LEARNING to swim is an important skill and often one of a person’s first and favourite memories.

No doubt, many readers will remember learning to swim at Hexham Swimming Pool, going there for lessons in school or for fun, family days out.

Plans which will see the site transformed into 45 flats - with the historic facade retained - are on track to finish by the end of the year.

And so, we look back at the site’s history with photographs showing its former glory.

In June 2020, bulldozers got to work on the historic site, on Gilesgate in Hexham, which housed the pool between 1974 and 2008 and before that, a wool house.

Demolition work laid bare the old, indoor pool, which saw countless people tread its (diving) boards in years gone by.

For the pool had always been a popular venue for families, with children enjoying inflatables and a slide. But it was also where many school pupils attended swimming lessons and lifesaving techniques practised.

The former swimming pool site was redundant after the new pool opened at the Wentworth Leisure Centre in 2008, which also houses a state-of-the-art gym, bowling alley and cafe, and is ran by Active Northumberland.

Hexham Swimming Pool was put up for sale in 2016 and it wasn’t long before plans were unanimously approved by Northumberland County Council’s strategic planning committee for see six one-bedroom apartments, 34 two-bedroom apartments, two two-bedroom duplex apartments and three two bedroomed penthouses with balconies developed by Willow Homes.

The site is now half-way through the first phase of a three-phase development programme.

We want to hear your memories of growing up in Hexham and what fun you got up to at its pool - were you always first down the slide? Were you hiding in the changing rooms from teachers? We want to hear your stories. Send them to news.hx@cnmedia.co.uk