|End of an era|
|Inside the open door I came across|
|Fire exit from the main pool area, alarm bells blaring - time to take a look|
|Barriers lying at the bottom of the deserted pool|
|Raised spectator seating lies empty|
|At the deep end of photo reportage|
I quickly realised & to amazement, that the buildings was already becoming pretty vandalised within such a short space of time & let's make one thing clear, none of the kids was trashing stuff when I disturbed them so whoever was responsible we will never know - I'll touch on this again a little later in the post. Around 15 minutes had passed & the silence was rudely interrupted by the sound of the doors slamming shut. At this point I was on the diving board section & ran back thinking it was security locking back up only to hear several loud thuds against the door. When I reached the door, it was checkmate for the teenagers had returned & jammed the entry with around 10 barriers & stood with smug grins - okay think.....I'm barricaded in........may as well take some more photos then & wait for the cavalry of yellow jackets to arrive!
|In the shadows of it's former glory|
|.75m shallow pool|
|Deserted shallow pool|
|The play park outside buzzing with families oblivious to the blaring alarm that is pounding my eardrums|
Apart from the obvious barriers that had been thrown in the pools, there hadn't been much damage but the first floor in parts was full of glass from broken cabinets & glass door panels. A couple of fire extinguishers had been let off & I found that most of the lighting in the building was turned on, another hazard for kids scrabbling about in a derelict building intent on wreaking havoc, live electrics aren't to be taken lightly & a phone call was made to a contact at the Life Centre to get the building locked down & returned to taking photos while waiting for the security firm to arrive. Time to get up close & personal with the diving platforms!
|Walkway to the spectators area littered with broken glass|
|No barefeet today!|
|Follow the yellow hand rail|
|The dizzy heights of the dive platforms|
|No longer in use|
|Here it is - Tom Daley's old dive platform!|
|Overlooking the six lane pool|
|The dive pool from the top platform|
The dive platforms offered an amazing view of the derelict complex, the height for me wasn't a problem but there would be no way I would even jump from that height into a full pool. After taking in the views from above, it was over to the spectators seating area to soak up the alarming atmosphere.
|Time to get the spectators view|
|Here we are|
|The derelict scene on a busy Saturday afternoon|
|Silence in the changing rooms|
|An hour later - alarm still blaring & flashing|
|Gym Tots area|
It was just over an hour later I found a way out of the building by the rear entrance where the kids had also barricaded to an extent, but with many sites like this, climbing has come in to play & on my return to the outside I was greeted by more kids trying to get in. I locked the door behind me so will never know if they regained access. None of the teenagers were hostile, more inquisitive as to why I was taking photos & I explained about make a photo archive of the building. Their response about the building getting trashed was 'It's getting demolished anyway'!
|Goodbye Central Park Pools|
So there it is, documented by accident & now gone forever. I waited around for another ten minutes & still no sign of security so headed back to the Life Centre to notify them & it was swiftly dealt with, although more kids managed to gain entry again later that month from what a contractor told us, to begin another wrecking spree & smashing further windows. C'est la vie!