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Report - - The Oasis leisure Centre - Swindon - may 2021 | Leisure Sites | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - The Oasis leisure Centre - Swindon - may 2021


Wally_urbex

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
HISTORY

The Oasis Leisure Centre, designed by Peter Sargent of Gillinson, Barnett and Partners in 1974, is an entertainment and sports complex situated outside the town centre of Swindon, Wiltshire.


It opened on the 1st January 1976 it cost £3 million to build overall and aimed to bring a bit of Hawaii-style paradise to Swindon.





It has many facilities available, such as a lagoon swimming pool, gym, bar, and concert hall. The concert hall eventually became a major venue for touring acts and held approximately 3,000 people.


The venue has hosted gigs by Talking Heads, Dire Straits,The Stranglers, Van Morrison, The Specials, Paul Weller, Madness, Alice Cooper, Ed Sheeran and The Kings of Leon.





Some 20,000 people crammed into the Oasis for the grand opening, where the entertainment ranged from synchronised swimming and sub-aqua displays to a British Rail Brass Band recital.


Within its 1st year of operation the American National Swimming Pool Institute hailed the Oasis as the world’s top residential pool of 1976 and awarded it a gold medal.





In 1979 the leisure centre celebrated its two millionth visitor in June. For its tenth anniversary, the Oasis installed three Domebusters water flumes for £600,000 which became hugely popular with Swindonians and tourists alike. The slides helped the centre briefly become Wiltshire's most popular tourist attraction, even above Stonehenge.


In 1991 the oasis earned a footnote in British pop history when Liam Gallagher decided on the name for his band. They had previously been called the Rain, but Gallagher took inspiration from a poster for an Inspiral Carpets gig that was hanging in the bedroom he shared with brother Noel, which featured a date at the leisure centre. Noel, a roadie for Inspiral Carpets, would soon join the newly-named Oasis, who went on to define the Britpop scene and sell tens of millions of albums.






Closure


On the 18th November 2020 owners Greenwich Leisure Ltd ( GLL ) operating under the brand "Better" announced the oasis would not re open once lockdown restrictions were eased on December 3 .


The impact of both lockdowns has led to social enterprise and leisure operator GLL and landlord Seven Capital deciding that the facility's future is no longer viable. They came to this decision after carrying out a review of their options and saw that the amount of money being lost and rent required made continuing to operate the site difficult.


The building is now in the control of developers SevenCapital who have taken the lease back from GLL.


A campaign was also launched called Save Oasis Swindon to ensure that the much-loved facility reopens.


Detailed proposals are currently being drawn up, which would see a master plan created for the surrounding site with a significantly improved Oasis forming the centrepiece of the development.


Despite this, an application to Historic England by an unknown source to grant the leisure centre listed status could scupper any hope of giving the Oasis a sustainable future
“However, its age is part of the problem as it needs many millions of pounds spent on it to modernise it and make it viable after years of neglect from GLL .


In May 2021 the twentieth century society placed the site on its Top 10 Buildings at Risk List


As it stands so far so 1 has come forward to say they will run the facility

THE EXPLORE

So this 1 was quite a sad 1 for me as myself and my girlfriend along with the kids always enjoyed going here and much preferred the oasis to the other local alternative “coral reef” so I was quite shocked to hear it wasn't going to re open after lockdown.


Whilst at work and passing through Swindon I managed to scout the site out on 3 occasions during the past couple of months as there was talk about the local police using the site to train there police dogs.


On 1 of the 3 occasions I even stopped for my lunch break there!


With no sign of any police or police dogs anywhere and just a few random people walking through the site and the odd dog walker who were definitely not police I decided it was finally time to attempt an explore.


On the morning of the explore I was up at 3am as wanted to get down there early while it was still dark to avoid any nosey local busybodies.


After id got my shit together I hit the road and arrived on site around half 4.


I decided to park at the near by public car park and not the pool car park just incase any unwanted attention showed up.


As I walked up to the site I decided to check where I thought the entry point was then go look around to see if I was alone.


Entry point checked ( exactly where I thought, sorted )


I then walked around to check if I was alone as I slowly walked round I could see a van parked up!. BOLLOCKS!


Unsure if it was secca or police I daren’t get any closer to see who it actually was.


Although I’m 99% sure it was a police van.


Now I hadn't driven an hour just to be scared off by some form of security.


However I didn't want to risk going inside even though the entry point was well hidden and nowhere near to where they was parked as I knew the pool had light sensors inside and didn't fancy lighting the place up like Blackpool illuminations.


So I retreated back to my car until day light.


