Monday, 12 April 2010

The Commie

One of the best things to happen to the High Wall was the 1970 Commonwealth Games and the decision to build the swimming pool just up the road fae us.

Once aw they Fancy Dan Australian swimmers used it for a week or so then pissed aff, the facility was left tae the bairns of the South Side, Craigmillar, Niddrie and anywhere else on the Route number 14 bus.

For the High Wall boys it was a 5 minute pad up the road wi yer towel and trunks under yer airm. Every Friday night we were there along wi thoosands o' other bairns. It was always right busy and the pool looked like bairn soup. They also probably used mair chlorine in the Commie on a Friday than the Germans did during the whole Ypres campaign.

Yer locker money got you a key which you slotted into a colour coded rubber band. Then you were off, daein' bombs off the divin' boards, pishin in the pool and generally havin' a rare auld time. Some paedo type lifeguard was aye blawin' a whistle and givin' ye a row, but we didnae care.

You usually had to queue up to get in and they did it in 1/2 hour timed sessions, each wi a different band colour. The scoreboard had the coloured boxes, and they lit up when yer time was up. The tannoy would tell ye tae get oot as well. You would always try to get an extra half hour when the light changed to tell you tae get oot, but if the paedo spotted yer band, that was the game up. Ye had to hit the showers and scrabble aboot for the remains o' a Vosene shampoo sachet wi a wee bit left in it. Quite often the paedo would hang aboot the showers tae make sure ye left and didnae try tae sneak back in. Aye right!!

Then came the best bit, Bratissani's. You got chips wi the locker money, they always tasted barry. Mind you anything tasted barry after a few hours of swallowing large amounts o' pish and chlorine.

I passed the Commie the other day and saw it's getting a full refit. Good to see it's still there but back in oor day it was a proper affordable baths open tae awbody.

New yin does look barry though.