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Campaigners fight on for London’s longest-serving pool

Local residents running a petition against the demolition of a Victorian pool in Lewisham have once again been backed by the Victorian Society, the national charity campaigning for the Victorian and Edwardian historic environment.

Once the oldest continuously used swimming baths in the capital, the 1885 Forest Hill Baths by Thomas Aldwinckle was closed in 2005 owing to problems with the roof. For three years, Lewisham Council deliberated about the future of the pool before announcing in January of this year that the baths and the adjacent Louise House, formerly the Girls' Industrial Home, were to be demolished to make way and pay for a new pool on part of the site. Undeterred, local people have continued to oppose the plans, urging Lewisham Council not to proceed with demolition until a full public consultation has been carried out. This month, campaigners launched an online petition to demonstrate the level of support for Lewisham's Victorian pool.

‘The community value of Forest Hill Baths is clear,' said Heloise Brown, Conservation Adviser of the Victorian Society. ‘Campaigners have battled for years to keep their Victorian swimming pool. The building adds a lot to the character of Forest Hill and has the potential to be a great example of working heritage once more. We urge Lewisham Council to rethink its plans.'

To sign the Forest Hill Baths petition please visit http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/save-the-face-of-forest-hill.html

Wednesday 11 June, 2008

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