Half an hour later I decided it was light enough for a second attempt and was hoping whoever was parked up had fucked off by now. ( Even if they hadn't I was still going in )


I walked back to site and slowly peeped round the corner to see them just leaving… YES!!, RESULT!!.


so with them gone it was time to get inside and start exploring.


Once inside I decided to just explore the actual pool and not the rest of the leisure center as I knew the rest of the building was alarmed and didn't think it was worth setting alarms off just for a few empty sports halls.


Now inside I stared looking around the pool, my adrenaline was absolutely pumping and i was shaking like a leaf so apologies if any of the photos are a little blurry.


As I said above I was quite shocked to hear that this place was to never re open, the pool in parts had always looked a bit neglected and in need of a bit of TLC.


However.. walking around it became clear why it had closed, the place is falling to bits!, decay everywhere, drips of water coming down from the ceiling


Even down in the plant rooms the drips continue, a lot of the machinery is all rusty it was a right state.


After a few hours inside I decided I had enough pictures and headed out the same way I came in which was very tricky and definitely not as easy as getting in. I could have chosen to exit by 1 of the fire escapes but with power still on I thought this may set off an alarm and still had externals to take so didn't want to risk it so I decided on the more tricky maneuver to get out.


Finally back outside in 1 piece I headed round the front to finish off with a few externals then it was time to drive back home still buzzing with excitement.


Sadly 6 months of abandonment have added to the speed of decay and will sadly continue to get even worse making any chance of this once loved place ever reopening very slim!.







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Samus

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
That’s so awesome,I love your photos & some amazing bands have played there too, sounds like it was a great venue in the past!
 

Wally_urbex

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
That’s so awesome,I love your photos & some amazing bands have played there too, sounds like it was a great venue in the past!
Yes it was pretty decent mate. Just a shame the owners couldn't be arsed to spend out on maintenance
 

Calamity Jane

i see beauty in the unloved, places & things
Regular User
Nice. You've covered it well. A real colourful report. Good history & personal too. Id say due to lack of graff or really bad damage, it probably was secca at silly o clock. But who knows, could equally be another explorer. But im leaning to the former.
 

Wally_urbex

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Nice. You've covered it well. A real colourful report. Good history & personal too. Id say due to lack of graff or really bad damage, it probably was secca at silly o clock. But who knows, could equally be another explorer. But im leaning to the former.
Whoever it was buggered off and that's all that matterd lol
 

tumbles

Trip Hopping
Regular User
Ah man proper nostalgia trip - I probably only went here like half a dozen times as a kid. Seemed to recall it was all a bit shit with being timed on everything, like 20-30 mins on the three flumes then only another half hour in the pool before you were chucked out. That was probably 25 years ago when it was still fresh, as you say it looks damned tired now. I think it was threatened with closure several times over the past decade.

Good work getting it done.
 

tumbles

Trip Hopping
Regular User
Seem to recall you could only go feet first on the storm ride, the other two were face first. I hated that as a young lad and wasn't till my last visit I did the other two. Think they've changed the names on them over years although great white was always called that.
 

Wally_urbex

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Ah man proper nostalgia trip - I probably only went here like half a dozen times as a kid. Seemed to recall it was all a bit shit with being timed on everything, like 20-30 mins on the three flumes then only another half hour in the pool before you were chucked out. That was probably 25 years ago when it was still fresh, as you say it looks damned tired now. I think it was threatened with closure several times over the past decade.

Good work getting it done.
Cheers mate. Yea there was no time limit for the flumes but u always had a coloured band on and an allocated time but we always used to go over our time anyway! Fuck um hahaha
 

Landie_Man

"Landie" or Harry
Regular User
Lovely. Been wanting to see in here. The Bedford Oasis is also nice, it’s still open but when the outdoor pool is closed in the winter, the indoor pool is hot like a bath, and the wave machine is amazingly powerful. It was built a lot later in 1990 but it’s nice to visit.

I went with my mate once at lunchtime a year or so ago and asked why the flumes weren’t running, they said cause the kids are at school. We just said, “yes. That’s why we came at lunch time to use the flumes!!”

well reported and not all to far from me!
 

Wally_urbex

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Lovely. Been wanting to see in here. The Bedford Oasis is also nice, it’s still open but when the outdoor pool is closed in the winter, the indoor pool is hot like a bath, and the wave machine is amazingly powerful. It was built a lot later in 1990 but it’s nice to visit.

I went with my mate once at lunchtime a year or so ago and asked why the flumes weren’t running, they said cause the kids are at school. We just said, “yes. That’s why we came at lunch time to use the flumes!!”

well reported and not all to far from me!
Cheers mate. If your planning a visit. I'd recommended waiting a while as all the local " save the oasis" Karen's are up in arms that someone else has been in. So u may be meet by a lynch mob!
 

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