NORTH Berwick residents have launched a petition to bring back the town’s famous outdoor swimming pool, which closed in 1995.

Gill Surfleet is among a group of “like-minded” residents who have formed BBOP (Bring Back the Outdoor Pool).

She grew up in the town and used the old outdoor pool next to the harbour – now home to a dinghy park – regularly.

The 36-year-old mum-of-two moved away in her late teens to attend university, returning two years ago.

Gill, who was involved in the campaign against the pool’s closure in the 1990s, said: “The pool was a great community resource and social gathering space used by a lot of people; I was part of the last group of people to use it.

“The initial campaign wasn’t successful but I want to try again – I feel like it’s now or never.

“People that used the pool as a child have had their own kids and want them using it. There are over 1,000 kids in the high school and there is not a lot going on for them.”

The online petition was launched last Thursday and has already received more than 1,000 signatures.

She said: “When I was on maternity leave I started talking to people about the pool when out on High Street, asking if it would be feasible, and there is support to have it brought back.

“I didn’t expect that many people to sign it this early: there is an appetite for it to be done and I am starting the conversation.”

The group is seeking more members and volunteers to help their cause, including architects and lawyers.

Gill realised that the pool might not be able to return to the harbour but had not yet fully examined possible alternative locations.

And because they had only just launched, funding ideas were still at a very early stage though they are keen to work with community organisations and East Lothian Council to realise their dream.

Judy Lockhart, chair of North Berwick Community Council, said: “The community council was interested to hear about the petition.

“The pool certainly brings back a lot of good memories and, like many others, I learned to swim in it!

“It will be interesting to see how the petition develops and, as with all local groups, the organisers are welcome to get in touch with us if they wish.”

Jeremy Findlay, ward councillor, said: “I have no problem with the concept of bringing this back but it must be on the basis that this is the will of the majority of the town and also that it does not have a detrimental impact on existing organisations that use this area.”

The petition is at