Young make splash in the 80s!

WE HAVE a double delight in Days of the Old School Yard this week, as we dive in to take a look at two summer time memories. The first comes from 1983 when six Newham asthmatics took the plunge for a training session with children s TV presenter George Sp

WE HAVE a double delight in Days of the Old School Yard this week, as we dive in to take a look at two summer time memories.

The first comes from 1983 when six Newham asthmatics took the plunge for a training session with children's TV presenter George Spanswick. They were getting ready for a nationwide fund swim in aid of asthma research.

Back then, the youngsters were all members of the Newham Penguin Asthma Swimming Club. Their training also got off to a flying start with British Olympic Medalist Nick Gillingham.

And non-asthma suffers were also urged to take part in the event being held at local pools. The youngest of the swimmers to sign up was two-year-old Beverley Nelson, of Kempton Road, East Ham. That's her on the map of Great Britain. Other local youngsters pictured with George are (left to right) Simon Philogene, six, of Gainsborough Avenue, Manor Park; Samantha Harris, nine of Melford Road, East Ham; Jamie Worboyes, 12, of Munday road, Custom House; Samatha's sister Emily, seven and Alexander Bradley, 12 from Plaistow.


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Then we roll forward three years to 1986 when everyone wanted to take the plunge when Beckton Park Lido opened.

The giant open-air swimming pool began its summer season as temperatures in Newham soared into the 80s.

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The lido - at the corner of Prince Regent Lane and Newham Way had its opening day a month later than usual.

Council economies meant a summer season shorter than the usual mid-May to September run. The pool only opened in this year from mid-June to the last day in August. The hours were shorter too, from midday to 7pm.

But everyone still made a splash.

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