30 years ago

FROM the West Sussex County Times of Friday, September 25, 1981.

AT LAST - the date has been fixed for the opening of Horsham’s new £1 million indoor swimming pool, long campaigned for by thousands of residents.

The doors of the centre, nearing completion in Horsham Park, will be opened to the public for the first time on Saturday, November 21, at 11am, Horsham District Council announced yesterday.

On that day, the chairman of the recreation and environment committee Mrs Evelyn Mauchel will receive the keys to what will be called the Park Swimming Centre.

Handing them to her will be Mr Max Hunt, chairman and managing director of the main contractors John Hunt Limited.

Mrs Mauchel will then unlock the main entrance doors and declare the pool “open to the public”, and from that moment the new heated pool located on the site on the old outdoor pool will be available to the public.

A formal opening ceremony with the unveiling of a commemorative plaque will take place at a later date.

The occasion will be a climax to many years of hard work and endeavour by numerous people.

The swimming centre has been provided by the district council as a result of overwhelming public demand, culminating in the collection of 13,000 signatures on a petition.

During the past 18 months the Horsham Indoor Swimming Pool Association has worked with enthusiasm to cover the cost of equipment and fixtures and many people and different groups have contributed to these efforts.

THE long-awaited Horsham northern by-pass costing about £12 million is now right at the top of the county council’s priority list.

Work on the new vital road, which will link the A264 with the A24 and divert thousands of vehicles out of the town, could start during 1984-85.

The decision to give it priority was made by the county roads and transport committee on Friday by 17 votes to five, despite counter arguments by some councillors who favoured spending money across the county.

The route has already been agreed. It will cut across open fields to the north of the town and join the A264 Crawley-Horsham road with the A24 dual-carriageway to the west. Work is expected to take two or three years.

The decision will be widely welcomed in the town and it means yet another Horsham district road problem could soon be solved.

Already this year the Steyning-Bramber by-pass has opened, work has begun on the Southwater by-pass and decisions have been made for a start on the Broadbridge Heath by-pass later this year.

At Friday’s meeting county surveyor Mr Keith Williams emphasised the importance of the A24 and A264 route around Horsham, along to Crawley and then to the motorway system.

THE St. Catherine’s hospice appeal has reached a major milestone with the acceptance by the planning authority of its detailed building plans.

The hospice for the incurably sick would serve Horsham, Crawley, East Grinstead, Cuckfield, Haywards Heath and Burgess Hill.

Fund-raising teams have been set up in these towns to bring in the three-quarters-of-a-million pounds or more expected to be needed.

Outline planning permission has already been granted by Crawley Borough Council for the hospice on land given to the appeal in Brighton Road, Crawley.

Last week Crawley’s planners approved the details on two conditions. The first was that samples of materials and finishes should be shown to council officers before they are used.

The second was that no trees on Malthouse Lane, which fronts the site, should be removed without permission.

According to the appeal’s building committee chairman, Mr John Ebdon, the conditions posed no problems and he was delighted with the decision.

Press Officer John Woodward said it was a positive step forward which would give the appeal a new impetus.

At a meeting of the appeal management committee, tribute was paid to the late Dr F. R. Gusterson who died earlier this month and who had given advice on the project from his experience as medical director of the hospice in Worthing.