Swimming pool construction 1960’s
During the winter of 1960 Hugh Farrant a local farmer living in Drayton St Leonard asked the question could I build a swimming pool for him and his family. It was the middle of winter with very little production and sales of paving and knowing absolutely nothing about reinforced concrete and shuttering, I had no problem in convincing the family I had the experience to build their pool.
The following month I visited the AERE library many times studying the process of reinforced concrete. I started building the pool on the 1st July using shuttering I had designed and made, mixing concrete using double layer steel netting and building 6″ reinforced concrete walls; then creating paving and my first pool coping to surround the pool. The pool was completed and used by the 30th September 1960, I appeared the following year 1961 in the BBC get ahead competition for entrepreneurs; reached the semi final and from the TV appearance received a pool order from Henley which was built that same year.
The last pool was built for Wallingford school in 1964 a large 60 x 20 mainly used for teaching students to swim. The pool was obviously built to last because 30 years later when a gymnasium was to be built, dynamite had to be used to remove it. When I look back over the 55 years I am amazed at my ability to take on building projects with absolutely no experience other than the information taken from books.
In October of this year 2015 I went to visit the pool in Drayton St Leonard to see if it was still being used, walking across the lawn, the pool looked as good as when I left it all those years ago, the paving surround looked really great with lots of patina and only a few coping had to be replaced that had been manufactured all those years ago. Looking back on my experiences in pool building and concrete production it gives me confidence to say Rogers Gardenstone is still producing concrete products built on past experience for future use.