New Mural for Shoalstone Seawater Pool

New Mural for Shoalstone Seawater Pool

Sea creatures are beginning to creep along the wall at Shoalstone Seawater Pool, Brixham.

Amateur artist Zoe Curley started creating her hand painted prints of sea creatures since moving down to Torbay 4 years ago. When the first lockdown came about she began ‘Supersizing’ the intricate drawings, adding beach and woodland scenes.

John Brennan of Brixham Future says “Some years ago a plan was laid by the then Board, to deliver several murals over a period of years to establish an eventual Art Trail in Brixham. The project is part of a micro-regeneration strategy which delivers small scale, quick win, low cost projects or events that enhance Brixham, making it a more attractive place to work, reside and visit.

Shoalstone is an attractive venue to display art works in numerous forms as part of the Art Trail and will raise awareness of the need to preserve the pool for future generations as part of our built historic and cultural legacy.

To date we have delivered 6 Murals and hope to deliver 6 more over the coming years. We are trying to incorporate different styles, themes and aspects of our heritage.

The Shoalstone Mural is particularly vulnerable to sea damage but nevertheless is considered worthwhile as will enhance the immediate environment and help promote the pool to a wider audience.

“I saw some of Zoe’s sea life pictures on display at Crafty Cwtch in Middle Street, Brixham and asked her if she would consider working on murals. I was delighted when she told me that she had recently worked on the site hut on Paignton Green opposite the hotel construction site”.

Zoe said “I submitted some ideas to the committee and now winter is over I’m excited to be creating a permanent piece of artwork for the users of Shoalstone Seawater Pool in this special Centenary year. The work should be completed to coincide with the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations. The design idea for the wall has always been flexible; while there are some specified elements to incorporate, I’ve been given a free rein to create and allow the piece to evolve as I go. All the work will be carried out in white acrylic pens of varying sizes. It is the detailing that will make this mural stand out as being a little different.“

Volunteers and the Shoalstone team set about preparing the wall as best they can and finished  the base colour just in time for Zoe to start on the wall at Easter.  Customers at Shoals and passers-by have already started to show an interest in the project and say they will keep track of the mural’s progress. “I asked one young boy what he would like to see on the wall, after thinking about this he came up with Starfish! So watch this space!”

Zoe aims to be working on the mural at Shoalstone Seawater Pool on Tuesdays and at least one day at weekends and is happy to talk to anyone interested in the project – but bear in mind her deadline is the end of May, so let’s hope the weather is kind!!

You can follow Zoe’s progress on Instagram and Facebook @Blue Waters Art and Glass and at www.shoalstonepool.com

Behind the scenes at Shoalstone Pool

Behind the scenes at Shoalstone Pool

Over the winter months much has been going on behind the scenes at Shoalstone pool including:

  • The formation of a Charitable Incorporated Organisation and a transfer of undertakings from the existing Community Interest Company to accelerate fundraising efforts as they will be able to seek new grants only available to those with charitable status.
  • The installation of a CCTV system for crime prevention
  • General maintenance including stripping render and concrete from the pool wall interior and replacing it with reinforcing steel in a number of areas.
  • The recruitment of a full-time Operations Manager to join the CIO and take on the day-to-day management of the pool and its finances.

The pool is scheduled to re-open in May. In the meantime, you can read more of their latest news here or stock up with the new range of Shoalstone merchandise here.

Shoalstone Pool recovering from storm damage

Shoalstone Pool recovering from storm damage

Storm-battered Brixham aims to bounce back after a weekend which saw huge waves pounding the port’s vulnerable waterfront. A crowdfunding web page has raised £5,000 in a single day towards repairs to the community-owned Shoalstone Pool.

As the combination of high winds, low pressure and spring tides brought havoc to Brixham, the Water’s Edge kiosk and cafe at Shoalstone was smashed to pieces; railings and huge chunks of concrete were torn up at Shoalstone Pool and waves smashed through the front of the nearby Breakwater Bistro.

The big clean-up is still under way, with business people and volunteers pledging to have facilities open again as soon as possible.

The kiosk at Shoalstone was smashed, and its contents washed out to sea. Debris from the kiosk and the badly damaged cafe next door was found on Breakwater Beach and as far away as Elberry Cove.

At Shoalstone Pool the waves damaged railings and tore giant chunks of cement out of the walls. A large ‘Welcome’ sign was also smashed but while the pool itself appears largely undamaged, it has been filled with debris from damage elsewhere, including glass from the cafe.

Sophie Walker-Haworth, who chairs the Shoalstone Pool Community Interest Company, set up a JustGiving page with the aim of raising £20,000. She said: “The combined forces of Storm Emma, the Beast from the East and very high spring tides conspired to wreak havoc on the Devon coast, including Brixham’s beloved Shoalstone Pool.

“This seawater lido has been at the heart of the community for over ninety years. It has weathered many storms, but rarely one with as much force as this. The sea battered the pool and its surrounds, tearing up concrete, ripping away railings, and destroying the doors to our storerooms – strewing maintenance supplies and equipment across Torbay.

The damage is particularly devastating as the pool is entirely run by and for the community, relying on a dedicated team of volunteers to keep it open in the face of vanishing local authority funding.”

Brixham Town Council chairman and pool volunteer Rosemary Clarke said it would be down to the volunteers to manage the whole process of repairing the pool but, she said, the aim was still to open for the Whitsun Bank Holiday.

She said the pool’s caretaker had been working flat-out on repairs and added: “The waves may have undermined the footpath above the kiosk, where some of the surface has come up.

“At the moment we can’t get any vehicles down there to carry out repairs.”

The Friends of Shoalstone will be raising funds with a coffee morning at the Community Hall in Fore Street on Saturday March 17 and a concert with the Riviera Ukulele Band at the Berry Head on Friday April 13.

Original story by Guy Henderson in the Herald Express
Reproduced by kind permission of author/publisher