Forest Hill Pools [2020]

Here’s an idea. Why don’t they have a whiteboard behind reception with “current issues” in the centre? When things change, it could be updated. That way every user and staff member would know what’s going on.


Good Afternoon,

I am sorry to hear you felt the staff were unaware of the pool temperature error this morning.

We have escalated the problem to our technical manager who is currently on site rectifying this.

I sincerely apologise for any inconvenience caused.



Kind Regards

Mannie Carmichael** ** ** **| General

Forest Hill Pools

Fusion Lifestyle

Dartmouth Road

Forest Hill

London. SE23 3HZ


Welcome to the forum, @Mannie and thanks for your update.

Will anyone from the Pools / Fusion management team be attending the Forest Hill award assembly on Saturday?


Went to the pools today. Hot water but some of the pool showers not working and all but one of the hairdryers broken. Urgh.

Hi Dave, where is it taking place and what time? I will see what I can do!

All the info is here: Forest Hill Assembly - Saturday 8th Feb, Forest Hill Pools

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24 days ago Steve posted on this thread:

The Pools are on the Agenda, @SophieDavis has invited Lewisham Council’s officer responsible to attend and the Assembly is being held at the Pools. So I really hope you or whoever is the duty manager that day will attend.


Hi Pea, these have now been replaced!


Yes myself and Matthew Houghton (Divisional Sports & Community Development Manager) will be attending.


I have a query about the pool timetable. Is it a new thing that it’s Lane-only swim In the main pool on Sundays? There used to be family swim as well as lanes on Sundays in the main pool. Some confused looking kids in the pool foyer today…
I have emailed the pools, will see what response I get.

Hi Steve - I have just had the most unacceptable experience at FHP, with your team leader laughing in my face (3 times) calling me ‘love’ in a sarcastic fashion, trying to get his young colleagues pulled into the situation - utterly unacceptable - refusing to give me the name of the manager and telling me to leave when I asked what the complaints process is. Please can you provide an email address to enable me to contact you direct and outline the situation in full?

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I believe it should be family swim all Sunday (until 4.30pm). However, family swim was cancelled today because of ‘staffing issues’ - I take it that means a rostered staff member called in sick.

Obviously these things happen but occasions of ‘staffing issues’ causing closure of the learning pool and preventing family swim on weekends are frequent: so frequent that one would hope that FHP put thought into measures to ensure that the relatively likely and foreseeable occurrence of single staff member’s absence would not prevent scores of families and children from using the pool on the weekend.

Am sorry to gripe again but as the topic was raised thought to throw it into the mix of issues that need addressing. Was there any progress at the council meeting at FHP yesterday? @SophieDavis

Thank you, I did wonder if this was the issue. Sunday is a popular day for families to go swimming. They should have a contingency in place. The main pool had only a few lane swimmers in it apparently, and the learner pool was totally full…


I went to the Forest Hill Ward Assembly at the Pools yesterday. I’m not a user of the pools or gym and I couldn’t hear some of the questions that were asked from the floor, as some ladies waved away the microphone despite the co-ordinator’s best attempts to get them to use it.

Mannie, the new pools manager, did her best to answer questions. She had a male colleague (Matthew?) with her.

I did feel for her as she was rather ambushed by James Lee’s [Lewisham Director of Culture and Community (job share)] announcement that Lewisham has had the results of an in depth survey, which revealed that the wooden timber frame that the showers were built on as part of the original [re]build has shifted. James said that the developers would be responsible and Lewisham would go back to them to pursue that claim - although Lewisham also has insurance that will cover it. Neither Mannie nor Fusion had been told about that in advance.

James Lee had been at the Assembly to talk about NCIL and lead what we all though was going to be a table top group discussion about funding priorities. But that isn’t how it played out.

James gave a talk and answered a few questions about NCIL, then moved straight on to talk about the Pools (prior to the audience NCIL discussion). He dropped the bombshell about the structural problems and introduced Mannie and her colleague. Then he left. I might have blinked and missed him saying he was going, but he handed the mic over and then I thought he was just going to the back of the room to get a cup of tea, but he walked straight out.

So poor Mannie was left to it. She’s barely had time to get her feet under the table and she’s obviously inherited quite a shambles.

She said they have a staff shortage - especially of life guards. They are recruiting. Though it was pointed out by an audience member that a lot of their problems weren’t down to recruitment - e.g. lack of name badges.

An audience member said the fact that they have such a high staff turnover could be an indication that they’re not valuing their employees. Do they pay enough? Matthew said they pay the London Living Wage. How does that attract someone to such a responsible job?

It would have been helpful if James Lee - who was clearly in a position to help answer some of the questions - had stayed. Leo did his best with fielding them - and with the delayed NCIL discussion (again minus James Lee) that followed. It wasn’t very satisfactory.


Thanks very much - this is really good for those of us who couldn’t be there. Who was chairing the meeting? It does seem a bit out of order that one of the main (and in council terms, senior) people present should just get up and leave.

The problems with the upstairs showers sound very serious. Other than the stuff about working out who’s going to pay, was James Lee able to give any clue as to how long the remedial work is likely to take?


Leo Gibbons was chairing it. He was doing his best, but really it wasn’t fair on him. I got the impression he wasn’t expecting to be flying solo though - maybe he was expecting James Lee to stay, as was I.

I fear the repairs will take a long time, given that they’re structural and the Council is referring the matter back to the developers. It is rather worrying, because if they got this wrong, what else have they got wrong?

According to Lewisham’s website:

“Willmott Dixon Construction Limited have worked alongside Roberts Limbrick Architects and Fusion Lifestyle …” [on the Pools project]

I remember when the pools first opened (oh those halcyon days when hopes were high about the long awaited brand new pool and fitness facilities) there were Lifeguards and fitness instructors that I got to recognise who seemed to care.
After around 18 months they all seemed to have gone and certainly the standards of back of house (ie changing rooms) and poolside observation as in telling off unruly kids seemed to go downhill with their departure.
Abut 2 years after opening was when I felt it all became more chaotic.
classes cancelled last miniute front desk being clueless, etc etc etc …
I gave up and left about 2 years ago,would love to go back due to its convenience to home but until I’m confident that is safe, clean and well run I’m afraid my yearly membership fee has gone elsewhere.

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This is Willmott Dixon’s webpage about the Pools …

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And this is Roberts Limbrick’s …


That post was 2010?