Heyday

PUBLISHED: 16:49 17 May 2006 | UPDATED: 09:16 24 May 2010

In its heyday the marine lake at Clevedon was a very popular visitor attraction. Even during the war years it was a convenient focal point for families and evacuees, such as myself. Early in 1941, after the first blitzes on Bristol, I came to live in Na

In its heyday the marine lake at Clevedon was a very popular visitor attraction. Even during the war years it was a convenient focal point for families and evacuees, such as myself. Early in 1941, after the first blitzes on Bristol, I came to live in Nailsea; but learnt to swim in the lake at Clevedon. Nailsea also had places in which to swim, such as fresh water ponds and rivers, on the moor; but the favourite was a dam across a river near Chelvey. This was a metal structure built by the Bristol Waterworks Company, in Victorian times. Its purpose was to measure the outfall of water from the river and was known appropriately as 'The Gauge'. It was popular with boys, both evacuees and locals in summertime.The water was deep and cold, algae and weed covered the metal structure, making it very slippery. The banks became mud slopes which added to the boy's high spirits; and imaginary conger eel and pike scares sometimes caused a panic to get out of the water. Most of these rivers and ponds have long gone and Clevedon marine lake has been allowed to deteriorate. Nailsea has grown into a town of more than 18,000 people but, unfortunately, it has no swimming pool. So, what about 'The Gauge'? This is probably listed by our leisure officials as an 'adequate public swimming facility' for Nailsea, complete with eels, pike and mud. It would not surprise us. N A Tucker - Nailsea Swimming Pool Interest Group,Valley Close, Nailsea

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