I TOOK my two grandchildren aged 6 and 8 to Five Rivers on Thursday afternoon for a swim. Before leaving home it took about 20 minutes to find swimsuits, towels etc and another 10 or 15 minutes to drive to the pool.

Once there, my heart dropped to see, as so often, a fair sized queue. I had hoped things had improved from earlier experiences.

I checked with a polite lady at reception the expected length of the waiting period and she said that a fresh batch of children could go in within the next five minutes.

This did indeed happen, but we were not in that batch.

By this time it was 2.45pm, and the pool shut for swimming lessons by 3.30pm. If we had waited we would have been lucky to have entered the pool by three o’clock, by which time we would have had 10 minutes changing time and 20 minutes in the water. We cut our losses and went away, one of the grandchildren crying bitterly. So did many other people, some of which went to Romsey Rapids instead.

The pool timetable for the holidays only caters for children who are not having lessons from 9.30am until 11.45am and 1.45pm until 3.30pm. Other times are for adults only or swimming lessons. I have been a swimming teacher myself in other areas and the timetable is handled better. If this holiday timetable enabled one more hour of general swimming and less time for lessons it would make far better business sense. I saw many families walking away with tiny children upset because they could not go in. Think how much revenue the pool has lost. It is hardly good public relations either as potential users will think twice before coming again.

In conclusion, we should be trying to encourage more fitness for our young people in an age when weight is a huge issue, and this is hardly conducive to achieving this.

Angela Hillman, Salisbury