Mystery of the extra three inches!

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I read with interest the article in the Spenborough Guardian (July 12) regarding Spenborough baths.

It is pleasing news that money seems to be on its way to greatly renovate or reconstruct the ageing pool building.

May I add a little history to this cause?
It was built in 1969 by the old Spenborough Council, contracted to Halifax builders Pickles (now nonexistent).

I was a foreman at the time, although my main duties evolved at the housing project in Hare Park Lane, Hightown.

An interesting point to consider is, why is the pool the wrong size?

In 1969 Great Britain was imperial, although metric was imminent and was begun in February 1971. Not many at the time understood the metric system and there were no tapes with metric on them!

So, some said there were 25mm to an inch. Some said there were 39 and a half inches to the metre. Multiplied out for the size of a house would be futile, but multiplied out to the length of an Olympic pool and one gets an extra three inches!

Only a few people can still be alive (apart from me) who know this story of the extra three inches.

Was this error done to keep the pool for the locals’ use, excluding Olympic contests, or was it erected with the foibles of innocent, ignorant builders of the time?

My question now is, what lies in the future? Will the length be corrected to proper international standard, or will the pool stay the same size for locals’ use?

PETER HORSFIELD

Turnsteads Drive

CLECKHEATON