1st November 2021
A Salute to the Oasis
Hello Oasis supporters. A rather fine blog featuring wonderful, personal memories of our beloved Oasis has come to our attention. It’s called Farewell to Swindon’s Oasis Leisure Centre – though of course we hope it’s not! I’d say it’s a rather fine salute to the Oasis.
What follows below is a short extract – but do follow the link above to read the whole thing!
For other writings about the Oasis visit the Oasis category on Born Again Swindonian: https://swindonian.me/category/the-oasis/
And for some Oasis history go here.
FAREWELL TO SWINDON’S OASIS LEISURE CENTRE
‘Many people regard Swindon as a desert – culturally, concretely, completely. They see it as the kind of place where nothing of note has ever or will ever happen. Growing up in Swindon, I know that this is simply not true. There was one fertile spot in our desert, a body of water that drew wildlife from across the surrounding planes. Namely: the Oasis Leisure Centre.
It was recently announced that Swindon’s premier leisure centre is to close permanently. The news of its cessation has sent artificial shockwaves throughout the local community. Further, it stirred up a maelstrom in the tepid chlorinated pools of my nostalgia. So much of my childhood and formative years were happily spent at the Oasis. Indeed to the extent that I feel a large chunk of me still floats atop its water like the fabled turd of many a West Country toddler.
A futuristic structure
The Oasis contained everything imaginable beneath its futuristic 45 ft high dome and sprawling subterranean spaces. The vanguard in a great swath of pioneering 1970s leisure centres, it housed a swimming pool, a water park, a sports centre, a snooker hall, a concert venue, an arcade, a restaurant and bar.
It housed the full-size snooker tables where my dad taught me how to hold a cue and lose 397 times in a row. This was where I attended Glenn Hoddle’s soccer school and graduated with flying colours and a signed certificate. It was where I bought Guns ‘n Roses bootleg CDs for extortionate fees at the local Record Fairs. It was where I swam, snogged, snacked, smashed, scored, slipped and slide tackled away the best hours of the best years of my life …
...read the blog for the rest!