Planning for the future of Brynaman Swimming Pool

An open-air swimming pool run by the community, for the community

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Parti Peintio: Our silver lining

Taking the time on this sunny day to report on the Parti Peintio / Painting Party which was arranged to clean up the wall that was graffitied. Our committee members and fantastic local volunteers did an excellent job. The event also helped us to connect with the local community and for you all to show us how much you still want the pool to open again. We’ll be organising other clean-up and fundraising events in the future but right now we want to thank everyone for their hard work and offers of support for our plans to Bring Back Brynaman Lido.

If you can help by donating to the refurbishment of the lido you can do so here: DONATE

Looks great now doesn’t it?!

This event and was made possible with funding from the Millennium Stadium Charitable Trust and donations of paint and equipment from local people and businesses.

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Brynaman Lido: Look on the bright side

Many local people will have seen the lovely banner, so kindly provided by The Sign Group on the lido wall. You may also have seen the recent vandalism and graffiti. Whilst it was up and looking so fine, it raised the profile of our quest to get the lido reopened and helped us to raise some funds. Now that this damage has been done we’ve discovered once again that there is a silver lining to every cloud. That is our local community, the positive support that we’re receiving, and in particular our local businesses who would all like to see the lido open again.

This time we have to thank Pristine Innovation Cleaning Services for removing the most offensive graffiti. Unfortunately the wall is not in good enough shape for a deep clean so we’ll be following that up with some painting.

We know that it’s taking a long time for work to start on the refurbishment and it’s unfortunate that the Asset Transfer from Carmarthenshire County Council is taking a long time to process. Please be patient and understand that we’re working behind the scenes to try and move this forward.

We’re looking on the bright side, thanking our wonderful community for their support and our Bring it Back campaign continues to grow, slowly but surely. Please DONATE if you can.

Thanks again to Pristine Innovation, hard at work here, supporting Brynaman Lido.


Brynaman Lido: Looking forward to a better future

Look out for our lovely new banner as you walk, run or cycle past the Brynaman Lido. As we move through the spring and into a more hopeful time we’re strengthening our commitment to Bring it Back, for the enjoyment, health and wellbeing of our community.

Thanks to Richard A Hughes for the Artist Impression, based on an original photograph by Amanda Harwood

We’d like to thank The Sign Group, based at the Mountain Road roundabout, for their generosity in providing us with the banner. They have given us a real boost by their kind support and we feel encouraged in our quest to make this happen.

We’d also like to thank all of those people who have already donated to our cause.

If you’d like to help there are several ways you can do so:

  1. A donation through our charitable donation site
  2. By signing up to our Easy Fundraising site, which helps you to donate as you shop online (at no cost to you)
  3. By offering your practical support as we move forward
  4. By writing to us to tell us why you want the lido to be open and what it means to you – this helps us with planning and fundraising
  5. By following us on social media and spreading the word

If you’d like to be involved you can email us at and we’ll let you know how you can help.

Please write to us and tell us how important the lido is to you and your family. Our asset transfer from Carmarthenshire County Council is still in progress. Your encouragement will help speed up the process.

In the meantime, you can like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter or Instagram and share the news that it might take us a while, but we’re still working to bring back your lido.

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Ein Pwll Saffir / Our Sapphire Pwll

A great inspiration for us to begin our campaign Brynaman Lido: Bring it Back is the anonymous poem Pwll Nofio which we found in the amongst the archives. The author tugs at our heart strings, describing the emotions of the boys and men who went to war, leaving behind their families and memories of the pool they had built: “what memory their sapphire pwll, times past, and wishes for those times again”.

Color logo with backgroundWhat a wonderful description of the pool as people remember it, with the sounds of children splashing and laughing that still echo in its walls. We all wish for those times again, so we’ve set up a fundraising page to begin our campaign to refurbish and reopen Ein Pwll Saffir / Our Sapphire Pwll. To donate please click the campaign logo to take you to our fundraising page.


Pwll Nofio

Wall Street had crashed and good men stood in lines.
Men like my father waited for the dole.
In fleapits they had seen the men of Europe
uniformed in black with heads held high,
while lines were formed of other men in grey
to climb aboard the cattle trucks of trains.

