Swimmers fear hut could be shut like public toilets

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A GROUP of all-year-round swimmers have voiced their concerns after their beach hut could be demolished.

The dedicated swimmers have a hut near Canoe Lake with a sink and a small space to get changed.

But with recent closures to toilets throughout the city, the swimmers are worried that the same could happen to their facility.

Jan Kurr, one of the users, said: ‘All we have is a small hut on the sea front that we maintain ourselves.

‘It is not very big and the facilities are basic but they do the job. It means we can wear our clothes and get changed into our costumes and back again before we get too cold.

‘But with all the toilets closing, we reckon the same will happen to our hut.

‘In fact, we know it will.’

The group meet every morning and most afternoons, in all weathers, to swim at Southsea.

Opposite the road to their hut, next to Canoe Lake, are public loos but the access can be difficult.

Jacqui Denny, who has been swimming on that stretch of beach for nearly 20 years, said: ‘The hut is in the perfect spot.

‘Even though the toilets are nearby, you have to cross a busy road and walk all the way around which is not suitable in a swimming costume in the winter.

‘Our hut allows us to get changed, have a wash and make cups of tea.’

Jacqui added that Portsmouth City Council used to look after the hut but that has now been left to them.

She said: ‘We maintain it and keep it nice and tidy.

‘We sweep the stones from the entrance and clean up any rubbish that people might have left behind.

‘We also direct people to the nearest toilet and help them with directions and what else is down Southsea.’

The hut being demolished is not the swimmers only concern.

They think the whole area needs revamping.

Dawn Davis said: ‘There is nothing here.

‘There is a stretch of beach with no changing facilities, no toilets, nothing.’

Jan added: ‘It would be nice if the council could invest some money into the area and supply decent changing facilities and showers. It would definitely make Southsea more appealing to tourists.’