A supporter recently sent me the official opening brochure from 1965 for the Seven Islands Leisure Centre (then called the Rotherhithe Baths and Assembly Hall).
With the Centre currently shut for refurbishment and its future uncertain, it is fascinating to be reminded of what it once was: a state of the art community asset with a range of facilities including the pool with three diving boards, a sun deck, steam baths and cafeteria.
Over time the facilities have degraded and the number of facilities have shrunk. It’s not clear what the current refurbishment will bring and how many years extra life it will bestow. Southwark Council has asked the leaseholders of the Canada Water Masterplan site, British Land, to identify a new location for a leisure centre.
Reading the 1965 brochure is a salutary reminder that as a community we must ensure that facilities are maintained and not allowed to be taken away from us, especially as the population of our area is set to increase.
Whether the new leisure centre being mooted for Canada Water is built on the Seven Islands site or not, as a community we must ensure that the replacement facilities are as worthy of celebrating as the original was in 1965.
Catherine Whitaker, Chair