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Thursday, July 19, 2012

River Valley Swimming Pool

Those of us old enough will remember River Valley Swimming Pool. For the younger generation who have no recollections at all of what used to stood on that now bald piece of land there was once a trinity of very significant buildings, the National Theatre, the Van Kleef Aquarium and the River Valley Swimming Pool.

As a student at Outram Seconday School, despite we having our own swimming pool, we use to frequent the River Valley Swimming Pool for its length and depth. It was an Olympic size pool and its deepest end was if I remember correctly, 12 feet deep. We used to try touching the bottom of the deep end either by swimming right in or "sitting in" allowing ourselves to slowly sink to the bottom. Not many of us succeed though as it was really deep and we could not hold our breathe for so long or take the pressure.

River Valley Swimming Pool was closed in April 2003 as the dwindling population around the area and the opening of more modern swimming pool and condominium with pools led to the decline in use. It has sat vacant since then until recently when the Nparks took over and converted it to a park housing a gallery, Nparks office and renamed it The Foothills Fort Canning Park

Here is a before and after photo of the main pool. Very crowded in those days
Photo from the National Archives
Nothing left of the pool. Only a vacant piece of grassland where the pool used to be

The main entrance has been retained though. Spiced up a bit as can be seen from the picture above compared to the one below
Photo from National Archive
The stretch of buildings on the left has also been retained but converted to a gallery, npark office and the toilet is still standing.
The old buildings. Photo from Law Gazette
The rejuvenated buildings

The original revolving gate is still there
Photo from the Law Gazette
The gate all spiced up
As is the fish shaped grill
Photo from Law Gazette
The retained window with the fish shaped grill

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