Our pool has a surprising Olympic history and is housed in Norwegian Log’s first building
Tucked away at the bottom of Anna and Harry Harrington’s Reading garden is a log building with a very surprising past.
Not only is it the first ever constructed by Norwegian Log Buildings 35 years ago, it houses a swimming pool built for a Team GB Olympian. When it was built in 1984 it was used as a training pool by members of the Reading Royals Synchro team and one went on to represent Great Britain at the Seoul Olympics.
“It was built by the previous owners for their kids and one was a very successful synchronised swimmer,” explains Anna. “When we were considering buying the house ourselves, it was our daughter who fell in love with the pool and that persuaded us to buy it.”
Norwegian Log’s co-founder Nick Forrester remembers the building well as it was the first log cabin he built. It was such a success, and demand for pool enclosures was soon so great, that he set up the company Norwegian Log Buildings with co-founder Mark Chatfield. “We started with pool buildings and then quickly realised that log cabins made wonderful garden buildings, holiday cabins and annexes, and the rest is history,” he says.
Despite being nearly 40 years old, Anna and Harry’s 10m x 7m pool building is in great shape. “The only thing we had to change when we moved here were the sliding glass doors which we swapped for ones with modern double glazing. Apart from that the wood is still perfect,” Anna says. “We’ve had to become quite the experts at keeping the pool water immaculate but a pharmacy degree helps!”
As well as the 7m x 3.8m pool which is 1.35m deep, the building also boasts a sauna, shower and toilet, plus changing rooms and seating area. It has seen its fair share of pool parties over the years, and the pool, kept at a constant balmy 34 degrees, has been a godsend for visitors with arthritis and other health conditions, including helping Anna recover her fitness after a recent joint complaint.
The pool area has a definite spa-vibe with views across their leafy garden. “You just feel like you’re in heaven. I can float here and feel very privileged,” Anna adds. “It really is a secret treasure at the bottom of our garden.”