Swindon concrete diving platform given listed status

Coate Water Diving Platform In 1958, due to a public health and safety concern, swimming at Coate Water was forbidden

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A 1930s concrete diving platform in Swindon has been awarded Grade II listed status for its rarity.

The 10m (33ft) high stage, in a former swimming lake in Coate Water, was designed by local architect JBL Thompson and opened in June 1935.

The Art Deco style structure is "one of only four inter-war concrete diving platforms" to have survived in England, English Heritage said.

Fridy Duterloo, from English Heritage, said it was a "really good example".

The diving platform, with both fixed boards and spring boards, was designed to fully comply with the safety regulations at the time.

'Survived intact'

Made of reinforced steel and concrete, it was officially opened in 1935 by National Diving Champion Cicely Cousins with a demonstration of "fancy diving'"

"It was very technically challenging," said Ms Duterloo.

"The shape of the diving tower meant that the boards could be staggered so as to give sufficient headspace for the diver.

"And the varying platform heights also allowed for all year round diving, taking account of the changing water levels."

But in 1958, due to a public health and safety concern, swimming at Coate Water was forbidden and the diving platform effectively closed.

"Since its closure, to stop vandalism and people climbing onto the diving platform, the arches at the foot of the diving tower have been partly filled with concrete blocks and its lowest platform was given a concrete block parapet," added Ms Duterloo.

"But despite the loss of its railings it has survived mostly intact."

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