Shivering session in St Albans pool that is too cold for comfort

A CHILLY experience at a St Albans swimming pool has given a local mother and daughter the shivers.

Elizabeth Franklin, of Praetorian Court, takes her six-year-old, Rebecca, swimming at Westminster Lodge every month but on a recent trip last Sunday, both mother and daughter had to jump out of the learner swimming pool after 10 minutes because the water was so cold.

Elizabeth, who also has a two-year-old son, Samuel, said that it was the coldest swimming pool she had ever swam in: “Rebecca’s teeth were chattering within minutes and I don’t ever remember it being that cold.

“There were a couple of instances last year but they were one-offs and I got my money back on those occasions.”

Elizabeth said that when she complained to the lifeguard on duty, he apologised and said that they had turned down the temperature in the baby pool in an effort to save money.

Elizabeth, who has vowed never to go to Westminster Lodge again until the problem is sorted out, said: “It’s totally unacceptable and makes me wonder what the conditions of the new Westminster Lodge child’s swimming pool will be. I understand that everyone is trying to save money at the moment but this seems a bit extreme.”

She added: “I only live a 15-minute walk away from Westminster Lodge but I’d much rather drive a full half hour to the leisure centre in Hitchin than risk my daughter catching a chill from swimming in cold water.

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“It used to be a nice, warm bath temperature of around 31 degrees but on Sunday it must have been under 30 degrees.”

But a spokesperson from the district council, which owns Westminster Lodge, said that on Sunday the pool records indicated that the temperature was maintained at a constant 30 degrees centigrade from 7am until 11am.

She added: “The operating temperatures of our learner swimming pools are set according to national guidelines and our agreed policy is to keep our learner swimming pools within the temperature range 29-31 degrees.

“The operating temperatures are monitored every two hours and adjustments are made to ensure they continue to operate within the correct range.”