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Pensioners win pool fight at Tides Leisure Centre in Deal

By Eleanor Perkins

Pensioners are delighted to have had their swimming session time changed to a more reasonable hour after the Mercury highlighted their protest last week.

On Monday, Tides placed a new timetable on its notice board, which scheduled Active Swim at 10am until 11am in the upcoming Easter holidays.

Left to right: Ronald Wilson, Kathleen Wilson, Madeleine Turner and Peggy Frost.
Left to right: Ronald Wilson, Kathleen Wilson, Madeleine Turner and Peggy Frost.

One of the oldest members, Peggy Frost, 92, of Alfred Row, Deal, said: “We were all shouting ‘We’ve won!’”

“We’re wonderfully happy. We usually have to go at half nine, but ten o’clock is even better.”

Member Madeleine Turner, 71, of Mill Road, Deal, said: “We’re so pleased. We’re highly delighted.

“We’d like to say thank you to them for reconsidering the time.”

The members, aged 50 and older, meet at Tides Leisure Centre, Park Avenue, Deal, on Mondays and Wednesdays at 11am for a one-hour workout in the pool.

During the school holidays the time of their session is usually moved to 9.30am but Tides had wanted to move it to 6.30am.

Last week, the group of 30 people protested outside the leisure centre, with banners saying “NO, too early” and “Tides have turned for OAPs”.

Members feared they would no longer be able to attend the swimming sessions and people on Facebook were on their side.

Gemma Parker commented on the East Kent Mercury page: “I struggle to get out of bed at 6am, let alone someone elderly. Hopefully they will rethink this. It’s selfish.”

Linda Reseigh added: “I think Tides need to think again, 6.30am is very harsh.”

Your Leisure managing director Steve Davis confirmed: “We have changed our holiday programme and they’ve ended up with a better time and we will be looking at something very similar for the summer holidays.

“It was never our intention to upset them, our aim is to increase activities for the over 50s.

“Other groups of people are impacted during the holidays. Several groups have their activities cancelled and that wasn’t fair.”

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