Each man held silent thoughts in that dole queue
hesitant to speak or share what they all knew
that high above them wisps of cloud were forming
the cirrus portents of the storm to come
and each man sighed and reached within himself
to memories of khaki and the shells.

As one by one they shuffled cap in hand
toward the table where the men in suits
would judge them ready for Parish relief
“Prepare your speech boy and make it good” she’d said
“Describe your hungry children with no shoes,
swallow what remains of pride you’re able,
pride doesn’t put a loaf upon the table.”

Together they began to dig a pwll.
Good diggers too Brynaman men. Times past
they’d tunnelled underground for coal.
Still there some of them, left beneath the fall.
They’d dug out half a mountain to get stone
but always for the owners. Trapped
Between the grinding stones of need.

But now they could make something of their own
with pick and shovel they could dig a hole
and shape the land. Something for their children,
their children, and the children long to come.

There was no flesh to spare upon their bones,
no weight to put behind the barrow load,
as day by day the Pwll took shape
until at last, when concreting was done,
and doors were fixed and painted, everyone
could stand and watch as water from the river
began to flow into that clean blue pristine
space, that they together had created.

What shouts as boys unpeeled grey vests
and leapt into the glistening water.
What shrieks from girls who’d come to look them over.

But all too few the summers by the pwll,
too few the winters of their dad’s potatoes
before the time of uniform would come
and boys lined up with men on strange platforms
to be transported and be put before the gun.
And in the nights of battle, as in some hole
they waited for the day, before the dawn
what memory their sapphire pwll,
times past, and wishes for those times again.

And so today a white haired woman stands
and watches as the mums and kids pass by
prams loaded with provision bags from Spar.
She peers through cataracts across the cwm
and can just see the wall around the pwll
and hear the shouts of children as they splash.
“My dad built that,” she says “For them.”


Please donate if you can by clicking on the campaign logo.

Color logo with background

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Brynaman Lido: Bringing it Back II

We’ve received lots of publicity for our recent good news from Carmarthenshire CC that they have agreed, IN PRINCIPLE, to the Asset Transfer of Brynaman Lido to our committee.

We’ve had some fantastic responses, promises of support and congratulatory messages, so thank you to everyone for that. We were overwhelmed and delighted that the hard work of the last few years has paid off. Now the real work begins so please watch this space for a new fundraising page, events and sponsorship opportunities as we set them up.


  • We need to emphasise that we are still at the beginning of this journey. The in principle agreement for an Asset Transfer of the property from Carmarthenshire CC is great news, but there is still a lot of work to do.
  • We have to raise a lot of money – an estimated capital budget of £1million for the all-singing, all-dancing facility that we’d like to see. Around £500k of that would be for the potential installation of a stainless steel pool similar to the one that was installed at Lido Ponty. The other £500k will be needed for refurbishment of the facility to make it accessible and high quality.
  • Our vision is for Brynaman Lido to be a sustainable, exemplar project, so investment in the latest technologies and renewable energy will be high on our agenda too.
  • It is unlikely that the pool will be open next year – our plans at their most optimistic look at opening in spring 2022.
  • We would like to thank everyone for their support and enthusiasm, but we don’t want to mislead you. It will take a lot of hard work, planning, and fundraising to get this done.
  • Please also note that some of the photographs and images that we have shared are subject to copyright and need to be credited if they are copied. In particular the 2018 images of the empty pool by Amanda Harwood and the Artist impression by Richard A Hughes based on that.


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Brynaman Lido – Bringing it Back

At the beginning of the year we predicted that this would be the decade of the Lido and recent developments show that we were right.

We learned just over a week ago that Carmarthenshire County Council has agreed in principle to transfer the management of the Lido to our committee under a lease agreement. Their legal department is currently putting together the details.

After quite a few years of planning, research and negotiation we are absolutely delighted with this news.

Now the real work begins as we need to make the preparations and raise the funds to realise our dream to make Brynaman Lido a special place at the heart of the community again. Many thanks to all the people who have supported us so far.

