Rory’s Royal Pool Plea
Thursday 24th March 2016 @ 14:08 by Lee Wild
Ashton News

One very special nine-year-old boy from Ashton has been fighting to save his local swimming baths.
Rory Hand has written to some of the most powerful people in the land, to plead with them to help him save his beloved pool.
Rory wrote to the House of Commons, Buckingham Palace and his favourite football team, Manchester City, to try and stop the closure of his local swimming pool.
As a result, Rory received a Blue Peter badge, and an autograph from each Manchester City player
including his favourite, Sergio Aguero.
Rory said: “It’s a really good pool and I don’t know why they want to shut it down.”
He started learning to swim at the pool when he was only 12-months-old.
Rory’s mum Sue said: “He did all this off of his own back. As soon as he knew the pool was threatened with closing it was something he had to fight for.”
The family have had a terrific response to Rory’s letter writing campaign.
“It’s not just the letters; it’s the response from Facebook and Twitter as well,” said Sue.
“People recognise him in the street for doing what he’s doing, tell him well done and good luck.”
Tameside Councillor Lorraine Whitehead is spearheading a campaign to save the Ashton Pool from closure, and recently handed in a petition containing more than 2,000 signatures to the mayor of Tameside, Cllr Vincent Ricci.
She said: “I’ve used the service so long and I love it, I wouldn’t know what to do without this place.
“When I started I was nearly 15 stone and couldn’t even walk around the block, so this place has changed my life.
“I see it change other people’s lives, I see people come in that are depressed that maybe have lost a family member and they lose weight, they gain confidence and they change into a completely different person so it’s more of a community rather than just a pool.”
Cllr Whitehead is also proud of the work Rory has done: “I’m so proud of Rory, he’s such a star.”
Tameside Council has proposed closing the Ashton, Denton and Dukinfield pools to replace them with a state-of-the-art Tameside Wellness Centre, improve facilities elsewhere but also to save vital funds. A decision was expected yesterday as we went to press.