Having a splashing time as sun shines for school holidays

FUN Maria Proctor, six, and her brother Ashley Proctor, 11. Picture: Sarah Standing (122480-2663)
FUN Maria Proctor, six, and her brother Ashley Proctor, 11. Picture: Sarah Standing (122480-2663)
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HUNDREDS of tots took the plunge in the sunshine at Hilsea splashpool as the summer holidays officially got under way.

Scorching temperatures peaking at 25C brought numerous families to Portsmouth City Council’s new water facility, next to Hilsea Lido, for the second day in a row yesterday.

And the weather is set to soar today with maximum temperatures of 27C expected, before dropping to 24C on Thursday and Friday and down to 18C on Saturday.

Youngsters of all ages made the most of the heat yesterday by splashing around in the pool, which cost the council £332,000 to build, while parents caught some rays.

Gemma Gould, 32, of Seymour Close, Buckland, took her son Kane, 10, to the splashpool, as well as her nieces Georgina Brown, 14 and Leila Brown, 15.

Gemma said: ‘The kids love it because they can run about and do what they want, and I’m happy to let them do that because I know they’re in a safe environment. We thought about going to the beach but the kids wanted to do something different and see what the splashpool is like.’

The facility is aimed at children under the age of eight, and has two shallow water pools no deeper than five inches – a similar design to the successful Southsea splashpool.

It also boasts play features, rubber safety surfacing, new toilets and baby change facilities, seats and picnic tables.

Sarah Proctor, of Stanford Close, Paulsgrove, went with sister Kerry Jerabek, son Ashley, 11, and daughter Maria, six.

The 33-year-old said: ‘The splashpool is a perfect thing for families to do when the weather is nice. The kids really enjoy it because there’s lots of other kids for them to play with and they can keep cool in the water.

‘And it’s good for parents too because it’s free and you can spend all day there rather than just a few hours.’

The splashpool is run by Hilsea Lido Pool for the People Trust, which aims to reopen the lido for public use, and is open daily from 11am to 6pm. Entry is free.


· Take the tots for a bounce at a preschool trampolining class at Portsmouth Gymnastics Centre. The session is on from midday to 1pm and costs £5.50 per child. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Advanced booking needed, call (023) 9266 0589.

· Enjoy a one-off singing and dancing show at the Kings Theatre, Southsea, called Little Big Club. The performance features an ensemble of the world’s favourite preschool characters, including Thomas the Tank Engine and Bob the Builder, in an adventure tale. Adult tickets cost £12 and child tickets are £10. Call (023) 9282 8282.

· Get creative at arts and crafts workshop Outstanding Olympians, in Central Library, Guildhall Square, Portsmouth. There will also be stories at the event, which is on from 2pm to 3pm and aimed at kids aged four to 12. No need to book. For more information call (023) 9281 9311.

· Give the children a chance to improve their golfing skills with discounted lessons at Portsmouth Golf Centre’s Tiger Club. All levels of ability are catered for from first timers to budding professionals at the classes, which cost £3 each and run from 10am to 11am. Advanced booking needed, call (023) 9262 6500.

· Become a naval explorer at Seascape in the National Museum of the Royal Navy, in Portsmouth Historic Dockyard. Treasure hunts, crafts and stories of the sea will take place. Visitors can also explore the old ships. Advance booking needed. For more, call (023) 9272 7587.