUNT, @mounth