'It really saddens me': Families frustrated by Hornsey paddling pool closure

Empty paddling pool in a park on a sunny day

Priory Park paddling pool has yet to open this summer. - Credit: Frankie Lister-Fell

The paddling pool in Priory Park is expected to reopen next week after delays due to a fault – but there are calls for its opening days to be extended. 

The Hornsey pool used to be used by children daily from May to August. Since 2018, along with paddling pools in Lordship Recreation Ground and Bruce Castle, it only opens Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

This year, it has yet to opened at all.

It is thought to be a problem with a water valve, but the exact issue is expected to be confirmed when work is carried out on Tuesday.

Alice Tringham, chair of Friends of Priory Park, thinks the pool should be open on more days to help children's mental health.

She said: "I have the most amazing memories of being there with my preschoolers on a summer's day. It really saddens me to see it closed.

"Haringey said they don't have the £8,000 required to open the pools every day. But the council's budget is millions of pounds. It's really a very small amount of money."

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Flora Bardhoshi, director of Priory Park Cafe, has seen a drop in customers.

Man and woman standing behind cafe counter smiling

Flora and her partner Sokol Bardhoshi who run Priory Park Cafe. - Credit: Frankie Lister-Fell

"If that pool was full, the cafe would be full," she said. There are normally five people working, but Flora has had to send some of her staff home.

"I can't tell you how many phone calls I've got since May from people asking: ‘Is the pool open?’ Every single person who comes in asks what happened and I have to go over it again."

Councillor Julie Davies, cabinet member for communities and civic life, said: “We’re proud of Haringey’s wonderful green spaces and the enjoyment they bring to the whole community.

“The paddling pool in Priory Park was not able to open for the summer season as planned due to a plumbing issue. We are urgently addressing this.

“We have kept all stakeholders – including ward councillors, Friends of Priory Park and café managers – updated at every step of this process, and have put up signs around the pool to inform residents of the temporary closure.

“We are investing heavily in parks across the borough with significant additional funding. There are no plans cut to this service. The current opening arrangements have been in place since 2018.”