Information on our fundraising campaign, how you can help and how you can donate will be posted on here and on our social media pages shortly. In the meantime if you want to get in touch please email

Sadly our good news is overshadowed by the terrible damage caused to people’s homes in Wales, particularly in Pontypridd including their wonderful lido. Our hearts go out to them.

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November 2019 – a busy month

November has been very busy for the lido committee. We’ve presented our plans to a number of people and gained more support. Plaid Leader Adam Price, AM took time out of his busy schedule to listen to our plans and is 100% behind us. We want to talk to ALL community leaders and politicians who are interested in reopening the lido.

Wales-Cooperative-Centre-300x172A big thank you goes to Wales Coop who have guided and supported us through our registration as Brynaman Lido Limited, a Charitable Community Benefit Society. This will help us with fundraising and management of the lido in the future. 

The ponds

We’re also talking to Patrick McLennan, film-maker renowned for The Ponds and his colleagues from the Outdoor Swimming Society about their next project, Splash Palace: The Rebirth of the British Lido. They’d like to feature Brynaman Lido and want to hear your stories and memories of times spent at the pool.

If you have a story to tell or a photo to share please get in touch with us through Messenger on our FB page or email


Latest business plan for Brynaman Lido: Brynaman Lido Business Plan & Feasibility Research November 2019

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October 2019 Update

We continue to make presentations and receive support from across the Quarter Bach and surrounding areas. Our next presentation takes place at Ystradowen Community Centre on Wednesday 6th November at 6.30pm. It takes the form of a short talk with projections followed by a Q&A session where people can ask questions, make suggestions and help us to improve our business case to Carmarthenshire County Council.

Our plans and research continue to develop. To view the latest plans please click on the link below.

Brynaman Lido Business Plan & Feasibility Research October 2019

Brynamman pool postcard 1930s 2

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Community Presentations and Consultation

Following our survey last year, we continue to consult with the local community to show you our plans and find out what you want to see from a refurbished Brynaman Lido.

We’ve made presentations to the Quarter Bach Community Council, Carmarthenshire County Council, local business and community leaders and Tairgwaith Primary. We will also be presenting to GCG Community Council in September. If you would like us to present to your school or group please contact me: or you can message us on the Brynaman Lido Facebook page.

The presentation lasts about 10 minutes and is followed by a Q&A session where you can find out a bit more about our plans, air your views and let us know what you’d like to see from Brynaman Lido when it reopens.

The Business Plan continues to be updated: Brynaman Lido Business Plan and Feasibility Research April 2019


lido early morning steam

We are currently working with Carmarthenshire County Council with the hope of having the lido transferred to us in autumn 2019. After that there will be time to fundraise for what we hope will be an amazing facility for us, our children and our children’s children. There are legal requirements and a lot of work to do so we think that the very earliest the lido could open is summer 2021, more likely to be later than that.

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Buckfastliegh Research Visit

Brynaman Lido Committee: Report on Research trip to Buckfastleigh Lido

This was a great trip for us. As well as being an opportunity to see a lido in action, meet and question the staff and management, it was a good experience for members of the committee to get their heads together and focus on the future of our lido.

We have come away with lots of information and there are lots more questions that we will want to ask of Buckfastleigh, of other lidos and of ourselves.

Pool by Huw

  1. Background

The popularity of outdoor swimming has led to a resurgence in lidos in the UK. Requirements of a modern society and developments in technology for operating and heating open air pools means that it is a very different landscape that we are looking at when researching the variety of possibilities for managing Brynaman Lido when it reopens. Whilst there is a lot of information available online and from companies who provide the various methods of operation, we felt it would be helpful to see an outdoor pool in action and talk to the people who manage it face to face.

We researched a number of lidos that we believe have similar operational and management arrangements to Brynaman. Of those, we felt that the contact and support that we had received from Pam Barrett, Director of Buckfastleigh Open Air Swimming Pool, would be most useful. Whilst it is a much smaller pool, its position in the local community is very similar to that of Brynaman Lido.

