Plans to restore much-loved coastal pools across Aberdeenshire

Efforts to restore and refurbish Aberdeenshire's historic but forgotten sea pools follow a growing love of wild swimming.

Coastal tidal pools in Aberdeenshire could be restored following huge community efforts.

Efforts to restore and refurbish Aberdeenshire’s historic but forgotten sea pools follow a growing love of wild swimming.

In their prime, pools such as Portsoy and Tarlair on the coast were the natural holiday playgrounds of Scotland but have fallen into disrepair.

However, thanks to the work of local communities, both could soon be making a splash again.

Generations learned to swim in Aberdeenshire’s coastal tidal pools, long before heated and indoor versions were invented.

The pools allowed swimmers to enjoy a dip in the sea without the fear of being swept away by a wave.

Communities hope to restore tidal pools to their former glory

In the 1930s, the art deco pool at Tarlair was a mecca for thousands of visitors from far and wide.

The sea water attraction near Macduff was home to gala days and community events.

But by the 1980s and 1990s, pools like this were abandoned in favour of foreign holidays and warmer indoor facilities .

And across Scotland there’s a trend to restore old pools including this one at Portsoy, built in 1934.

This was a hugely popular location for generations of locals.

Allison Young, 74, is backing a new campaign to see her once much-loved tidal pool brought back to its former glory.

Alison Young, 74, is supporting a campaign to restore her local tidal pool

She said: “We were here with all our friends and we were splashing about. We used to sit on the step across there at high tide and have the waves splash over us.

“We just had a good time and enjoyed everything that was here. You would go in the pool and you would have your hot orange and rich tea biscuit when you came out. We were happy – we had happy times.”

Campaigners say they want to take the plunge to restore the pool to a safe standard in the hope of encouraging the next generation to dive in.

Portsoy Outdoor pool Charity vice chair Garry Andrew said: “For me personally, it’s a project close to my heart.

“I’ve been in Portsoy all my days. This was a place that was always open. In the summer, we could say ‘let’s go to the pool’ – jumping in and stuff like that.

“To have that back for the kids of today, it would just be a great asset for the community as well as the wider community.”

Generations enjoyed the coastal pools of Aberdeenshire

The community group hopes to take over the site from Aberdeenshire council and is fundraising for changing rooms, toilets, and shower facilities.

It’s been inspired by a 12-year effort to restore Tarlair pool, which will reopen as a new million pound tourist attraction in the autumn.

Operations manager Colin Clark said: “The number of visitors which come here anyway and this is just the added attraction. The numbers who come down just now are a bit disappointed.

“Fine, they can use the pool, but no where to change and have a shower. It’s screaming out for something new.”

Holidaymaker Andrew Mckenzie, said: “We are amazed at the history of it and the old photo from 1930s was fantastic.

“Hearing it’s being reinstated with committee in behind – its quite exciting. We will definitely be back to visit.”

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