I read with interest the letters with regard to the demolition of the Manor College, and with a smile as I think back some 30 years when I was allowed by the head of Manor school and Mrs Fox, the school swimming teacher, to hold the key to the swimming pool in the basement.
This allowed me to uncover the pool at 7am and start coaching my son Verdon, who swam for Rykneld SC and was a pupil there. Mrs Fox taught him to swim and knew his potential was good (ranked GB No 1 youth at 16 years and became British biathlon and triathlon champion at 13 years) which was why I came to know the old Manor School so well.
The reason I am smiling is to think of the hard work, sweat and tears, spent down there by Verdon and the first time he said to me: “Dad, why is that boy always sat with his feet in the water watching us?”
As I could not see anything I said it could be steam, but most days he would say: “He’s there again dad.”
I mentioned this to Mrs Fox, who said not many people see him – the ghost of a small boy who drowned in the pool many years ago.
He was still there after two years when Verdon moved up to Chesterfield Boys and did his morning training in their pool.
What will David Fox (I don’t know if he is related) do should he or any of the Avondale doctors or patients encounter this young boy who has held residency for decades and may still be there.