Like Brynaman, the local authority Teignbridge DC, had been running the pool as part of its leisure provision and had proposed to close it. After some serious negotiation and lobbying, Pam Barrett and her team were able to show that there was good reason for them to pass over the reins to the local community. Further information about the background and running of the pool is available:

The pool has been open every year since 2015, with regular hours from May to September also opening intermittently for special events such as Easter and Boxing Day.

  1. Manager and Staffing

Ian Savage is the manager for Buckfastleigh Open Air Pool. That includes the management, operational and staffing of the pool itself plus the playground that lies adjacent to it. Prior to being employed by the Trust Ian was part of the team that managed the sports facilities and pools at Teignbridge Council. He had already worked as a manager at Buckfastleigh employed by them so knew a lot about the pool.

Ian has a permanent employment contract with the Trust for 1400 hours per year. During the summer months the workload is intense and generally involves 4 X 10 hour days per week. He is able to spread the rest of his hours to carry out essential administration, health & safety and operational issues when the pool is less busy. He is also able to take on other work when the pool is closed.

2 lifeguards who are also qualified as supervisors are employed on seasonal contracts which run from May to September.

They have a fail-safe structure as one of the lifeguards is a qualified level 2 manager and they also have level 3 supporters amongst the 7 volunteer lifeguards who can all supervise should anyone fall ill or have to deal with something that takes the manager away from the pool. The manager is also responsible for training lifeguards. The pool makes some extra income by training lifeguards from other organisations.

Volunteers are paid with free swims, e.g. for a receptionist 1 shift = 1 swim. They have a volunteer who manages the volunteer rotas.

Health & Safety training for all staff is incredibly important. If we are planning to keep the pool open when it’s not heated, we should have staff trained in cold water shock.

  1. Current timetable and pricing

The timetable and pricing are calculated in response to the needs of the local community. To make the pool as accessible as possible to the less well-off residents the Trust raises funds for subsidised and free swims that they can allocate in response to need.

  1. Operational

The pool is cleaned by filters that are situated in a pump house at the far corner of the pool. It is dosed with chlorine with a self-dosing automated system, although they still test the water every 2 hours to make sure all is working OK.

It is heated by 2 gas boilers (recently replaced at a cost of £10k). To get the pool from its May temperature unheated of 14 degrees up to 28 degrees takes around 4 days. They have a good quality pool cover which helps to retain the heat and is put over the pool outside swim times.

They backwash the pool and top up once a week. They use E Plus to check the water quality

Documents we should check out: HSE Swimming Pools document is like a bible and PWATAG – Pool Water Swimming Book.

  1. Organisational Management

Buckfastleigh DevonThe team who runs the pool set up a company limited by guarantee to act as the corporate entity for management purposes. This doesn’t trade and submits nil activity in its accounts each year. The trading is all done through the Trust, a separate charity which trades and provides accounts of all the income and expenditure for the pool.

Buckfastleigh is lucky in that Pam Barrett is also the Mayor and a member of the Town Council. The pool is included in their neighbourhood plan. Her way of developing the lido is to make it better than it needs to be, e.g. they provide better than just the basic service. It is viewed as a local regeneration project that will not only service the local community but also provide a stream of visitors and footfall to the town.

Whilst Buckfastliegh is in a relatively well-heeled area, the town itself is in a pocket of poverty with high depravation stats. The ethos of the management is to provide opportunities of training and employment for young people in the town. They also raise additional funds to provide free swimming to less well-off people and their families. They have a strong relationship with other organisations in the town that support young people and have a very positive impact on the health and wellbeing of the area.

They receive £20k subsidy from Buckfastleigh Town Council. This was achieved by increasing the local tax levy to provide for the pool and other local amenities that were deemed important to the community.

Key points to remember:

  • Membership schemes often subsidise people who can already afford to pay – it is important to make the facility available for the whole community.
  • A contract for staff can be for a set amount of flexible hours over a year or seasonal
  • Keep going and don’t believe everything people say – they often aren’t experts and have less knowledge than you do.
  • Explore all the legal options for taking over the lido
  • Special events and services are often more lucrative than regular swimming, e.g. Night Swims, Early morning swims, classes and aqua therapy.