Thanks to Elaine Rockett for providing the pictures and following descriptions (written in October 2005)
Beachcomber (building demolished since this was written)
It would appear that this building is being stripped of its carpets. There was a skipload of them outside and more rolls on the floor. I'm not sure if I've ever been in this particular building before, but if there was ever a volcano and a stream, it bore no evidence of it now. The whole place reeked of disrepair. Looking through the windows I saw that bannisters and plasterboard walls were falling apart or had been kicked in, and the outside fire doors were so warped with weathering that they didn't fit into their frames properly.
The building still stunk of chlorine, right from the bottom of the stairwell. I snuck to the side and behind what was probably a turnstile, and found myself in a corridor, the floor of which was covered in bird droppings (amongst other things!). On the right were two doors. The one marked "Ladies" was nailed shut, so I tiptoed, with trepidation, into the Gents. It was very dark in here, and the only way I managed to get a decent photo was by bouncing the flash off the mirror (an accident, I am no professional). Down the inner corridor, through a glassless window was what appeared to be either disused toilets or showers. I didn't care to hang around as the building is not in the best condition.
I then marched purposely to the far end of the pool. I had not been in this building for twenty years, at which time the pool was a basic, straight-edged affair. I found this Sunsplash pool a bit of a disappointment. It seemed very small - only three feet across at its smallest point. Had this been the only offering for a swim, I wouldn't have been happy. The pool was in fairly good nick, although scabby patches are starting to appear at the bottom.
At one end, a load of chairs and some gym equipment was haphazardly dumped and at the other was a load of chairs and tables. The greenery hanging from the ceiling looked anaemic and past its best, but as I gazed up at it, my mind started playing strange tricks on me...I was taken back twenty years, when this place was filled with laughter...